Brandi Hill

Brandi Hill

Head of the CLAS

Brandi Hill will graduate this spring with a B.A. degree in criminology and a minor in African Studies. Though her studies have focused on adults, she admits that she finds herself repeatedly drawn to children. 

During a four-day break from her study abroad program at the University of Botswana, Hill traveled to Sand Sloot, South Africa with her friend Tabo, whose family lives there. After a mere six hours in the village, Hill was making arrangements to return for a longer stay.  It was in this rural village that she photographed and award winning photo of children staring at her through the windows of the schoolhouse.

“English” and “Just Friends” won 1st and 2nd place, respectively, in the Study Abroad category of the 2007 Global Culture Photography Competition sponsored by the University of Florida International Center and the Transnational and Global Studies Center.

Hill chose to study in Botswana in the spring of 2007 because of her interest in the judicial process of the newly formed democracy.  She was curious to see how, after 40 years, their system compared to the U.S.  Her trip was funded in part by a Daniel Sinclair Bredahl International Center Semester Scholarship.

Hill returned from her study abroad trip profoundly affected by her experience and with a new mission: to help the children in Sand Sloot by providing them with much-needed school supplies. To support her efforts, she established a small business, Photos for Africa, in which she uses her skills as a freelance photographer to document the children and uses the proceeds from the sale of those photographs to purchase school supplies for Sand Sloot children. In December, she returned to deliver the supplies she had accumulated.

English, 1st Place Winner

English, 1st Place Winner

 

Just Friends, 2nd Place Winner

Just Friends, 2nd Place Winner

 

Though she has had no formal training as a photographer, Hill has always loved the medium and has used her camera to keep her afloat financially while working on her degree.  Upon graduation, she plans to return to Sand Sloot to make another delivery of supplies bought with monies raised through UF student group fundraisers, including the Annual Greek Step Show, the Caribbean Student Association Fashion Show, and the Southern Scholarship Foundation’s date auction.

All the winning photos from the 2007 Global Culture Photography Competition can be viewed at the Grinter Hall Gallery through February 8. They will also be on display at the main branch of the Alachua County Public Library February 11-March 30.

Credits

Writer

Heather Barrett

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