Congratulations to the winners of our 2019 Annual DAAD Photo Contest! Thank you to all who participated and to all those who voted for their favorite image.

First Place: Kaitlin Young – University of North Texas (196 votes)

“One of the most meaningful words for society is ‘opportunity.’ Prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, those on each side could not freely cross the border between East and West Berlin–people may look across, but not casually pass back and forth between the two sides. Today, this rooftop I’m on lies within and almost exactly at the inner wall, while the Berliner Dom and Fernsehturm in the distance lay in the east, and now people have the opportunity to view either half of Berlin without restriction. Internally, though, we all also have our own walls to break down–so while on this rooftop, I participated with a Jewish friend in a Shabbat dinner I knew nothing about, which, as someone with anxiety, was a huge position of discomfort for me that I set aside for this custom that means a great deal to her. I put myself in this position of vulnerability to learn what I had an opportunity to learn, much like citizens of east and west Berlin when crossing the former wall into unfamiliar territory to explore what, after 28 years, they no longer knew.”


Second Place: Mareike Lange – University of Cincinnati (158 votes)

“Sitting at the May-Ayim-Ufer facing the river Spree, you are looking from the former West Berlin side to where the Berlin Wall once stood. To the left is The Wall Museum, to the right the “Oberbaumbrücke”; Berlins vibrant life calmed down in the early morning hours when I visited Berlin with my Students on our annual Berlin Trip 2018. This place, which once signified separation invites one’s reflection, for I come from a position from which I can observe how borders are globally broken down but also built up. For me, this image means ‘Beyond Borders’ because the blurriness of boundaries become visible, between night and day, east and west, the actual and its reflection and between past, present and future.”


Third Place: Alexandria Crandall – Boise State University (134 votes)

“Sitting the the top of the Ferris wheel at the Cranger Kirmes, I could see everything – the lights, the people, the distant buildings that made up the city. The struggle of learning German by being thrown into this world of once unknowns allowed me to see how truly similar people are to one another at heart. Fun is fun and beauty is beauty no matter where you are from or where you decide to go. This night of all nights brought the barriers between cultures down for me.”


The winners have been contacted and notified of their awards.