Public Exhibitions Feature International Storylines and Destinations

Seems like everywhere you turn at the Elliott School, you’ll find a new photo exhibit highlighting its students, its significant areas of research, or partnerships with local embassies. Making use of the available community spaces in the building to showcase the wide-ranging blend of art and research through the prism of international affairs makes for an #onlyatGW experience. All exhibits are free and open to the public on weekdays 7am -10 pm.

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS at the Elliott School of International Affairs

Basement: Colors of Ecuador, featuring the work of Ecuadorian artist, Manuel Avilés, consists of  15 photos of Ecuador’s people and landscapes. (Runs through Oct 14)

1st Floor: 3rd Annual Study Abroad Photo Competition, a group exhibition of photos taken by Elliott School students during their studies and travel abroad. (Runs through Nov 30)

Second Floor: The Researcher and His/Her Fieldwork in Central Eurasia
As part of the 20th Annual Conference, Central Asian Studies Society (CESS), the organizers invited scholars and journalists to submit photos of Central Eurasia that reflect on the relationship between the researcher and the object of research and illuminate the different faces of fieldwork. (Runs through Oct 30)

COMING EXHIBITIONS at the Elliott School of International Affairs

Basement: Beginning Oct 22
We want Freedom: The Fall of the Communist Regime in Slovakia in 1989
In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, the Embassy of Slovakia in cooperation with the Bratislava-based Nation’s Memory Institute will display an exhibit to commemorate the tragedy of people in Czechoslovakia under the  years of totalitarian regime, as well as the extraordinary moments that led to its demise. 

2nd Floor: Beginning Nov 11, 2019
Waging Peace exhibit opening and reception 5:00-7:30 pm, 2nd floor Atrium
November 15th marks the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War Mobilization March on Washington, a gathering of over half a million demonstrators against the war. Engaging participation from across the university and the local community, we offer a series of events to educate students and the general public about often overlooked facets of the history of US involvement in Vietnam, including the impact that antiwar GIs and veterans had on ending the war.

Elliott Faculty Working on Green New Deal Policy

The Green New Deal has received considerable media coverage in the build-up to the 2020 Presidential Election. According to Data for Progress, “The Green New Deal is an ambitious policy agenda to tackle the climate crisis, create quality jobs, and promote justice. It has become a core element of many Democrats’ platforms in the 2020 Presidential race, with more than half of all candidates endorsing the Green New Deal and widespread, bipartisan support among American voters.”


Two Elliott School faculty members, Marcus King and Nina Kelsey, whose research interests center around environmental and energy security, climate change, and international environmental policy, are  highly focused on policy issues related to the Green New Deal. Dr. King and Dr. Kelsey share a few of their thoughts here.


Marcus King

“I am researching how climate-change-related impacts such as drought, extreme weather, and sea level rise affect state stability in nations when there is a high potential for humanitarian disasters on violent conflict. My latest publications are about how drought conditions and water stress can be exploited by actors during internal conflict. So the way I describe things is that there are three focal areas of climate change: mitigation, adaptation, and than consequences of failure to adapt. I situate my work in the third category — the consequences of failure.”


Nina Kelsey

“I am interested in feedback processes between energy and environmental policy on the one hand and interest groups on the other hand. So, for instance, if we pass a renewable support policy in 2014, how does that change the configuration of industry or consumer/voter interest groups in subsequent years, and how does that change in turn affect the politics around future policies that we might try to enact? So for the Green New Deal (GND), I think about questions like how the sequencing of different parts of the GND might impact the likelihood that it could be implemented overall. Are there better or worse places to start, that are more or less likely to rapidly build support for later steps?”


Issues like international environmental policy are a great example of Elliott School faculty working on real problems that have the potential to positively affect our future. Since one compelling aspect of international affairs that draws students to study it are the chance for creating impact and change, it is exciting to see faculty research directly connected to current policies between debated like the Green New Deal.


Elliott School Honors Life, Legacy of Swiss Diplomat Carl Lutz

More than 100 students, faculty, staff and residents joined us at the Elliott School on Tuesday, Oct. 23, to hear about the late Swiss diplomat Carl Lutz, whose bravery and tireless efforts saved the lives of 62,000 Jewish people living in Hungary during the Holocaust. Lutz has a GW connection, having received his B.A. from the Columbian College in 1924.

Lutz acted “without hesitation to help the Budapest Jewish community,” said Martin Werner Dahinden, the ambassador of Switzerland to the U.S, at the event. Lutz received his bachelor’s degree in 1924 from GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and is a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee.

“There is a reason why we need to remember and keep the memory of people like Carl Lutz alive,” Dahinden said. “He serves as a role model for future generations. We want to remember the heroism so that it continues unabated.”

Lutz’s rescue strategy involved issuing letters of protection that helped guarantee a Jewish person’s safety in Hungary. He negotiated with the country’s government and German regime to secure 8,000 of these letters to hand out to Jewish residents of  Hungary. He then secretly issued tens of thousands more letters than he was originally granted, which historians say was the largest civilian rescue operation of World War II.

Lutz also set up 76 safe houses in Hungary that were under Swiss protection.

The Oct. 23 event also featured remarks from Dean Reuben Brigety; Frederic Hayat of the G.I.L. Reform Jewish Community of Geneva, Switzerland; Agnes Hirschi, Lutz’s step-daughter; and Katrina Lantos Swett, the president of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice.

Swett said Lutz was “willing to shred the rules to do what was morally right.” She emphasized that it is important to study his story and actions to help “show the path” on what to do when faced with seemingly intractable moral challenges.

The event was sponsored by the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, Embassy of Switzerland, the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice and the Hungarian American Coalition. View our photo album from the event.

Bringing Student Experiences Abroad, Home to the Elliott School

Every year, Elliott School students travel the globe in search of international education, overseas internships and connections abroad — and of course, the thing that sets Elliott School students apart — real-life, in-the-field experiences. This past academic year was no exception. The submissions from the annual Elliott School Abroad photo competition were exceptional.

We received submissions from faraway locations including Brazil, Serbia, Norway, Chile, Uganda, and the Korean Demilitarized Zone. They depict breathtaking landscapes and stories of humanity, often focusing on visual portrayals of the international struggles Elliott School students have witnessed and hope to one day help to solve.

This year, due to the quality and variety of submissions, the Elliott School will hold an exhibition of the featured photography and host an opening reception on October 25, located in the Elliott School’s second floor atrium space. At the conclusion of the exhibit, the students will have the opportunity to take the prints home to hang as a reminder of their accomplishments and time abroad.


We are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Elliott School Abroad Photo Contest!


Honorable Mention:
Bellín submitted by Cole Falkner, B.A. ’20

Bellín submitted by Cole Falkner, B.A. '20

“In Puerto Natales, I walked into a woman’s shop. The walls were littered with handsewn sweaters, intricately crafted jewelry and a myriad of photographs all made by local artists or herself. We spoke about the art in the shop, and I bought some photos, then she let me take her photo. Her name was Bellín.”  





Honorable Mention:
The Saharan Situation submitted by Calla Gilson, B.A.’18

The Saharan Situation submitted by Calla Gilson, B.A.'18

“This photo was taken in the desert as each member of my study abroad cohort raised their unique color of the traditional dyed scarf of the region to billow in the breeze. The contrast of the colors against the Saharan sand reflects the vivid nature of my time in such a colorful country.”





Honorable Mention
Battling the Sea submitted by Yongbao Zhuang, B.A. 20

Battling the Sea submitted by Yongbao Zhuang, B.A. ’20

Aomori, Japan
This photo was shot on the coast of the Sea of Japan in the northeastern prefecture of Aomori, and depicts a local fisherman battling against the storm while fishing for clams and oysters. The Aomori Prefecture, along with Iwate and Miyagi prefecture, are located near the Japan Fishing Ground— one of the countries and is in decline due to overfishing 




3rd Place:
Machu Picchu Sunrise submitted by Lauren Bell, B.A.’19

Machu Picchu Sunrise submitted by Lauren Bell, B.A.'19

After a 
four-day trek through the Inca Jungle, the group I was with hiked up to Machu Picchu around 5 in the morning. When we arrived at the top the sun was rising above the foggy mountains and there were more alpacas and people. It was a new, beautiful world for me. 







2nd Place:
الشاي مع الأصدقاء (Tea with friends) submitted by Shannon McKeown, B.A.’19

الشاي مع الأصدقاء (Tea with friends) submitted by Shannon McKeown, B.A.'19Wadi Rum desert, Wadi Rum Village, Jordan
This picture was taken in a traditional Bedouin tent in Wadi Rum desert in Jordan. Tea is an important part of Jordanian culture as it facilitates social interactions and a sense of community.







1st Place:
Joy submitted by Chinwe Weli,  M.A.’18

Joy submitted by Chinwe Weli,  M.A.'18

Meherpur, Bangladesh 
This photo was shot at a local school in the Meherpur district in Bangladesh. The female students are captured laughing excitedly after answering a question in class. Their school recently received a multimedia classroom from Save the Children as the government works to introduce innovative solutions to the primary education system. 




Thank you to everyone who submitted photos. It truly was the most impressive group the Elliott School has ever received. And don’t forget to capture your experiences this year! We hope to see everyone at the exhibit’s opening reception on October 25, 2018.

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