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Home Beyond Home

A visual narrative

What makes you smile? Where do you find solace amidst all the chaos of our busy lives? Who’s the first person you call to calm your nerves after a rough meeting? What is the meaning of ‘home’ to you?

The Cranwell Global Ambassadors present you the first look at the exhibition titled, "Home Beyond Home" where your fellow Hokies share the stories of their home through the lens. Whether it's cherished memories of a home you left behind, or the vibrant tapestry of life here in Blacksburg, each snapshot is a piece of a personal narrative.


Mountain yak

1st: Shivansh Mathur

MountainYak - Personally, this picture is very close to me. Captured in the foothills of the state of Arunachal Pradesh, it propelled my photography journey after winning several accolades.

Woman with a small boy sitting in autumn leaves

2nd: Ibrahim Tahmid

Memories from a warm, cherished fall. My nephew, Aurnil, visiting us from thousands of miles away was the first time my two homes from two countries came together to create one sweet memory.

A man standing on a boat eating

3rd: Yasmine Elfeki

Location فلوكة في نهر النيل Felucca in the Nile- Egypt.

I took this photo of my younger brother on a boat in the Nile. To me home is family, and this photo reminds me of exactly that.

Nasir al-Mulk (Pink) mosque, Fars (Pars) Province, Shiraz, Iran

Honorable Mention: Arash Shams

Nasir al-Mulk (Pink) mosque, Fars (Pars) Province, Shiraz, Iran مسجد نصیرالملک (صورتی)، شیراز، استان فارس (پارس)، ایران I feel like I am back at "home" as I look at this striking picture of the western nave of the Nasir al-Mulk (Pink) Mosque in Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran. Deeply moving symphonies of beauty are created by minute details, such as the Persian-stained glass Orsi windows and the profusion of pink tiles. I am reminded of the rich cultural legacy that defines my country as I look at the expertly carved columns, the vivid floral designs, and the Quranic passages gracing the ceiling. Every feature, including the turquoise tile floor and the wooden doors, conveys a feeling of pride and craftsmanship while inspiring a sense of belonging. In this sanctuary of serenity, bathed in the gentle glow of colored light, I find solace and nostalgia, connecting me to the timeless beauty of Iran.

Final Selections

An elderly fisherman on a boat

Arash Shams

Pasabandar, Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Iran پسابندر، استان سیستان و بلوچستان، ایران As the elderly fisherman in Pasabandar, Iran waits patiently for his catch, the essence of home is captured in the creases of his aged face. I am immediately taken back to my trip to Sistan and the Baluchestan Province and visiting my beloved Baluch people there. when I see him on his modest boat among the placid waves. The peace of this picture speaks to me strongly, even though I am thousands of miles away in the United States. It reminds me of simpler times and makes me feel closer to my native country.

A young boy standing on farm land

Arash Shams

Asalem Khalkhal Road Gilan Province, Iran جاده اسالم به خلخال، استان گیلان، ایران I find great resonance in this photo of a little, short-haired youngster gently rubbing her face against the backdrop of her modest home along Asalem Khalkhal Road, Gilan Province, Iran. I find the essence of "home" in the modesty of her surroundings and the simplicity of her deeds; it is a sense of warmth, comfort, and belonging that cuts over time and space, tying me to my roots and bringing back fond memories of home.

A skyscape at dusk

Xin He

Your end, my origin.

Rocks stacked on top of one another

Narayan Pokhrel

Just as we construct our lives one brick at a time, the rock symbolizes our journey founded on hopes and aspirations. Despite moments where it may seem out of place, everything eventually aligns as we move forward. For me, the rock is a dream to move forward and also a reminder of gigantic mountains back home in Nepal.

A room with a collection of old furniture and pictures. A mirror in the background reflects the photographer..

Yasmine Elfeki

Location: قهوة الفيشاوى-القاهرة El-Fishawi-Cairo, Caption: This place is a corner of nostalgia, right in the heart of Cairo, Egypt. It has existed for more than a century. Just by looking at this photo, I can hear the musicians playing Oud, and I can smell the hot cup of tea with fresh mint leaves.

The Asiatic Society Library

Swapnil Singh

Under the night sky, the Asiatic Society Library's grand steps host a peaceful congregation against a backdrop of historic neoclassical grandeur.

The sun at  dawn peeking across a field

Tharindu Damesha Rajapaksha

Misty morning sunrise: Nature's serene masterpiece.

A snowy mountain top and skyline dwarfing a building in the foreground.

Tharindu Damesha Rajapaksha

Where the snow-capped peaks meet the endless sky, nature's masterpiece unfolds in a symphony of serenity and majesty.

Ducks in the water lit by the sun starting to set.

Ngoc Dinh Thien Le

Ducks in the sunset.

Friends standing together outside of a building at night

Harini Kandru

Bringing the warmth of Diwali to friends and family, even miles apart.

Diwali festival

Harini Kandru

Bringing the warmth of Diwali to friends and family, even miles apart.

Illuminated Ramadan greeting card

Kamla Sulaiman Al Amri

I created this greetings card for Ramadan. It displays a wooden stand of a crescent and a star with some words written on it. They read as “Ramadan Kareem”, meaning Ramadan (Holy Month of Fasting) is generous. It reminds me of home because it relates to a religious event that occurs once every year.

Ice crystals at Stiles Falls in Shawsville

Kamla Sulaiman Al Amri

This photo showcases when the water of Stiles Falls in Shawsville ice up and form crystals. This photo was taken on January 5, 2024.

Night time traffic on a bridge shot through a rain spattered windshield.

Atharva Deherkar

Embracing the transition from day's warmth to night's embrace in the city's silhouette.

An alley between storefronts.

Hui-Chun(June) Yu

An old alley.

An open door reveals an elderly woman sewing at at desk.

Hui-Chun(June) Yu

Could you tell me your stories of life?

Four green parakeets perching in the light rain.

Apoorva Narendra Khairnar

The subject of this photo is a family of Alexandrine Parakeets (2 males, 2 females). I had spotted them outside my window on one Monsoon evening. They were chattering, playing and enjoying in the rain. This photo reminds me of my family, my parents, the fun we have, and hence, my home in Pune (India).

Close up still life of a blue passion flower.

Apoorva Narendra Khairnar

The subject of this photo is a blue Passion Flower. It was the first flower on the plant that I had planted on my 21st birthday at my home. That day I sat in front of this plant for hours, shooting a timelapse of it and waiting for it to bloom. Hence, everytime I look at this photo it reminds me of my beautiful garden and sweet home in Pune. In local language my hometown's name is written as पुणे.

Portrait of a man, light shadows form the tree above speckle his face.

Gia Ha

"My Sun and Stars": My partner Osaze is my biggest supporter and motivates me to be a better person! I'm grateful that he's the last thing I see before I go to sleep and the first thing I see when I wake up.

Close up still life of a pink flower

Gia Ha

"To Bee or Not to Bee": I started photography in June 2022 and it's been great for my mental health. When I have a camera in my hands, I find myself more connected to the world around me and appreciative of the little things in life.

Sitting atop a mountain, the vastness of the surrounding world presents itself

Leonard-Allen Quaye

Icarus: On top to the world.

Staring at the night sky, the stars come in to view behind the clouds.

Shivansh Mathur

This is to remind myself to go out, sit under the night sky, without saying anything, for hours. I miss that.

Arial photo of a man laying down on a foot bridge that connects two rock faces emerging for the water below.

Shivansh Mathur

Reminiscing going to Himachal villages (a mountain range in India) with my friends for a weekend getaway. Some of the most peaceful moments of my life.

Key Monastery in Spiti Valley

Shivansh Mathur

Key Monastery in Spiti Valley, a very sacred and surreal place of worship.

Night time cityscape of an empty road lined with traffic cones. The road is damp from recent rain.

Sadegh Haghighat

The trip that reminds me the places I was before in Europe is the one that cherishes memories for me.

The capital building of Nepal in Kathmandu

Kamana Parajuli

This picture is of a place in the capital of my home country, Nepal which reminds me of my country, its rich culture and tradition. This is also a famous tourist place in Kathmandu. (बौद्ध, काठमाडौं, नेपाल )

Friends and family come together to celebrate the last day of Ramadan with mehedi (Henna)

Ibrahim Tahmid

চাঁন রাত (The eve of Eid): Friends and family come together to celebrate the last day of Ramadan with mehedi (Henna).

Black and white photo of a stone bust of Elvis Presley with a Guy Fawkes mask on his head

Ibrahim Tahmid

This is from the first year of the COVID; I got out of isolation after months. The Blacksburg streets, once bursting with life, were all empty and silent. And then I came across this guy, with questions and curiosity all over its face, and I felt not alone anymore.

A black and white photo of friends sharing each other's company and a cup of tea

Ibrahim Tahmid

আড্ডা (Adda): A beautiful word in Bangla that, at the same time, tells of a warm memory of home, friends, and of course, tea! You CAN’T forget the tea!

About the judge

Michael Borowski
Michael Borowski

Michael Borowski is an artist and educator living and working in southwestern Virginia. He received an MFA from the University of Michigan and a BFA from the University of New Mexico. His work imagines queer histories and spaces of belonging. He works with an expanded photographic practice to document historic sites and generate speculative narratives. By combining aspects of fact and fabrication, documentary and science fiction, Borowski constructs histories that were undocumented or actively repressed.

Borowski has been awarded a fellowship from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for 2022-23, and a grant from The Graham Foundation in 2019. His work has been exhibited at national and international venues including Candela Gallery, Soho Photo Gallery, The Colorado Photographic Arts Center, The New Mexico Museum of Art, the Czong Institute of Contemporary Art, and Espace Projet. He is currently an Associate Professor of Studio Art at Virginia Tech.