With support from a Student International Initiative Fund (SIIF) grant awarded by the Center for Global Education (CGE), Jonah Salita ’19 channeled his passion for photography and visual storytelling into a project capturing candid portraits of the Fu Tei elders that lived in a retirement care facility near Hong Kong. Salita will display an exhibit of his work on Friday, March 8 at the Solarium Gallery at Houghton House. The event will start at 4:30 p.m.
While studying abroad in Hong Kong through Hobart and William Smith’s top ranked study abroad program, Salita studied at Lingnan University, approximately 80 minutes outside of central Hong Kong. After traveling to eight countries throughout Asia, Salita settled on the project with the Fu Tei elders, photographing their smoke breaks or moments soaking up the afternoon sun.
The following photographs were taken and curated by Salita. He also wrote the accompanying captions. Click the first image below to view the entire gallery.
“Had I not been incredibly blessed to have had the SIIF Grant to focus my photographic exploration into a single idea, I would have struggled with finding a way to adapt to this drastically different set of communication principles and social conducts,” says Salita, a media and society major and an economics minor.
SIIF grants are awarded by CGE to students pursuing their passions abroad. Students propose an ongoing project for their semester that will move them toward a deeper cultural and educational experience, and commit to sharing their experiences with the HWS community when they return.
Salita’s exhibition, “The Elders of Fu Tei, Hong Kong,” is part of the Global Cafe Series coordinated by the Center for Global Education.
“One of my favorite experiences was talking to one of the oldest elders who discussed how he enlisted in the British army in 1948,” Salita says. “Although conversation was slow, it was full of warmth and personal experience that was far reaching. Taking his portrait following our conversation was incredibly emotional.”
On campus, Salita is a member of the Druid Honors Society, Sigma Chi and a photographer for the Office of Communications. He also played for the Hobart Tennis team. He has held advertising internships with Red Circle Agency and Fallon Worldwide where he wrote copy for companies such as Arby’s, Stock Cold Brew Coffee and Peloton. View more of Salita’s photos at jonahsalita.com.