Christin Boggs, who earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in imaging arts from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2010, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to create an extensive photographic record of food practices in Finland.
The award, recently announced by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, will enable Boggs, a native of McLean, Va., to join more than 1,700 U.S. citizens in traveling abroad for the 2013-2014 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
Boggs' photography project will document both traditional wild food foraging and recently developed urban food practices in Finland. The project is designed "to encourage community development, provide Finland with a valuable historic record and increase international awareness of positive Finnish gastronomic culture," according to Boggs.
"I've always had a deep curiosity regarding the foods people eat and the results that various diets have on the human body and society as a whole," says Boggs, an adjunct instructor of photography at George Mason University and George Washington University. "I will spend nine months in Helsinki working with the local chapter of Slow Food (an international grassroots group promoting environmentally friendly food production) to document urban farmers."
"I intend to interview gardeners and foragers, collect recipes for Finnish dishes and create landscape, still-life and portrait photographs," she adds.
Boggs' photographs have been displayed in solo and group exhibitions and have appeared in a wide range of online and print publications. In addition to her MFA degree at RIT, she earned her BFA in art and visual technology from George Mason University in 2007.
In addition to Boggs, two RIT students have been named as Fulbright Award alternates: Anna Bower, of Pittsford, N.Y., a fourth-year environmental sustainability, health and safety major in the College of Applied Science and Technology; and Basma Eid, of Rochester, N.Y., a fourth-year international studies major in the College of Liberal Arts.
The Fulbright Program, established in 1946, is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.