Winning images on ‘Changemakers’ in Columban Competition

Image winners have been announced in a media competition for young people on the subject ‘Anyone can make a difference: 21st Century Changemakers’ run by the Columban Missionary Society in Britain and Ireland.

Young people 13-18 years were asked to consider: Who in the world today is doing something about inequality, injustice, exclusion and environmental degradation? What can they teach us? The theme was based on a quote from young climate campaigner Greta Thunberg who has said, “no one is too small to make a difference”.

The section on images received 102 entries and the Columbans would like to thank all those who entered. The quality was excellent and, from a shortlist of 11 images, four were chosen by a panel of media experts who praised the high quality of all the entries shortlisted: Ruth Gledhill (Multi-Media Editor at The Tablet), Josephine Siedlecka (Founder and Editor of Independent Catholic News), Daisy Srblin, (Director of the Catholic youth social action charity Million Minutes) and James Trewby (Columban Education Worker).

First prize image created by Elijah Gilbert

Elijah Gilbert of Richard Challoner School, New Malden won first prize in the images section for his collage of people of inspiration. Ruth Gledhill described it as, “a truly powerful and original image, with recognisable and diverse changemakers.”

His image ‘The Shatter of Inspiration’ showed a shattered glass with a different illustrations of influential people in each shard. Elijah says, “the people in the larger shatters have done an outstanding amount of things that one can be inspired by.” These include Pope Francis, Malala Yousafzai and Vanessa Nakate.

Daisy Srblin said, “I love the thinking behind this image, reminiscent of stained glass in a Church, but featuring contemporary figures like Obama, Marcus Rashford and Pope Francis; visually it’s extremely striking, and an original and thoughtful idea.”

Second place went to Katherine Fawole of St Paul’s Academy in London for her Gouache painting of Greta Thunberg. “It communicates one of Thunberg’s most powerful quotations,” said Daisy Srblin, “and I particularly love the earthy colours, reminding us of our roots and our obligations to the planet.”

Katherine Fawole and her painting of Greta Thunberg

Oliver Lafite of Richard Challoner School and Paulette De Jose of Holy Cross School in New Malden came joint third. Oliver drew footballer Marcus Rashford as ‘superman’, saying “this is a man that has a lot of money and instead of being rich he wanted to help others in need.” Josephine Siedlecka felt, it had “a simple and very clear message which works very well without words.”

Oliver Lafite and his image of Marcus Rashford

Paulette produced a mixed media piece focusing on four ‘changemakers’ around the words, ‘Be the Change you want to see in the world.’ The four are: Amanda Gorman (a racial justice activist – bottom right), Molly Burhans (an environmental activist – bottom left), Jamie Margolin (an LGBTQ+ rights activist – top left) and Jaclyn Friedman (a feminist – top right). Paulette says, “in my opinion, these people are very inspiring, considering that they are confident in what they believe in and are fighting for it as well as relying on their faith to encourage and help them.” Ruth Geldhill felt, it was “a really impressive image that conveys a complex idea with power and thought.”

The Columbans wish to thank all the young people who entered the 2022 competition.

Paulette De Jose and her mixed media piece focusing on four ‘changemakers’

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Former Columban competitions have focused on Climate Change, Migration and ‘Tackling our Throwaway Culture’ and Racism.

View the full list of winners and judges here