media release

‘Spinning’ books photo nets national prize

December 06, 2013

Kurt Mehnert,
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.9017;

Photo on flickr:

Simon Fraser University International Studies student Kurt Mehnert’s photographic portrait of himself looking down Prague’s Book Tower has won the Canadian Bureau for International Education’s (CBIE) third annual photo contest.

Mehnert took his winning photograph on the last day of Capilano University’s Eastern European Field School, during a visit to a Prague library. “While the photograph of the Book Tower looks like it is a never-ending hole of books, it is in fact an illusion viewed from the mirror below,” says Mehnert, who chose the image from many hundreds he had taken.

 He says the library created the giant tower of books using old-Soviet era books, rather than burning them.

Mehnert’s field class spent almost a month visiting cities in Eastern Europe to learn about the region’s geo-politics, including a visit to a Roma community and to the Operation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

“This experience abroad allowed my perception of the world to expand beyond the classroom environment and helped cement my focus on a career in Europe,” he says.

CBIE members selected the winning photo from entries submitted by students from across the country.

“It’s always rewarding to see the creative ways that students document their international experience and explain how it contributed to their academic and personal growth,” says Karen McBride, president and CEO of CBIE.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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