16 Sep 2022

Capturing the full spectrum of human beauty at #EAIE2022



The 32nd Annual EAIE Conference and Exhibition concluded with an energising keynote speech from Indigenous people photographer Jimmy Nelson. The Closing Plenary drew the audience’s attention to the vast diversity of human beauty and our shared duty to preserve it, as this long-awaited reunion of the international higher education community came to a close.

The Barcelona Closing Plenary marked the end of the 2022 EAIE Conference and the end of an era, with the formal passing of the torch from Outgoing EAIE President Michelle Stewart to Incoming President Piet Van Hove, who will Meet the 2022–2024 EAIE leaders and volunteers. As our new President, Piet also introduced the other members of the new EAIE Board who will serve alongside him in the same period, sharing a bit about his vision for leading the Association through the next chapter of the EAIE’s story. As Piet highlighted, in our work in international education, we learn time and time again that it is our common humanity that unites us all despite our differences.

Piet’s first deed as the EAIE’s new President was to welcome to the stage 2022 Closing Plenary keynote speaker Jimmy Nelson. From his youth spent in a Jesuit boarding school in the UK, to his many travels around the world since then, Jimmy’s work photographing the Indigenous peoples of the world has sought to capture that very same shared humanity to which Piet spoke.

Until we realign, reassess and look at these extraordinary individuals, and learn to appreciate their beauty, things will not change.

Jimmy shared the inspiring story of his journey to becoming a photographer of Indigenous peoples, and the importance of such acts of cultural preservation in a world in which climate change and other injustices threaten many of the world’s peoples. Just as those who partake in and facilitate international education, Jimmy’s photography has sought to capture the full spectrum of human beauty in a world that doesn’t always value it. “Until we realign, reassess and look at these extraordinary individuals, and learn to appreciate their beauty, things will not change.”

The Closing Plenary keynote left EAIE 2022 participants energised and motivated to continue fostering a world more appreciative of diversity and human beauty in full colour. View the highlights from #EAIE2022 below – and start counting down now to our next reunion in Rotterdam in 2023!

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