Mer de Glace Handprints – Holding a melting Glacier

Earth Day Competition Winners

We are excited to announce the winners of our Earth Day Photography and Poetry Competition!

A very big thank you to our competition judges, Ewan Campbell, Dr Lisa Mullen and Domininkas Zalys. The judges gave a note on the entries:

It was a pleasure to see such a wide range of artistic approaches to this poetry and photography competition, and wonderful to see so many students communicating artistically in response to the important subject of the interdependence of climate, ecosystems and human societies. There were many excellent entries, and it was very difficult to choose winners, but we are delighted to be able to award these deserved winners.



Congratulations to our photography winner Millie May and their winning entry 'Mer de Glace Handprints – Holding a melting Glacier'!

Winning entry shows shadowy glacier tunnel with a person holding their hands to the ice
The winning photography entry, Millie May's 'Mer de Glace Handprints – Holding a melting Glacier'


And congratulations to our poetry winner Alessandra Rey and their winning entry 'Droplets for the deserts' wish'!


Droplets for the deserts’ wish 


Watercolour world whirling in our kaleidoscope palette 

We dip the bristles into the echoed ripple, stroke the trees skin 

Flitter our bristles and illustrate our wonder at this planet. 

Our glass opals soak the sunrises and sashay in the sphere’s spin: 


Burrowed in the lily’s wings is the hum of the golden worker 

Orbiting in the temple of sprinkles and stardust nectar  

Droplets of iridescence mist and drizzle for earth’s nurture 

And waltzing is the glowing orb: our night’s protector. 


The soothed blue hosts soft cotton for the swift flutters glide 

Echoed are the topples of fierce foam or serene cerulean still 

Deeper darting swishes: busy bodies rushing through the tide 

Pearlescent silver swirls whizz in the salt society of swill. 


Twinkles in each iris; beats of love in every chest. 

Each mother scoops a kiss of nourish to gift to their kin 

Entwining the twigs and the bricks that shelter the nest 

Paw to paw; hand to hand; devotion shown, translated from within. 


Bursts are the thirsts of fervent seeds greeting blessed rays 

Gleaming for the green fresh flickers that whisper and hush 

Spotted are the bounces and the munchers that graze 

And lonesome petals wonder among the fields lush. 


Sweet fare falls for the feather’s plough 

And chomps are gathered for the silk whizz. 

Intricate twirls curl from ascending ground: 

And every coast’s choir is hustling to begin. 


Conditions spin droplets for the deserts’ wish 

A domino dives upon another and another  

Every breath interlaced is a soft swept eclipse 

Hovering for all her kin’s sisters and brothers. 


The imperceptible pulses swoon to the crescendo  

Threaded in the strings of her harmonies. 

Dancing is the wild child, the flowers, and the foe 

Divine complexities interconnected eternally. 


But virulent haze is deriding the dawns  

And the buds are boiled on man’s flicked stove 

Fields quiver for the blood-soaked bullets pointed at the fawn 

And grey venom is oozing in our silver-blue flow. 


This fern swirled muse sparks the boundless mind  

Words upon hands upon hearts turn to heal 

as Mother’s hands are cuffed, they need to unwind 

Before her soul’s fate is sealed.



Congratulations also to our two runner-up photography entries:

  • 'We the Earth' by Kritika Grover

  • 'Surviving in the Anthropocene: Bird Clings to Human-made Pacifier' by Timothy Lambden


We the Earth Entry
Runner-up photography entry 'We the Earth' by Kritika Grover


Runner-up entry Surviving in the Anthropocene - Bird Clings to Human-made Pacifier
Runner-up photography entry 'Surviving in the Anthropocene: Bird Clings to Human-made Pacifier' by Timothy Lambden


And to three additional commended entries:

  • 'Frost-Bound' by Amelia Foss

  • 'Atsuta Shrine - Tree Canopy Welcomes Prayers' by Millie May

  • 'Traversing Mont Blanc' by Millie May


Commended photography entry 'Frost-Bound'
Commended photography entry 'Frost-Bound' by Amelia Foss


Commended photography entry 'Atsuta Shrine'
Commended photography entry 'Atsuta Shrine - Tree Canopy Welcomes Prayers' by Millie May


Commended photography entry 'Traversing Mont Blanc'
Commended photography entry 'Traversing Mont Blanc' by Millie May


A big congratulations also to our runner-up poetry entry, 'Is it spring yet?' by Aditi Patil.


Is it spring yet? 


Is it spring yet, chirps the chaffinch, 

She has work to do and songs to sing, 

The daffodils think it’s spring, 

Some snowdrops by the street agree. 

The Cherry Blossom, however, is not convinced, 

Neither is the bumble bee, 

Why did it snow in March, they ask, 

And who approved the sudden heat? 


Is it spring yet, children of tropical farms wonder, 

Can they celebrate their harvest festival, 

Bathe cows in the river and munch on snacks, 

Their school calendar says its spring, 

But village elders, however, disagree. 

Why did it rain torrentially in March, they ask? 

And who will pay for the crop loss? 


Maybe daffodils bloom late, 

Perhaps mangoes don’t ripen, 

Does it matter if it isn’t spring yet? 



In celebration of this year’s Earth Day (22 April), Cambridge Zero ran a Photography and Poetry Competition for all students at the University of Cambridge. We wanted to recognise the wealth of creative talent we have in the University community through the lens of climate and the environment.

The theme for the competition was ‘Interdependence’. This was inspired by the recent IPCC Report (AR6), which summarises global research and emphasises the need for urgent action to address the climate crisis.

A big thank you to our judges:

  • Dr Lisa Mullen, Teaching Associate at English Faculty and Bye Fellow at Queens’ College 

  • Domininkas Zalys, Vice President of Cambridge University Photographic Society (PhoCUs), photographer and director – see Dom’s work here:

  • Ewan Campbell, composer, conductor and curator, directs the Wilderness Orchestra, Director of Studies and Director of Music in Churchill College and Murray Edwards College

You can read our blog post about the competition here: