was what came to mind. Hahaha!!! Hey, man, I have no clear answers. I just failed miserably this month on our local club contest (angkor). Imagine spending all that moolah only to fail :p
but it's ok. i did risk it.
and this is where my answer may help.
i join contests or exhibits not to win, really, but to offer a point of view.
depending on the situation, i will get different responses and that is ok.
in contests where i join knowing who the judges will be, the responses will matter because joining signifies respect to the judges, yes?
for club contests where we don't know the judges, the outcome becomes a validation of the situation rather than myself (again, knowing fully well that i joined where winning is just a bonus). depending on the circumstances, my takeway from the contest will vary... from being humbled, to perhaps bottled outrage, a bit of self reflection, etc. it all depends.
so, yeah, screw the meaning of that biennial theme and go right ahead and show them what you are feeling at the moment, what best reflects your idea of a good photograph