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Getting to Know Your Subject

Time is of the essence
Photographer Mike Ciesielski says he enjoyed photographing all of the alumni who were interviewed for "Graduating in Tough Times," but he was particularly taken with the university's earlier graduates. "The older the person is, the more fascinating they become," Ciesielski says. "With younger people, you get the last nine minutes of their lives. With older people, life is all one thing, not just now preceded by everything that came before. It all gets stitched together." He adds, "And they have time to enjoy it! They're not tied up in the day-to-day. They don't need to rush out of the room." Ciesielski is a regular contributor to Johns Hopkins Magazine; he also shoots for a variety of health-service and commercial clients.

Complicated history
Susan Frith knew little of the Hottentot Venus before stumbling upon the biography, co-written by Clifton Crais, A&S '84 (MA), '88 (PhD), that would become the subject of this issue's "Searching for Sara Baartman." But getting to know her through the book was an education, Frith says. "The biography left me with more complicated feelings about a time period that produced great literature, numerous scientific discoveries, and a growing conception of the rights of man. Unfortunately, the latter idea didn't yet extend to a woman, let alone a woman from Africa." Frith's work has appeared in Air & Space, The Pennsylvania Gazette, and Potomac Review.

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