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What We’re Made Of

A photographer’s father’s vintage medical slides.


Photographs by Brea Souders

Brooklyn-based photographer Brea Souders discovered her father’s collection of vintage medical slides last October. “My mother had just passed away, and my father had recently been diagnosed with cancer,” she says. “I began to find comfort in looking through objects that belonged to my parents.” Souders’s father, a physicist, had collected medical antiques throughout his career; she found the slide collection tucked away in little wooden boxes in his office. “The slides showed me how beautiful bodies are on the inside, and made medical issues, and even the thought of death, less scary. They offer a miniature frozen window into the constantly changing little universe that is happening inside us all the time.” The images on these slides are a mix of Souders’s father’s slides and Souders’s photographs of others like them.


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