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2nd Place

Serengeti Stars

by Grace Brandt, St. Olaf College

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Place taken: Northern Tanzania
ACM Program: Tanzania: Ecology & Human Origins, Fall 2015

Serengeti Stars by Grace Brandt

This photo may not be reproduced or used in any way without the express, written consent of the photographer.

Photo by Grace Brandt, St. Olaf College

What Grace Brandt wrote about her photo:

Serengeti Stars

As someone from a big city, it is rare that I see an impressive amount of stars in the night sky. The middle of the Serengeti has stars that are magical. I spent many nights laying on the ground and gazing up, learning constellations from my classmates and watching for shooting stars. Through a long exposure, I was able to capture of bit of this magic along with gentle accents of the Serengeti landscape.

About the photographer:

Grace Brandt

Grace Brandt

Grace Brandt, St. Olaf College, Class of 2017
Major: Sociology/Anthropology

Q: What were some of the highlights of the six weeks in the field for you — academically, personally, and in experiencing Tanzania and Africa?

For the most part, the highlights of my field experience involve the interviews I conducted for my research project on Maasai humor. I learned a great deal about jokes and the way the Maasai interact, but I learned other things, too. I learned that ordinary, everyday life sounds could be beautiful. Sitting down to transcribe my interviews I would be captured by the tinkling sounds of the small, thin metal circles dangling from ears, bracelets and necklaces brushing against each other when women grabbed my arm, bent over in laughter. I learned that grandmothers have the best stories and will tell you things others won’t, I learned that speaking another’s language is meaningful and that, in the absence of language, it is always better to overdo it in the respect department. I learned how to show respect. These were things I wasn’t expecting to learn, but am so glad that I did.

Q: Is there a photo that you wish you had taken — a moment you wish you had captured — while you were off campus?

I found that during my last few weeks in Dar es Salaam, I didn’t take many photos at all. Maybe it was because I was working on my research paper or because I had been there before, but I wish that I had more photos of my host family and their home. I spent that first week back living with a 15-year-old Tanzanian girl, my host sister, and I wish I could have captured her and the time we spent together.