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Identity and individuality are recurring themes in this issue of 1843. Our cover star, Sarah Jones, is an American impressionist whose time has come after decades staging small shows for niche audiences. She has long used comedy to explore what it means to be black and female while mimicking characters from around the world. Sheila Marikar’s fun and fascinating profile trails Jones as she prepares to hit the big time with a provocative new TV show.

It takes a certain kind of person to pursue a python: John-Paul Flintoff reckoned he was up to the job. The real personalities of this piece are not the snakes that are devouring Florida’s wildlife, but the bounty hunters trying to chase them down. Be prepared for terrifying photos.

Individuality is the subject of Bee Wilson’s exploration of the brave new world of personalised food. The days of ordering a simple “salad” are over. Ever more of us now want every mouthful we consume to satisfy our own particular predilections.

The diversification of appetites has its casualties. In the food pages Pamela Druckerman charts one: the decline of bread in France. Changing tastes have led to the demise of a former staple, as well as the boulangeries at the centre of many communities. Still, Paul Zak’s photos look so tempting you’ll want to bag a baguette tout de suite.

In the design section Naomi Wood introduces us to the female members of Bauhaus from the 1920s and 1930s: their names may not be familiar, but their influence endures. In our style pages, Bella Pollen asks how the #MeToo movement has changed what we wear to the office: are women now free to dress as they please – and call out unwelcome advances – or are the young buttoning up for a new age of puritanism?

Elsewhere in the magazine we find other, singular takes on the world. As a reluctant global citizen, Adrian Wooldridge meets the people who safeguard buildings while also taking slingshots at the elite – or wishing they could. And Luke Leitch goes shopping for fake goods in Shanghai, only to discover, to everyone’s surprise, that he possesses something approaching a conscience.

Our culture pages take us from playroom to picture house, as Nicholas Barber looks at how Lego has built its diminutive bricks into one of the highest grossing flicks in history. For further surprising plotlines read our technology pages: Jonathan Beckman flies a drone (and nearly decapitates a dog), and Chris Stokel-Walker tracks the big videogame companies trying to crush the little people who may be cheating at them.

Our fashion shoot whisks us to New York to enjoy bright suits in the big city. In the travel pages we explore the tiny country of Liechtenstein. And in our Japan travel supplement, Sarah Birke finds calm and contentment in Japan’s Inland Sea. Sometimes we all need to escape – even from ourselves. ~ROSIE BLAU