Socialist Worker

Pictures that try to see, not interfere

by Guy Smallman
Issue No. 2356

In the Upper Xingu region of Brazil’s Mato Grosso state, a group of waura fish in the Piulaga Lake near their village. The Upper Xingu Basin is home to an ethnically diverse population

In the Upper Xingu region of Brazil’s Mato Grosso state, a group of waura fish in the Piulaga Lake near their village. The Upper Xingu Basin is home to an ethnically diverse population (Pic: © Sebastião Salgado / Amazonas Images / nbpictures)


This is the end of an eight year study of Earth in award winning photographer Sebastião Salgado’s trademark monochrome large format. This allows for maximum detail and an incredible range of tones. 

He strives to observe without interfering. To achieve this in Africa he captured much of the wildlife from above using a hot air balloon.

As well as the natural world Genesis details the lives of people still living in harmony with nature and mostly untouched by the modern world. It is these creations that leave the most lasting impression.

When they are aware of the lens these people exude pride and dignity, and are clearly at ease with the photographer.

Salgado has created a visual feast that is as much a demand to protect the environment as it is a celebration of natural beauty. 

Monochrome has never been more colourful. 

Sebastião Salgado: Genesis, Until 8 September
Tickets from £9 . Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD
nhm.ac.uk

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Tue 4 Jun 2013, 17:42 BST
Issue No. 2356
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