GENESIS, the result of eight years of intensive travel, shows us now these last natural spaces – deserts, seas, virgin forests – that have still escaped the reach of our modern civilization, and the people and animals that live in them. “About 46% of the planet is still in the condition that it was when it was created,” Salgado reminds us. “We need to preserve what exists.”
Salgado has made more than 30 expeditions, in small propeller planes, on foot, by boat, in canoes and even in tethered balloons, braving climatic extremes and life-threatening situations to collect images that show us nature, wildlife and indigenous peoples in breathtaking beauty. Like Ansel Adams a generation before him, Salgado is a grand master of black-and-white photography. The shades and grays in his work, his contrasts of light and dark, are reminders of old masters like Rembrandt and Georges de La Tour.
GENESIS takes us to the archaic volcanic landscape of the Galapagos Islands, shows us the sea lions, cormorants, penguins and whales of Antarctica and the South Atlantic, the alligators and jaguars of the Brazilian jungle and the big wildlife of Africa. We encounter the isolated people of the Zo’é in the jungles of Brazil, the Korowai in West Papua, the nomadic people of the Dinka in Sudan, the Nenets with their herds of reindeer in the Arctic Circle, and the inhabitants of the Mentawai Islands west of Sumatra. With Salgado, we stand in front of the icebergs of Antarctica, the volcanoes of Central Africa and the Kamchatka Peninsula, along the courses of the Negro and Juruá rivers in the Amazon, in front of the canyons of the Grand Canyon and the glaciers of Alaska. All the time, energy and passion that went into the creation of this work make GENESIS Sebastião Salgado’s “declaration of love to our planet”.
Interview TED – The silent drama of photography