Sebastião Salgado – From my land to the planet

Sebastiao Salgados self-biography is an interesting view on and in his life and in his way of thinking.

Yes thinking!

Salgado writes “photography is my life” but we read more.

Photography opened his mind and he discovered the connections of the world.

Being on places we do not see normally and meeting people who do not know much from each other is one side.

Make photos and show these parallel worlds together is the other side.

Salgado describes his way to photography.

We understand that the confrontation with reality means social doumentary photography.

His great photographic topics began in Africa because there he worked before.

After Africa he went to South America and discovered the same cultural diversification like in Brazil, his homeland.

And after that a new topic was growing.

He saw more and more people working in a changing world. It was the end time of industrial revolution.

The handmade work was substituted by machines.

And this end time he wanted to show with his documentation about workers.

He writes in this book that the next topic was in this topic.

The old forms of work disappear and more and more people are looking for a job and work.

The new topic are migrants that means the same people like before but without jobs.

He saw how the philosophy of capitalism and neo liberalism worked and work more and more all over the world and he made this documentation.

Salgado writes very interesting and I mean to hear hope when he writes about the possibilities to reforest hills and to change bad developments.

You see the human activist in his words and you see the borders only photos side by side can show for a better understanding.

One Chapter is about the change from analog to digital photography. This is his personal change from the old industrial world to the new digital world.

If you like Salgado this book is very interesting because you see and you read a little bit about the truth and the borders in our world and how difficult it is to change something and how important it is to fight for social security and democracy.

Democracy without social security is senseless because the powers buy the votes. Freedom is democracy in social security.

Salgados self-biography is the biography of a photographer who wants to show us the world and the coherences from social relationships about power to nature behind the scenes.

And he writes about things photos cannot express and backgrounds you cannot see.

He touches the human in us.

The book is published by contrastobooks.

From the Press Release:

Sebastião Salgado’s photographs have been shown around the world. In From my land to the Planet the photographer tells us the story of his most famous reportages: the black and white portraits of unknown men and women, workers or refugees, and more recently his Genesis project aimed at the conservation of the most beautiful places of our planet.
With a kindness and a disarming simplicity, Salgado rebuilds its path, exposes his beliefs, makes us sharers of his emotions. It turns out that his talent as a storyteller and the authenticity of a man who knows how to combine activism and professionalism, talent and generosity. Inside the book there are fascinating stories of Africa, Brazil, the Americas, Mozambique and Rwanda, and then again the birth of the Instituto Terra, of Genesis project, of the agency Magnum Photos until Amazonas Images.

“I very much like to work on long-term projects…There is time for the photographer and the people in front of the camera to understand each other. There is time to go to a place and understand what is happening there. …When you spend more time on a project, you learn to understand your subjects. There comes a time when it is not you who is taking the pictures. Something special happens between the photographer and the people he is photographing. He realizes that they are giving the pictures to him. With my background as an economist, sociologist, and anthropologist my photograpy can be nothing but social. Everything in my background, my upbrising, my education, my focus on sociology, anthropology, and geopolitics—has speeded into my photography. Photography, for me, is continuity.”

Sebastião Salgado

Sebastião Salgado was born on February 8th, 1944 in Aimorés, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. He lives in Paris. Having studied economics, Salgado began his career as a professional photographer in 1973 in Paris, working with the photo agencies Sygma, Gamma, and Magnum Photos until 1994, when he and Lélia Wanick Salgado formed Amazonas images, an agency created exclusively for his work.
He has travelled in over 100 countries for his photographic projects. Most of these, besides appearing in numerous press publications, have also been presented in books such as  Other Americas (1986), Sahel: l’homme en détresse (1986), Sahel: el fin del camino (1988),  Workers (1993), Terra (1997),  Migrations and Portraits (2000), and Africa (2007).  Touring exhibitions of this work have been, and continue to be, presented throughout the world.
Sebastião Salgado has been awarded numerous major photographic prizes in recognition of his accomplishments. He is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and an honorary member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States.
In 2004, Sebastião Salgado began a project named Genesis, aiming at the presentation of the unblemished faces of nature and humanity. It consists of a series of photographs of landscapes and wildlife, as well as of human communities that continue to live in accordance with their ancestral traditions and cultures. This body of work is conceived as a potential path to humanity’s rediscovery of itself in nature.
Together, Lélia and Sebastião have worked since the 1990’s on the restoration of a small part of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. In 1998 they succeeded in turning this land into a nature reserve and created the Instituto Terra. The Instituto is dedicated to a mission of reforestation, conservation and environmental education.