GENESIS – A Portrait Of Our Planet, A Call To Arms

Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado's global reportage “My love letter to the planet”

9 Oct 2014

In the Upper Xingu region of BRAZIL’s Mato Grosso state, a group of Waura Indians fish in the Puilanga Lake near their village. Brazil, 2005.
In the Upper Xingu region of BRAZIL’s Mato Grosso state, a group of Waura Indians fish in the Puilanga Lake near their village. Brazil, 2005.

 

“My love letter to the planet”

 

…This is how Brazilian photographer SEBASTIÃO SALGADO describes GENESIS, his latest photographic series.

Taking us from the dense Amazon rainforest to the Sahara desert, GENESIS captures the wildlife, landscapes, and indigenous peoples that have escaped the ways of our modern society.

Some 46% of the planet is still as it was in the time of genesis” says Salgado. “We must preserve what exists”. GENESIS is the result of Salgado’s eight-year expedition around the world. Best known for his previous long-term series Workers (1993), documenting the vanishing way of life of manual laborers across the world and Migrations (2000) a tribute to mass migration driven by hunger, natural disasters, environmental degradation and demographic pressure, Salgado’s work speaks of the photographic medium as a powerful agent of change, following on in the footsteps of master photojournalists such as HENRI-CARTIER BRESSON.

From Brazilian alligators and jaguars, the Mentawai jungle communities on islands west of Sumatra to the unsettling vanishing icebergs of Antarctica, GENESIS reveals the interconnected web of NATURE and LIFE around the planet. It’s a powerful vision of PLANET EARTH and HUMANITY, one increasingly under threat of destruction and extinction in the name of socio-economical “progress” and “development”. As highlighted by Salgado in his TED talk, “To build our development, we came to a huge contradiction: that we destroy everything around us.” GENESIS is a message to the world – to join in the global movement to reverse the destructive patterns imprinted by our society; to defend the beauty of that which sustains Life itself – our planet Earth.

 

New York’s International Centre of Photography is hosting the first U.S. venue of GENESIS curated by Lélia Wanick Salgado, on view until January 15 2015. Click here to find out more.

 

All Photographs Courtesy © Sebastião Salgado/Amazonas Images-Contact Press Images

Text by Sophie Pinchetti

 

Typically, the women in the Zo’é village of Towari Ypy use the “urucum” (Bixa orellana) red fruit to color their bodies. It is also used in the cooking. The urucum is a shrub or small tree originating from tropical regions of the Americas. BRAZIL, 2009.
Typically, the women in the Zo’é village of Towari Ypy use the “urucum” (Bixa orellana) red fruit to color their bodies. It is also used in the cooking. The urucum is a shrub or small tree originating from tropical regions of the Americas. BRAZIL, 2009.

GENESIS – A Portrait of our Planet, A Call to Arms

Marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus). Galápagos, ECUADOR, 2004.
Marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus). Galápagos, ECUADOR, 2004.
Iceberg between Paulet Island and the South Shetland Islands on the ANTARCTIC Channel. At sea level, earlier flotation levels are clearly visible where the ice has been polished by the ocean’s constant movement. High above, a shape resembling a castle tower has been carved by wind erosion and detached pieces of ice. The Antarctic Peninsula, 2005.
Iceberg between Paulet Island and the South Shetland Islands on the ANTARCTIC Channel. At sea level, earlier flotation levels are clearly visible where the ice has been polished by the ocean’s constant movement. High above, a shape resembling a castle tower has been carved by wind erosion and detached pieces of ice. The Antarctic Peninsula, 2005.
 

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