Sebastião Salgado has made it his life’s work to document the impact of globalization on humankind. His black-and-white prints lay bare some of the bleakest moments of modern history as well as some of the planet’s last remaining wonders.
In the past three decades, Salgado has traveled to more than one hundred countries for his photographic projects and devotes years to each series in order to grasp the full scope of his topic. Breaking down barriers, he lives with his subjects for weeks, immersing himself in their environments. Salgado describes this approach as photographing from inside the circle. Each of his images is infused with empathy and respect for his subjects.
Church Gate Station, Bombay, India is part of his noted series Migrations, which documents the mass displacement of people across thirty-five countries as a result of social, political, economic and environmental disparities. The iceberg image comes from his most recent series, Genesis, which he began in 2004 as an antidote of sorts to the harrowing scenes encountered on previous projects. With the aim of reviving hope, Genesis pays homage to nature left unscathed by humankind.
Sebastião Salgado began his career as an economist. It was not until the early 1970s, after his wife and frequent collaborator loaned him a camera, that he embarked on a career as a photographer.
Salgado has had solo shows at the Barbican Art Gallery, London; the International Center of Photography, New York; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The Photographers’ Gallery and the Natural History Museum, London; and the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. Among his many honors, Salgado has been named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In 1998 Sebastião and Lélia Salgado founded the non-profit Instituto Terra, an organization focused on reforestation and environmental education. Since the 1990s, they have been restoring a portion of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil.
Born in Aimorés, Minas Gerais, Brazil, 1944 | Lives and works in Paris
Iceberg between Paulet Island and the South Shetland Islands in the Weddell Sea, Antarctic Peninsula, 2005, gelatin silver print, 50 x 68 inches/125 x 180 cm
Church Gate Station, Bombay, India, 1995, gelatin silver print, 50 x 68 inches/125 x 180 cm
© 1995 and 2005 Sebastião Salgado/Amazonas Images