The famed Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado has long used his camera as a tool to help protect the environment. He is now holding concurrent expositions of his “Genesis” project in a number of cities from May until early next year, showing the earth's beauty through awe-inspiring photographs.
The project is the result of eight years of expeditions to 32 countries in which Salgado set out to “rediscover the mountains, deserts and oceans, the animals and peoples that have so far escaped the imprint of modern society”, as the exhibition puts it.
“Some forty-six percent of the planet is still as it was in the time of genesis,” Salgado says. “We must preserve what exists.”
To realize “Genesis”, he travelled by foot, light aircraft, ship, canoe, and even balloons, to show the land, animals, and indigenous peoples in their natural beauty. The black-and-white photographs, with the contrasts of light and dark, pull viewers into the landscapes portrayed.
One can discover the volcanoes of Central Africa, the rivers of the Amazon, the icebergs of the Antarctic and the Nenet nomads and their reindeer herds in the Arctic Circle - among the many elements of Salgado’s “love letter to the planet”.
The exhibition can be seen at London’s Natural History Museum from now until September 8, and at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, from May 2 through September 2. It will be shown in Italy at Rome’s Ara Pacis Museum from May 15, and in Switzerland, Brazil and France later in the year. The photographs also appear in a book (published by Taschen) that Salgado will launch in Paris on May 16.