The Salt of The Earth
I have been familiar with Salgado’s photography through magazines, newspapers, and the Web, but I did not know him or his work as closely as many other photographers. During our visit to Istanbul in October 2015, we watched with Binnaz and Ergun a documentary on Sebastião Salgado, The Salt of the Earth, by acclaimed director Wim Wenders.
At times, it was difficult to watch the movie due to the intense subject matter of genocide, disease, war, and other human atrocities and suffering. However, finishing the movie was a rewarding experience of human resilience and capacity for good. I learned more about his work, his life, his dedication to protecting, and even rebuilding the environment. I received a copy of the Blu-Ray disk of the movie I had ordered just a couple of days ago and will watch it again.
His latest work, as he will tell you towards the end of his presentation, is a celebration of life on Earth, and it is called Genesis. You can see some of the photographs on the International Center of Photography exhibit page. I wanted to purchase the book, Genesis. Alas, it has a major flaw despite the gorgeous photographs. Every single photograph is printed as a two-page spread, double-truck, cutting the photographs into two. A no-no for photography books in my opinion, and I am surprised that he and Taschen allowed that to happen. I am waiting for the second edition, hopefully, printed in landscape orientation without disrupting the flow of the photographs.
As a consolation prize, I ordered a 16 print set of posters in a protective box from Amazon. At $14 with shipping, a used copy was waiting for me!
Listen To Salgado Himself
The following TED talk is a summary of the movie, The Salt Of The Earth. He made this presentation at TED. You will find some photographs of various forms of destruction. But, you will also see the work of one of the best photographers living today. Parts of his talk reminded me of the last article I wrote from Istanbul. There, I used the expression I made up to summarize my feelings: Destruction by construction.
We must stop hurting our planet before it decides to shake us off its back!