“I am not a social photographer. I am not an economic photographer. I’m not a photojournalist. Photography is much more than that. Photography is my life. It’s my way of life, and my language,” explained Sebastião Salgado when he spoke to The New York Times last spring. For over 40 years, Salgado has been communicating across all corners of the globe through his camera lens. From the Amazonian mines to the genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia, his breathtaking black-and-white photographs bring a chilling humanity to global stories of suffering and destruction.
Born in Brazil, Salgado was an economics student when he fled a military movement in his home country for France. It was not until his 30s that he developed a great curiosity for photography, and after experiencing life as an immigrant began to feel a compulsion to show “that dignity is not an exclusive property of the rich countries of the north but exists all over the planet.” These obsessions led him to work on years-long photographic projects, including: Workers, documenting the vanishing life of manual laborers across the world; Migrations, illuminating the epic displacement of the world’s people at the close of the twentieth century; and most recently, Genesis, the result of Salgado’s quest to rediscover the world’s forgotten people and places.
This month, ALOUD will offer audiences an up-close look at the iconic work of the renowned photographer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador through two special events. First, ALOUD will screen the Oscar-nominated documentary, The Salt of the Earth, directed by Wim Wenders and Salgado’s son Juliano Ribeiro Salgado. The film follows Salgado’s tumultuous journey into capturing some of the world’s worst devastation and how this sparked his newest project, Genesis, a tribute to the planet’s beauty. The following week, in a rare in-person appearance, ALOUD will welcome Salgado to the Broad Stage. Joined in conversation with Pico Iyer, one of today’s most consciousness-raising travel writers, Salgado will discuss his prolific international career and how his current focus has become increasingly invested in issues of eco-conservation and environmental education. Learn more about these upcoming programs at lfla.dev/aloud.