Sebastião Salgado

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    Sebastião Salgado operates in the crowded environment of charities. The industry that tugs at our heartstrings - to get to our purse strings.

    Are the relentless calls for help - aimed at people jaded by horror - just for the good of the victims?

    Should we help the aged aristocrats finish their lives in their ancestral mansions, sheltered from need or feed the starving children? Should we feel guilty about abandoned pets, or rather focus on street children in Africa or Latin America? Or both?

    How much, if any, of the money we give ends up with the needy? The containers of rotting food found in Italian harbour warehouses, which never reached Kosovo. The large sums of money unaccounted for. The huge administrative and publicity overheads of most charities... Should we stop giving?

    Salgado - does he pander to the hunger for horror and sadistic, sensationalist images of suffering and dismemberment? Or does he show that the subjects of his photographs - wherever they may be - are full of dignity and humanity. Tragedy shrouded in beauty and dignity - normal people in exceptional circumstances. Do those pictures speak louder than the shrill insistence of charities' TV ads?

    The ingredients: unadorned events, statistics, locations, dates and real people. Profound humanity and talent describe upheavals of epic proportions - whether it's a crowded African hillside or the eyes of a lost child.

Books by Sebastião Salgado

The Children : Refugees and Migrants
  CHINA: 50 Years Inside the People's Republic
Migrations : Humanity in Transition
Terra : Struggle of the Landless
This Critical Mirror
  Other Americas
  Last Place on Earth : Sudan
Workers; An Archaeology of the Industrial Age
  An Uncertain Grace: Photographs