Sebastião Salgado

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Sebastião Salgado
Salgado in 2016
Sebastião Salgado

(1944-02-08) February 8, 1944 (age 80)
NationalityBrazilian, French[1]
Known forPhotography
ChildrenJuliano Ribeiro Salgado
Rodrigo Salgado

Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado Júnior (born February 8, 1944)[2] is a Brazilian social documentary photographer and photojournalist.

He has traveled in over 120 countries for his photographic projects. Most of these have appeared in numerous press publications and books. Touring exhibitions of his work have been presented throughout the world.

Salgado is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. He was awarded the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund Grant in 1982,[3] Foreign Honorary Membership of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992[4] and the Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in 1993.[5] He has been a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts at the Institut de France since April 2016.[6][7]

Early life and education[edit]

Salgado was born on February 8, 1944,[2] in Aimorés, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. After a somewhat itinerant childhood, Salgado trained as an economist, earning a BA degree from UFES, a master's degree from the University of São Paulo in Brazil, and a PhD from University of Paris.[8]

He began work as an economist for the International Coffee Organization, often traveling to Africa on missions for the World Bank.


It was on his travels to Africa that he first started seriously taking photographs. He chose to abandon a career as an economist and switched to photography in 1973, working initially on news assignments before veering more towards documentary-type work. Salgado initially worked with the photo agency Sygma and the Paris-based Gamma, but in 1979, he joined the international cooperative of photographers Magnum Photos. He left Magnum in 1994 and with his wife Lélia Wanick Salgado formed his own agency, Amazonas Images, in Paris, to represent his work. He is particularly noted for his social documentary photography of workers in less developed nations.[9] His work resides in Paris.[10]

Salgado works on long term, self-assigned projects, many of which have been published as books: The Other Americas, Sahel, Workers, Migrations, and Genesis. The latter three are mammoth collections with hundreds of images each from all around the world. His most famous pictures are of a gold mine in Brazil called Serra Pelada, taken between 1986 and 1989.[11] He has also been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2001.[12]

Between 2004 and 2011, Salgado worked on Genesis, aiming at the presentation of the unblemished faces of nature and humanity. It consists of a series of photographs of landscapes and wildlife, as well as of human communities that continue to live in accordance with their ancestral traditions and cultures. This body of work is conceived as a potential path to humanity's rediscovery of itself in nature.[13]

In September and October 2007, Salgado displayed his photographs of coffee workers from India, Guatemala, Ethiopia and Brazil at the Brazilian Embassy in London. The aim of the project was to raise public awareness of the origins of the popular drink.[14]

Salgado has photographed the landscape and people of the Amazon rainforest (Amazónia) in Brazil.[15][16]

Salgado's work has been described by Andrei Netto of The Guardian as an "instantly recognisable combination of black-and-white composition and dramatic lighting".[2]

Salgado and his work are the focus of the film The Salt of the Earth (2014), directed by Wim Wenders and Salgado's son, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, and produced by Lélia Wanick Salgado.[17]


Reforestation of Fazenda Bulcão, or Bulcão Farm, by Instituto Terra

Together, Lélia and Sebastião have worked since the 1990s on the restoration of a part of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. In 1998, they succeeded in turning 17,000 acres into a nature reserve and created the Instituto Terra. The institute is dedicated to a mission of reforestation, conservation and environmental education.[18][19]




Salgado (left) gives current Brazilian president Lula da Silva his new book in 2006, during Lula's first presidency.
  • An Uncertain Grace. Essays by Eduardo Galeano and Fred Ritchin.
    • Salgado, Sebastião; Galeano, Eduardo; Ritchin, Fred; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1990). An uncertain grace. New York, N.Y: Aperture Foundation. ISBN 978-0-89381-460-1. OCLC 22701623.
    • Salgado, Sebastião; Galeano, Eduardo; Ritchin, Fred (2004). Sebastião Salgado: An uncertain grace. London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-28489-6. OCLC 56457689.
  • Workers: Archaeology of the Industrial Age.
  • Salgado, Sebastião; Buarque de Holanda, Francisco; Saramago, José; Landers, Clifford (1997). Terra : struggle of the landless. London: Phaidon Press. ISBN 0-7148-3636-2. OCLC 610974180.
  • Salgado, Sebastião (2000). Migrations : humanity in transition. New York: Aperture. ISBN 978-0-89381-891-3. OCLC 914864396.
  • The Children: Refugees and Migrants. New York, NY: Aperture, 2000. ISBN 978-0-89381-894-4.
  • Sahel: The End of the Road. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0-520-24170-1.
  • Africa. Cologne: Taschen, 2007. ISBN 978-3-8365-2343-1.
  • Genesis. Cologne: Taschen, 2013. ISBN 978-3-8365-3872-5.
  • From my Land to the Planet. Roma: Contrasto, 2014. ISBN 978-88-6965-537-1.
  • The Scent of a Dream: Travels in the World of Coffee. New York: Abrams, 2015. ISBN 978-1-4197-1921-9.
  • Kuwait. A Desert on Fire. Cologne: Taschen, 2016. ISBN 978-3-8365-6125-9.
  • Gold. Cologne: Taschen, 2019. Edited by Lélia Wanick Salgado. ISBN 978-3-8365-7508-9.
  • Amazônia. Cologne: Taschen, 2021. Edited by Lélia Wanick Salgado. ISBN 978-3-8365-8510-1.[15]



View of Salgado's Genesis exhibition in 2014

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Leur France rêvée. Sebastião Salgado : "Le petit pays aux si grandes idées"". Courrier international. 3 May 2017. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  2. ^ a b c Netto, Andrei (2024-02-08). "Photographer Sebastião Salgado at 80: 'They say I was an aesthete of misery'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2024-02-08.
  3. ^ a b "1982: Recipients: Sebastião Salgado". W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Sebastiao Ribeiro Salgado". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. 2023-08-07. Retrieved 2023-12-24.
  5. ^ a b c Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Award Accessed 13 August 2012
  6. ^ TASCHEN. "Academician's Sword for Sebastião Salgado. TASCHEN Books". Retrieved 2019-02-07.
  7. ^ "Les photographes Salgado, Barbey et Gaumy élus à l'Académie des beaux-arts". Le Parisien. 2016-04-16.
  8. ^ "Sebastião Salgado". International Center of Photography. 2019-02-02. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  9. ^ "Biography: Sebastião Salgado". The Guardian. 2004-09-11. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  10. ^ "Sebastiao Salgado - biography". Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  11. ^ "Sebastião Salgado | The Art of Photography". The Art of Photography. 2015-05-14. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  12. ^ "Sebastião Salgado". UNICEF. 29 April 2005. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  13. ^ "Sebastião Salgado: Genesis". International Center of Photography. 2016-02-23. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  14. ^ "Sebastião Salgado – Genesis | Graphicine". Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  15. ^ a b "'Paradise exists!': Sebastião Salgado's stunning voyage into Amazônia". The Guardian. 21 June 2021. Retrieved 2021-07-25.
  16. ^ "Are Californians destroying the Amazon? A Sebastião Salgado exhibit raises hard questions". Los Angeles Times. 16 February 2023. Retrieved 2023-04-02.
  17. ^ "The Salt of the Earth review – colourful portrait of visionary photographer Sebastião Salgado". The Guardian. 16 July 2015. Retrieved 2022-04-29.
  18. ^ Youchange. "Instituto Terra - Youchange". Youchange (in French). Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  19. ^ Funk, McKenzie (October 2015). "Sebastião Salgado Has Seen the Forest, Now He's Seeing the Trees". Smithsonian Magazine. Smithsonian. Retrieved 5 June 2023.
  20. ^ "Sebastião Salgado". Oskar Barnack Award. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  21. ^ "Sebastião Salgado". Hasselblad Foundation. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  22. ^ "Sebastião Salgado". Leica Oskar Barnack Award. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  23. ^ a b c "Sebastião Salgado - The Japan Art Association". The Japan Art Association (in Portuguese). 14 September 2021.
  24. ^ Tecnologías, Developed with webControl CMS by Intermark. "Sebastião Salgado - Laureates - Princess of Asturias Awards - The Princess of Asturias Foundation". The Princess of Asturias Foundation. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  25. ^ SL, EuroWeb Media (2017-01-09). "Sebastião Salgado, Premio de las Artes 1998 | Turismo Asturias". Turismo Asturias (in European Spanish). Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  26. ^ "Photographic Society of Japan Awards". Photographic Society of Japan. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  27. ^ Publicista, El (20 July 2007). "La décima edición de PHotoEspaña finaliza con 600.000 visitantes". Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  28. ^ "Photographer Sebastiao Salgado wins German peace prize – DW – 10/18/2019". Retrieved 7 April 2023.
  29. ^ a b c Academie des Beux Arts
  30. ^ "Ordonnance Souveraine n° 7.202 du 18 novembre 2018 portant promotions ou nominations dans l'Ordre du Mérite Culturel. / Journal 8409 / Année 2018 / Journaux / Accueil - Journal de Monaco".
  31. ^ "Sebastião Salgado: Genesis", Royal Ontario Museum. Accessed 17 August 2014.
  32. ^ Coomes, Phil (10 April 2013). "Sebastiao Salgado's Genesis". BBC News. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  33. ^ "Sebastião Salgado, Genesis", Paris Photo. Accessed 13 August 2014.
  34. ^ "Genesis", National Museum of Singapore. Accessed 17 August 2014.
  35. ^ "Sebastião Salgado: Genesis". International Center of Photography. 23 February 2016.
  36. ^ "Sebastião Salgado. Génesis. CaixaForum Barcelona". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  37. ^ a b "Genesis Photography Exhibition – Sebastião Salgado". Site of Special Things - Travel, Arts & Entertainment. 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  38. ^ "Sebastião Salgado: Genesis". Tourist website of Prague. 2 June 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  39. ^ "Sebastião Salgado | Genesis | Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam". Nederlands Fotomuseum. Retrieved 2017-07-29.
  40. ^ "Déclarations, exposition photo Sebastião Salgado". Musée de l'Homme. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  41. ^ Churm, Philip Andrew (22 May 2021). "Salgado's exhibition highlights Amazon forest destruction". euronews. Retrieved 2021-07-25.
  42. ^ a b "Amazônia". Science and Industry Museum. Retrieved 2023-04-02.
  43. ^ "Sebastião Salgado. Amazônia - MAXXI". 16 February 2021. Retrieved 2023-04-02.
  44. ^ "Exposição "Amazônia", de Sebastião Salgado, estreia no Sesc Pompeia". 14 February 2022. Retrieved 2023-04-02.
  45. ^ imoebius (18 February 2022). ""Fruturos - Tempos Amazônicos" exhibition in Rio de Janeiro - ATTO". Retrieved 2023-04-02.
  46. ^ "In the lush Amazon, a photographer hopes to document life before it is too late". NPR. 2 November 2022. Retrieved 7 April 2023.
  47. ^ "Exposición fotográfica Amazonia de Sebastião Salgado en Madrid". (in European Spanish). Retrieved 2023-07-18.

External links[edit]