Galeano On Salgado: 1
I have already posted on Sebastião Salgado's last great photographic project which he calls Genesis. I have not long finished Salgado's An Uncertain Grace. This impressive book essentially covers his work from 1974-89. Every image is of a person or people. Many are suffering, many are grieving, many are displaced. Many are children. Many are working under impossibly harsh conditions. The images are global. All Salgado's work is a testimony to the lives and deaths of the wretched of the earth. The photographs accompanied by a prose-poetry essay, "Salgado, 17 Times", by the great Uruguayan writer, Eduardo Galeano. Over the next seventeen days I will extract each of Galeano's lyrical commentaries on Salgado.
1. Are these photographs, these figures of tragic grandeur, carvings in stone or wood by a sculptor in despair? Was the sculptor the photographer? Or God? Or the Devil? Or earthly reality?
This much is certain: it would be difficult to look at these figures and remain unaffected. I cannot imagine anyone shrugging his shoulder, turning away unseeing, and sauntering off, whistling.