Sunday, February 06, 2005

Galeano On Salgado: 8

From Eduardo Galeano's "Salgado, 17 Times":
8. The miners of Serra Pelada: bodies of clay. More than fifty thousand men in northern Brazil buried in clay, hunting for gold. Loaded with clay they scale the mountain, slipping sometimes and falling, each fallen life no more important than a pebble that falls. A host of miners climbing. Images of the pyramid builders in the days of the Pharaohs? An army of ants'? Ants, lizards'? The miners have lizard skins and lizard eyes. Do the wretched of the earth live in the world's zoo'?

Salgado's camera reaches In to reveal the light of human life with tragic intensity, with sad tenderness. A hand, open, reaches out from nowhere to the miner struggling up the slope, flattened by his burden. The hand, like the hand in Michelangelo's fresco, touching the first man and, in touching, creating him. The miner on his way to the top of Serra Pelada or Golgotha leans, resting, on a cross.


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