GENESIS, the project

“My camera allowed nature to speak to me. And it was my privilege to listen.”

- Sebastião Salgado

Raised on a farm in Brazil, Salgado possessed a deep love and respect for nature; he was also particularly sensitive to the ways in which human beings are affected by their often-devastating socio-economic conditions.

After the myriad works Salgado has produced in his acclaimed career, such as the long-term projects Workers (1993), documenting the vanishing way of life of manual labourers across the world; Migrations (2000), a tribute to mass migration driven by hunger, natural disasters, environmental degradation and demographic pressure; Genesis is his “love letter to the planet”.

Genesis is the result of an epic eight-year expedition to rediscover the mountains, deserts and oceans, the animals and peoples that have so far escaped the imprint of modern society – the land and life of a still-pristine planet. This project, along with the Salgados’ Instituto Terra, are dedicated to showing the beauty of our planet, reversing the damage done to it, and preserving it for the future.

Over 30 trips – travelled by foot, light aircraft, seagoing vessels, canoes, and even balloons, through extreme heat and cold and in sometimes dangerous conditions – Salgado created a collection of images showing us nature, animals, and indigenous peoples in breath-taking beauty. Using only black-and-white photography, he has created a visual ensemble with such an extreme precision, that even the smallest details seem to infinitely develop.

Curated and designed by Lélia Wanick Salgado, this exhibition presents the extraordinary and unique adventure of the Genesis project through a selection of photographs arranged in five chapters geographically: Planet South, Sanctuaries, Africa, Northern Spaces, Amazonia and Pantanal.

“We must preserve what exists.”

- Sebastião Salgado

© Sebastião Salgado