More then those of any other living photographer, Sebastiao Salgado's images of the world's poor stand in tribute to the human condition. Salgado defines his work as "militant photography" dedicated to "the best comprehension of man"; over the decades he has bestowed great dignity on the most isolated and neglected among us— from famine-stricken refugees in the Sahel to the indigenous peoples of South America. With "Workers," Salgado brings us a global epic that transcends mere image making to become an affirmation of the enduring spirit of working men and women. In this volume, three hundred fifty duotone photographs form an archaeological perspective of the activities that have defined hard work from the Stone Age through the Industrial Revolution to the present. With images of the infernal landscape of an Indonesian sulfur mine, the drama of traditional Sicilian tuna fishing, and the staggering endurance of Brazilian gold miners, Salgado unearths layers of visual information to reveal the ceaseless human activity at the core of modern civilization. "Workers" presents its subjects on several interactive levels: Salgado's introductory text expands his passionate photographic iconography, and extended captions, also written by Salgado, provide a historical and factual framework. Evoking the monumentality of Baroque sculpture, images of oil-fire fighters extinguishing Kuwaiti wells are informed by data detailing this perilous venture. Heroic photographs of Cuban and Brazilian peasants harvesting sugarcane are enriched by an overview of the history of the sugar trade, which documents centuries of colonialist exploitation. On the eve of the millennium, "Workers" serves as anelegy for the passing of traditional methods of labor and production. Yet its ultimate message is one of endurance and hope: entire Indian families serve as construction crews to build a dam that will bring life to their land, and laborers using contemporary technology connect England and France through Eurotunnel. Honoring the timeless and indomitable spirit of the manual laborer, "Workers" renders the human condition with honesty and respect.
More than those of any other living photographer, Sebastiao Salgado's images of the world's poor stand in tribute to the human condition. His transforming photographs bestow dignity on the most isolated and neglected, from famine-stricken refugees in the Sahel to the indigenous peoples of South America. Workers is a global epic that transcends mere imagery to become an affirmation of the enduring spirit of working women and men. The book is an archaeological exploration of the activities that have defined labor from the Stone Age through the Industrial Age, to the present. Divided into six categories-Agriculture, Food, Mining, Industry, Oil, and Construction-the book unearths layers of visual information to reveal the ceaseless human activity at the core of modern civilization. Extended captions provide a historical and factual framework for the images. An elegy for the passing of traditional methods of labor and production, Workers delivers a message of endurance and hope.
Sebastiao Salgado has been awarded more than fifty international prizes from countries including France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Sweden, Japan, and the United States. He has twice been named Photojournalist of the Year by the International Center of Photography in New York. He is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and an honorary member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States. Major exhibitions of his work include "Sahel: L'Homme en detresse "(1986), "Other Americas" (1986), "An Uncertain Grace" (1990), "Workers: An Archaeology of the Industrial Age" (1993), "Migrations: Humanity i
"This book is the photography of humanity."--Gabriel Garcia Marquez "Salgado unveils the pain, the beauty, and the brutality of the world of work on which everything rests. This is a collection of deep devotion and impressive skill."--Arthur Miller "Sebastiao Salgado has produced an elaborate, deluxe paean to laborers throughout the world, from tea harvesters in Rwanda to oil-well firefighters and well-cappers in Kuwait...He brings to the composition of photojournalism skills akin to those of the painter Caravaggio. "Workers "offers additional evidence of this mannerist style, which has its photographic roots in the legacy of W. Eugene Smith...There is no denying that Mr. Salgado's photographs command attention."--Andy Grundberg, "The New York Times Book Review"
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