Sponsored by Vale, Sebastião Salgado’s Genesis exhibition opens in London

About Vale

4/11/2013

Sponsored by Vale, Sebastião Salgado’s Genesis exhibition opens in London

Banner da Exposição Gênesis

Sebastião Salgado participates in a press conference for the opening of the Genesis exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London, England. Photo Credit: Paulo Henrique Soares

After eight years photographing some of the most pristine places on Earth, the world premiere of Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado’s Genesis exhibition opened on Wednesday, April 9, at the Natural History Museum in London, England. Salgado visited 32 regions from Antarctica to the Arctic, between 2004 and 2012, and has been sponsored by Vale since 2008. The result is Genesis, which brings together more than 250 photographs. The black and white images capture the natural world in its pristine state, as well as traditional ways of life that highlight the harmonic relationship between humankind and nature. Learn more about the Genesis project and check out the picture gallery.

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was at the exhibition opening in London. Being a long-time friend of the photographer, who was born in the state of Minas Gerais, Lula remembered a phrase by the Brazilian writer Eric Nepomuceno, who referred to Salgado as a “light hunter.” "We came from a country which continues to bet on life, light and on the future. And we both continue to bet on the human capacity of dreaming and transforming reality," he stated.

The exhibition will tour many different countries. In Brazil, it will be shown at the Botanical Garden in Rio de Janeiro, starting on May 28, and in São Paulo, starting in September of this year. In addition to the exhibition, two books will be published and the documentary film Shade and Light, from directors Juliano Ribeiro Salgado – Salgado’s son – and German Wim Wenders, is expected to be released in September. Some of the film's images were shot at our Port of Tubarão (Espírito Santo).

Sebastião Salgado participates in a press conference for the opening of the Genesis exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London, England. Salgado visited 32 regions from the Antarctic to the Artic between 2004 and 2012, sponsored by Vale since 2008. The result of this work is an exhibition featuring more than 250 photos. The black and white images show the purest parts of the world and traditional ways of life, highlighting harmonious relations between humankind and nature. The event was attended by former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Ambassador Roberto Jaguaribe. An old friend of the photographer from Minas Gerais State, Lula remembered something the Brazilian writer Eric Nepomuceno had said about Sebastião, referring to him as the “light hunter.” “We come from a country which continues to bet on life, light and on the future. And we both continue to bet on the human capacity of dreaming and transforming reality,” stated Lula as he studied the images captured by Sebastião’s lens. Sebastião Salgado gives a speech during the exhibition’s inauguration. The audience included family members, friends, guests and members of the media. Sebastião and his family at the exhibition’s inauguration. Those in attendance took part in a dinner held in the museum following the Genesis inauguration.

Exclusive Interview

What was the greatest thing you learned from this journey across the most distant places on Earth?

The greatest learning experience was discovering that 46% of our planet is still as it was on the day of the Genesis. I found this amazing, a super positive message. During the eight years I spent travelling, I discovered that everything on this planet is integrated, it is alive, and that we, as human beings, who only live up to at most 70 or 80 years, have the great flaw of calculating everything in the very short term. We consider everything that lives beyond 100 years to be very old, but if we understood the planet as something of thousands, or maybe millions of years, we would see that everything is alive, every mountain is alive, every tree is extremely alive, and that we are a part of this whole.

What is the message that you are hoping to share with the world?

The main message is that the Genesis photographs represent the part of the world we need to help preserve. The second message, which I consider more realistic, is that we can recover the part we destroyed to build the modern, comfortable society in which we live. This world of comfort is possible, but we need to change our behaviour a little in order to render it more sustainable. We must restart. In particular, we need to replant the forests. And we can do this together.

Do you have a special message for Vale?

I am from Vale’s main region, the Rio Doce Valley. There are Vale employees on the Instituto Terra’s Board of Directors who have been working with us on the Rio Doce Valley environmental recovery project since the beginning. And I invite all of the employees, especially the ones who are in the region, to go to the Instituto Terra and participate of this valley's recovery. We are starting a project together with the federal government, which aims at recovering all of the valley's water sources and, in about 35 or 40 years, at restoring the river, by creating a completely new river. Please help us, join us in this cause. We can do many things together, behaving in a more ecological and sustainable way.

​​​​​​​​​

Sponsored by Vale, Sebastião Salgado’s Genesis exhibition opens in London