Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado embarked on his latest project – the epic and almost biblical in its scale Genesis in 2004. For eight years he travelled through 32 countries in his quest for the most untouched spot on the planet.
Now his pictures are being displayed at the Natural History Museum in London in an exhibition called Genesis.
The museum’s exhibition developer, Tate Greenhalgh, explained: “Salgado has a world-renowned reputation as a photographer, particularly of people and in Genesis – for the first time – he’s turning his lens on the natural environment in particular. So this exhibition has landscapes, animals and it shows the people who live in pristine environments and how they interact with their environments without having a negative impact .”
Salgado voyaged from the Brazilian rainforest to the Sahara desert in his quest for places that were untouched by human development or pollution, taking his distinctive high-contrast black and white photos.
He said: “I lived eight years in the places that were not the more accessible places but I probably had a huge privilege to be in these places – so I’m just coming back to the paradise. This represents what’s pristine on our planet and I believe there’s a very good positive message that we have yet 46 per cent of the planet that is as of the day of Genesis.
“My hope is that together we start with this incredible amount of information that we have today, this incredible conscience of ours to ecology that we must protect these parts. That these pictures are not archeology, we just be a cross-section of the parts of the planet that will stay forever. We need them to stay forever.”
Salgado was originally an economist but abandoned that in favour of photography 40 years ago.
Genesis runs in London until September and will also tour Toronto, Rio, Rome and Paris.