Sebastiao Salgado is a Brazilian Photographer, born in a small city called Aimorés, in 1944. He holds a bachelors and masters in economy, a carrer that he decided to abandon in 1973 to became a photographer.
Sebastiao Salgado is the sixth of eight children (all girls except for him). He and his sister were born in his parents farm, in the middle of the rain forest, isolated from almost everything. His first contact with a real city was when 16, when he went to a city called Vitória, which at that time had only 100,000 habitants.
After Salgado got his degree in Economy from the University of Sao Paulo, he started to work as an economist for the government. However, at that time Brazil was under a Dictatorship type of government. Sebastiao Salgado and his wife, Lelia, due to their contrary ideas to the government went into exilo in Paris.
Sebastiao Salgado took his first pictures while in Paris, with the camera that his wife (an architect) bought for her works. His passion for photography began, but not yet prevailing over economy. He got a job as an economist for a International Coffee organization, which associated him with Africa, where his carrer as a photographer started.
In Africa, Salgado first went to Niger, where covered a big drought and major starvation. After that he went to Ethiopia, covered the Civil War in Mozambique and went to Gamma. His other major works are “Workers”, where he documents the diminishing number of people who undertake hard manual labor. According to him, it is a homage to the proletariat. His other great work is called “Terra: Struggle of the landless”, where he concentrates on the plight of the landless peasantry of Brazil.
His works are mostly based on social documentary photography, and almost exclusively in black and white. He uses 35mm exclusively, and the same two films: Tri-X 400 and T-Max 3200. He also spends a long time editing the pictures in the dark room, giving emphasis to certain specifics aspects of it.
James, S. Sebastião Salgado: commitment and vision. RPS Journal v. 141 no. 2 (March 2001) p. 58-61
Mraz, J. Sebastião Salgado: ways of seeing Latin America. Third Text no. 58 (March 2002) p. 15-30
Lee, D. Photographic greats: Sebastião Salgado. Art Review (London, England) v. 45 (February 1994) p. 52-55