This exhibition presents some thirty large-format images created by Sebastião Salgado and is part of the En Droits! season, which commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted at the Palais de Chaillot on 10 December 1948.
Sebastião Salgado's participation in the En Droits! season is remarkable and shows not only his endorsement of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also his support for the Musée de l'Homme, an institution that seeks to understand people in all their complexity. "I'm not an artist. An artist creates an object. In my opinion, it’s not an object that I’m creating. I work with history, so that makes me a storyteller.”
For the Musée de l'Homme, Sebastião Salgado narrates the history of human rights as he has experienced it throughout his 40-year career in some 20 countries. The photographer and the curator took a retrospective look at his work and selected 30 photographs from 20 countries: Afghanistan, Angola, Algeria, Bosnia, Brazil, Ethiopia, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Mozambique, Philippines, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and Tanzania. In so doing, he attests to the importance of ensuring that the rights enshrined in the Declaration are respected on a daily basis in all regions of the world, underscoring its universal significance. These images illustrate, among other things, the right to life, the right to asylum, freedom of thought, conscience and religion as well as the right to work and are in response to the works of the street artists that will be on display in the museum between January and February 2019.
"I don't want people to enjoy the lighting or the range of colours. I want my photos to be informative, to stimulate debate."
He has travelled to more than 100 countries for his photographic projects which, in addition to extensive media coverage, have been featured in books such as Autres Amériques (1986), Sahel, l’homme en détresse (1986), La main de l’homme (1993), Terra (1997), Exodes et Les enfants de l’exode (2000), Africa (2007), Genesis (2013), Koweït, un désert en feu (2016). Travelling exhibitions of these works have been and continue to be showcased around the world.
SEBASTIÃO SALGADO, HUMANIST PHOTOGRAPHER
Sebastião Salgado was born on 8 February 1944 in Aimorés, Minas Gerais, Brazil and lives in Paris. An economist by training, he began his career as a photographer in Paris in 1973, working successively with the agencies Sygma, Gamma and Magnum Photos. In 1994, he and Lélia Wanick Salgado founded the Amazonas Images press agency, exclusively dedicated to his photographic work.
In 2015, he released the book Terres de café (Ed. La Martinière), the result of nearly a decade of reporting on the world of coffee plantations, specifically in Brazil, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India and Tanzania.
Sebastião and Lélia have been working together since the 1990s to rebuild the environment of a small part of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil, in the state of Minas Gerais. They restored a piece of land they owned to its natural state and in 1998 they converted it into a nature reserve and created the Instituto Terra, which is dedicated to reforestation and environmental education. In recognition of their work through the Instituto Terra, Sebastião and Lélia received the WWF-Brasil Personalidade Ambiental Award in 2012 and the Hugo Werneck Environment Prize Tribute of the Year in 2017.
Sebastião Salgado has received numerous awards and honours. He is, among other things, Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, Honorary Member of The Academy of Arts and Science in the United States, Comendador da Ordem de Rio Branco in Brazil, Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France. In 2016, Salgado was elected a member of the Academy of Fine Arts of the Institut de France and appointed Chevalier de la Legion of Honour, France. A humanist photographer, a tireless traveller, a committed environmental activist, he is now one of the greatest names in photojournalism.