Sebastião Salgado, the award-winning Brazilian photographer, launches his captivating photography exhibition of the natural, breath-taking beauty and diversity which lies within the Amazon rainforest. Captured across seven years, the exhibition explores the fascinating intricacies of nature, which are slowly beginning to disappear as we witness the destruction of the rainforest.
The exhibit presents 200 black-and-white photographs displaying the dramatic landscapes of the Amazon’s winding rivers, powerful waterfalls, and immense jungle, which certainly do not fail to amaze the eye. We are shown stunning portraits of the indigenous natives who have inhabited the rainforest for centuries, as we explore their homes.
At a crucial stage in the fight against climate change, Salgado’s exhibition puts into perspective the importance of protecting the Amazon rainforest for the future of our planet. Every year, tens of thousands of farms expand their area, eating away at the immense forest, which is having severe impacts on global climate change. If we continue like this, we will reach a ‘tipping point’, where the damage to the Earth will become irreversible. Salgado shows us many of the unique natural features of the Amazon, such as ‘Sleeping Beauty Mountains’ and ‘Flying Rivers’, which we must protect before it is too late.
Salgado also draws our attention to the fact that climate change is damaging and destroying the home of an estimated 370,000 natives, divided into 188 groups, and speaking around 150 languages. Through a series of images and videos, we are shown the incredible diversity within the Amazon. Each indigenous tribe has its own unique history, culture and traditions which they have upheld due to the impenetrability of the rainforest. It is fascinating to see the ways in which they distinguish themselves, from face and body painting, piercings, and the plants which they wear. Many of the tribes live in almost complete isolation, utilising the resources in the rainforest in magnificent ways. During one film, a woman from the Xingu tribe expressed how climate change is noticeably threatening their way of life as resources are being destroyed.
Amazônia is a powerful, moving exhibition that beautifully captures the extraordinary nature of the rainforest and its inhabitants. With climate change becoming an extremely important contemporary issue, the exhibition reminds us why it is so urgent for us to act now. I would highly recommend this exhibition to everyone, as it explores the importance of the Amazon, for all of our futures, as well as the unequaled power and beauty of the rainforest.
To book your tickets, click here: https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/see-and-do/amazonia
Chaman Yanomami en rituel avant la montee vers le Pico da Neblina, Etat d’Amazonas, Bresil, 2014 © Sebastiao Salgado / nppictures
Reviewed by Ridha Sheikh – Ridha is a volunteer writer for Abundant Art. She is a recent History and Politics graduate from Queen Mary – University of London. Ridha is excited to explore and share her strong passion for London’s art scene.