The Salt of the Earth is a realistic gift that does not relish sensationalism, and, at the same time, is an emotionally rich and raw journey through the travels of Sebastião Salgado, the photographer and man in never-ending movement. His son, Juliano, and Wim Wenders give alternate accounts of the experiences of a father and of a friend, continually suspended and immersed in the condition of a wandering soul led by the eye and the story. And he describes himself, lingering meticulously on himself and on everything else, and loses himself, without ever really losing himself, but always remaining lucid and present, to recall and bring to life images which reach us vividly sculptured in photographs: his.
Ours is a world which knows no boundaries for Salgado and has no arrival point, only points from which to leave again, always. To circulate what is, and was, the human condition, here and elsewhere. Everywhere.
Latin America, Africa, the former Yugoslavia, the Middle East, Siberia.
Genocides, mass migration, civil wars and international conflicts, gushing oil wells, illnesses and malnutrition, and heaped bodies, but also music and so much true simplicity.
That of work, of the farming world, of the wrinkles that the wind etches, of survival, of need and of searching.
Of hope that, perhaps, never finishes, and at times finishes.
And then there is nature, alive like us, sometimes more alive and contemptuous than we are, friend and foe, always. The rain forests of the Amazon, the Congo, Indonesia and New Guinea; the glaciers of the Antarctic and the deserts of Africa.
Everything is a project in continuous evolution for Salgado the witness. And it is with “Genesis” that he pays homage to the beauty of the planet. To the extent of physically embracing the trees that he himself planted in what was the family farm, where he and his seven sisters grew up.
To give back life to past experiences… with the idea that, anyway, and in the end, for good or ill, in the wonder and the horror that they often create and carry out, people are always the salt of the earth.
Palazzo della Ragione Fotografia
Piazza Mercanti, Milan
June 27 – November 2