Assembled over the course of an eight-year global expedition, Brazilian photojournalist Sebastião Salgado’s Genesis (2013) project provides images of vast and remote regions where nature reigns in silent and pristine majesty. At the exhibition of Genesis in Lisbon in 2015 Léila Wanick Salgado, Sebastião Salgado's wife and a fellow Brazilian filmmaker and environmentalist, said, “Genesis is a quest for the world as it was, as it was formed, as it evolved, as it existed for millennia before modern life accelerated and began distancing us from the very essence of our being.” But what kind of nature is in view here? In the Anthropocene epoch, can we really speak of pristine or unspoiled landscapes? Could we ever?
In this presentation, Dr. Tim Howles reflected on and analyzed Salgado’s photography of nature—and the human gaze that invariably frames it. Michael Scott, director of the Future of the Humanities Project, provided opening and closing remarks, and Kathryn Temple and Rev. Joseph Simmons, S.J., moderated a Q&A session following the presentation.
This event was sponsored by the Future of the Humanities Project; the Georgetown Humanities Initiative; the Georgetown Master's Program in the Engaged and Public Humanities; Campion Hall, Oxford; and Las Casas Institute (Blackfriars Hall, Oxford). It is part of the one-year-long series: A Bent but Beautiful World: Literature, Art, and the Environment.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Steve Jurvetson