john davies
notes from a small curate

    August 2002

    Sabastiao Salgado Church Gate Station, Bombay, India, 1995
    from his book 'Migrations, Humanity in Transition'

    I first encountered Salgado's exhibition 'Workers' at Liverpool's Open Eye Gallery in 1993. Since then I've always sought after his photography.

    Salgado is a journalistic photographer who captures images of amazing grace and beauty. As his publisher puts it, "Many of his images are iconographic, his subjects vast in scope, but human too. He shares with us his view of human experience on both the grandest and the smallest scale, and he reaches our hearts by engaging his own."

    Migrations is one of his more recent works. In an interview that can be found on the PDN/Kodak Legends Online website, he said this about it:

    ²At this time, I want to speak out for immigrants, for those who live in such circumstances, and to speak out to those who can receive them. I want to show the immigrants' dignity in their willingness to integrate into another country, to show their courage and their entrepreneurial spirit and, not least, to demonstrate how they enrich us all with their individual differences. Above all, by using migration as an example, I want to show that a true human family can only be built on foundations of solidarity and sharing.

    I know this story very well because it is my story. I made the same migrations that a great mass of the world's population is doing now. I was born on a farm in Brazil. And when I was five, I moved with my family to a small town, about 10,000 people. Then when I was 15, I went to a medium-sized town, about 120,000 people. And when I finished college, it was necessary for me to go to a big big town, to São Paolo, and in São Paolo I had some political problems and the time came to leave Brazil and I came to France. That means this story that I'm photographing is my story also. I am a migrant, too. I started to develop this project in 1992, I began photographing in 1993, and I finish now in 1999.

    So I have been photographing this project for six-and-a-half years. And I have traveled to about 47 different countries around the world where people are moving from place to place, and shot in more than 40 I have found this to be a story about the complete reorganization of humanity, the human family around the world.²

    This image of Bombay's Church Gate Station, I find breathtaking. It illustrates so well humanity in flux.

    Other pics of the month - click here to see index