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A narration of hope: Sebastião Salgado in discussion with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

20/04/2015 - From nature photography to climate research: The renowned French-Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado met with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, last weekend in Berlin. Following the opening of Salgado’s exhibition “Genesis”, hosted by C/O Berlin, they came together for a public discussion on Saturday at Delphi film palace.
A narration of hope: Sebastião Salgado in discussion with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

Schellnhuber discussing with Salgado. ©Photo: David von Becker

After the screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary “The Salt of the Earth”, a collaboration between Wim Wenders and Salgado’s eldest son Juliano Ribeiro Salgado on the photographer’s life and work, Schellnhuber and Salgado discussed the different approaches of science and the arts. “While science targets the human brain, Salgado reaches the human heart,” said Schellnhuber. “He is capturing and preserving the beauty of untouched nature with his photographic work.” The Genesis project, named after the first book of Moses, is “a visual homage to our planet,” Salgado explained. He decided not to depict destruction, but to touch our emotions with the huge part of our planet that was still intact. “We take our modern reality as a normal luxury, but don’t pay attention to the Earth any more,” Salgado said.

Together with his wife Lélia, Sebastião Salgado founded the Instituto Terra in the late 1990s to reforest parts of the Mata Atlântica, the atlantic rainforest, in the area of his family’s ranch in Brazil. Reforestation also was his message during the lecture that was moderated by Berlin journalist Katrin Sandmann. The lively and interactive talk covered Salgado’s work and environmental education as well as topics like the 2-degree target or the forthcoming COP in Paris. “What we need is a cultural shift,” Schellnhuber said. Salgado’s work was a reminder that a shift to sustainability was still possible: “Genesis is a narration of hope”.


Weblink to the exhibition Sebastião Salgado “Genesis” at C/O Berlin:

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