Famine in Sahel-Sebastiao Selgado

Sebastiao Selgado is one of the most famous photojournalists in history. Salgado's fame as an international photographer began with his harsh yet moving photographs of the "Famine in the Sahel" during the mid 1980's. He worked with the humanitarian organization, Doctors without Borders, on an year and a half project documenting the devastating famine in Africa. During this time, Selgado borrowed his wife's camera and captured a variety of subjects exposed to the harshest conditions of existence.
Even though Selgado's photographs vividly express human suffering through sophisticated and dramatic compositions, they seem to never lose sight of their subject's humanity. These images capture moments of complete despair, but each one also shines light on human beings fighting for their dignity. Selgado's talent arises from his ability to take these images of suffering, while showing a respect that does not violate, but rather penetrates the human spirit. His photographic images are beautiful objects of tone and light, even though they express such morbid conditions of human pain in its raw form.
Selgado is concerned with making his pictures viewed not as art objects, but rather documentation in a purely journalist form. He is an economist and humanitarian who has often attempted to use his photographs to directly improve the conditions of the images he captures. By making it virtually impossible to avoid personal emotion when viewing his photographs, not only does Selgado bring his work to a higher level of intellectual and emotional concern, but also a concern with visual keys and references.His subjects have been stripped of everything, but they have dignity, which is intentionally and effectively portrayed in each photograph. That dignity is the source of their indescribable beauty.
Many of Salgado's images are iconographic, a vast range of subjects, yet each one s…


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