Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado is one of the most accomplished and celebrated photographers working today. The World Photography Organisation awarded him the Outstanding Contribution to Photography of the Sony World Photography Awards 2024.
About Sebastião Salgado
Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado Júnior was born on February 8, 1944 in Aimorés, Brazil. He is a renowned Brazilian photographer known for his social documentary work and photojournalism. In his career of over 50 years, Salgado has captured some iconic black-and-white photos. The range of topics he has covered is vast. From poignant portraits of indigenous communities and industrial workers to surveys of migration and striking panoramas of the natural world.
Travels have taken Salgado to over 120 countries. His projects have appeared in many books and press publications, and his exquisite photos have been exhibited worldwide. In addition to his photography, Salgado has been recognized for his contributions as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. His accolades include receiving the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund Grant in 1982, an honorary membership from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992, and the Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Photographic Society in 1993. Since April 2016, he has been a member of the prestigious Académie des Beaux-Arts at the Institut de France.
Sony World Photography Awards 2024’s Outstanding Contribution to Photography
The Outstanding Contribution to Photography honors a person or group of people who have significantly impacted photography. As its 17th recipient, Sebastião Salgado joins a distinguished list of iconic names. These include William Klein (2012), William Eggleston (2013), Elliott Erwitt (2015), Martin Parr (2017), Candida Höfer (2018), Graciela Iturbide (2021), Edward Burtynsky (2022) and Rinko Kawauchi (2023), to name a few.
The Sony World Photography Awards 2024 will showcase dozens of Salgado’s photos as part of an exhibition. It will take place at Somerset House, London, and last from April 19 to May 6, 2024. The photographer himself made the selection. It highlights the key themes and milestones over the last five decades of his career. The exhibition will feature works from his early projects, such as Gold (1986) and Workers (1993), but also more recent series like Genesis (2011) and Amazônia (2019). The exhibition explores life’s universal complexities and nuances, revealing its anguishes and hardships but also extraordinary beauty.
Commenting on his acceptance of the award, Sebastião Salgado said:
“I am honoured to receive this award, and to know that my work is reaching audiences. Photography is my way of life, it is my language, and throughout my career I have always been interested in capturing the historical moment in which we are living, and telling the stories of our species and our planet. A photographer photographs with his heritage, and in my work I seek to explore our shared human experience.”
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