Sebastiao Salgardo’s Activist Photography Essays

Sebastiao Salgardo’s Activist Photography Essays

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“I try with my pictures to raise a question, to provoke a debate, so that we can discuss problems together and come up with solutions.” In this essay I aim to address the question how does Sebastiao Salgardo’s activist photography reflect against media journalism? I will be looking into a brief history of the movement of activist photography and will also looking into Sebastian’s background. I believe that Salgardo paints a true picture of what is going on in the country’s around the world, he visits these places and then becomes at one with the people in these situations, he wants to provoke debates and discussions into these problems in order to inform people of the true problems. Its true that in the 1980’s Salgardo’s work was deemed too upsetting, too distressing for the generally public in America to view and the fact that in the medias eye the general public would not be interested in seeing these images, this leaves us with ‘celebrity journalism’ and if anything a dishonest picture of what is really happening.
From the beginning of photography some photographers have confronted life around them and shared the world they saw. Their photographs continue to remind us of our common humanity. Through their activism and witness they have hoped to change the world by their exposure of truth. Some of the first activist photography started in 1866 with the photographer Thomas Annan, as he was commissioned by the Glasgow City Improvement Trust to photograph slum areas; his images were the first thorough photographic representation made of dwelling places and inhabitants of an urban slum, these images where taken on the streets of Glasgow and represent a changing view in photography. This area was one of the worst urban slums in Brit...

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...ber 2013]. 2014. MoMA | Interactives | Exhibitions | 2010 | Henri Cartier-Bresson. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 Jan 2014]. 2013. Photographers: Sebastiao Salgado | Paul Coates Photo. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 Jan 2014]. 2014. PhotoPhilanthropy. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 Jan 2014]. 2014. Sebastião Salgado: The silent drama of photography | Video on [online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 Jan 2014].
Wells, L. 2003. The photography reader. London: Routledge.
Wells, L. 1997. Photography. London: Routledge.

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