Friday, June 19, 2015

Sebastião Salgado, John Berger : "The Sky is the only thing that can be appealed to in certain circumstances."

Many have seen recently "Salt of the Earth", the Wim Wenders documentary on Sebastião Salgado's work of the past twenty years "Genesis", his wife Leila and the renewal of life on their farm in the rainforests of Brazil. Romig sent me something about it today.

Salt of the Earth brings to mind the wonderful BBC documentary made in 2000 for Arena by John Berger called "The Spectre of Hope". Certainly worth a watch. Berger's poetic insight into these images is remarkable.

Berger says looking at Salgado's "Migrations":

"One is face to face with the tragic. And what happens in face of the tragic is that people accept it and cry out against it. Altho it won't change.

They cry out... to the Sky

The Sky is an important part of the work. People that have lost all sense of tragedy look at these pictures and say What a beautiful set ! What beautiful decor! What a well chosen moment ! But it isn't a question of that.

The Sky is the only thing that can be appealed to in certain circumstances.

Who listens to them in the sky ? 

Perhaps God? 

Perhaps the dead. Perhaps even history." 

Sebastião Salgado, John Berger ; BBC Arena "The Spectre of Hope" (2000)

I can't remember what Pop thought about Salgado's work. That escapes memory. I'm sure he would have been moved by the tragedy shown but also bv the positive tale of regeneration possible.

He would have been moved to tears. Of that I am sure. Our Tal Moon.

- L