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Photographers You Should Know: Sebastião Salgado

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Information for this article came from The Guardian.

Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado’s took a indirect path to his photography career. He initially trained as an economist, earning a master’s degree in economics from University of São Paulo and working for the International Coffee Organization.

Rwandan refugees at the hospital, run by a team of the Dutch branch of Médecins sans Frontières, Camp at Katale, Zaire. 1994. (Photo Credit: Sebastião Salgado/AMAZONAS Images/CONTACT Press Images.)

Rwandan refugees at the hospital, run by a team of the Dutch branch of Médecins sans Frontières, Camp at Katale, Zaire. 1994. (Photo Credit: Sebastião Salgado/AMAZONAS Images/CONTACT Press Images.)

It was during his tenure with the ICO, he traveled extensively to Africa on missions for the World Bank, which is when he started taking photographs. In 1973, at the age of 29, he stopped working as an economist and began his photography career. Also at that time, he moved to Paris with his family.

Born February 8, 1944 in Aimorés, which is in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazi,, Salgado’s primary photographic emphasis is on workers in less developed nations. He has published four books that encompass his long-term, self-assigned projects: The Other Americas, Sahel, Workers and Migration.

Salgado has also worked with the nonprofit humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders on a 18-month project documenting the African famine. This work led to the production of the Sahel book, which was about a man he met while producing the documentary. The books and a number of photographic exhibitions were created from this project.

Salgado is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and an honorary member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences in the USA. He has also received numerous honorary doctorates and awards for his photographic works including the International Center of Photography’s Photojournalist of the Year in 1988 and the Ema and Victor Hasselblad Award for Life Achievement in 1989.

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