Sabastiao Salgado is a Brazilian photojournalist and an amazing one at that. His images contain a strange paradox being that of beauty and suffering coupled together. His images are harrowing to say the least. To admit that they aren’t filled with commentary would do them a great injustice, but to say they are just for use as document would do the same.
His works are on exhibit at many galleries and are also for purchase, which leads to some complex ethical questions. Do these images serve as an exploitative art form, or are they merely a harrowing commentary constructed only to make us feel especially those who are apt to purchase?
I believe his images have a profound impact on those who view them and in this lies a great power and responsibility (insert Spiderman puns here). I think it is very important a distinction is made between what is art and what it exploitation. As I have said Salgado’s images are beautiful and evocative, but if there is not responsibility behind them I think they lose their power and direction. The influence they carry weighs on the shoulders of those who are intent to try and change the world for the people suffering. It would seem only natural if a person is a observer and moreso a documentarian of theses atrocities it should be well within their reach to provide aid to those who suffer.