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Sebastião Salgado. Children

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In this companion portfolio to Exodus, Sebastião Salgado presents 90 portraits of the youngest migrants and refugees. From roadside refuges in Angola to sprawling camps in Lebanon, Salgado’s subjects are all on the move and all under the age of 15. Proud, pensive, or sad, they gaze at the viewer with all the candor of youth as much as the uncertainty of their future.
Hardcover9.8 x 13.0 in.3.38 lb124 pages
Sebastião Salgado. Children

Sebastião Salgado. Children


Innocence on the Run

Sebastião Salgado’s focus series on child migrants and refugees

In every crisis situation, children are the greatest victims. Physically weak, they are often the first to succumb to hunger, disease, and dehydration. Innocent to the workings and failings of the world, they are unable to understand why there is danger, why there are people who want to hurt them, or why they must leave, perhaps quite suddenly, and abandon their schools, their friends, and their home.

In this companion series to Exodus, Sebastião Salgado presents 90 portraits of the youngest exiles, migrants, and refugees. His subjects are from different countries, victims to different crises, but they are all on the move, and all under the age of 15. Through his extensive refugee project, what struck Salgado about these boys and girls was not only the implicit innocence in their suffering but also their radiant reserves of energy and enthusiasm, even in the most miserable of circumstances. From roadside refuges in Angola and Burundi to city slums in Brazil and sprawling camps in Lebanon and Iraq, the children remained children: they were quick to laugh as much as to cry, they played soccer, splashed in dirty water, got up to mischief with friends, and were typically ecstatic at the prospect of being photographed.

For Salgado, the exuberance presented a curious paradox. How can a smiling child represent circumstances of deprivation and despair? What he noticed, though, was that when he asked the children to line up, and took their portraits one by one, the group giddiness would fade. Face to face with his camera, each child would become much more serious. They would look at him not as part of a noisy crowd, but as an individual. Their poses would become earnest. They looked into the lens with a sudden intensity, as if abruptly taking stock of themselves and their situation. And in the expression of their eyes, or the nervous fidget of small hands, or the way frayed clothes hung off painfully thin frames, Salgado found he had a refugee portfolio that deserved a forum of its own.

The photographs do not try to make a statement about their subjects’ feelings, or to spell out the particulars of their health, educational, and housing deficits. Rather, the collection allows 90 children to look out at the viewer with all the candor of youth and all the uncertainty of their future. Beautiful, proud, pensive, and sad, they stand before the camera for a moment in their lives, but ask questions that haunt for years to come. Will they remain in exile? Will they always know an enemy? Will they grow up to forgive or seek revenge? Will they grow up at all?
The authors

Lélia Wanick Salgado studied architecture and urban planning in Paris. Her interest in photography started in 1970. In the 1980s, she began to conceive and design the majority of Sebastião Salgado’s photography books and all of the exhibitions of his work. 

Sebastião Salgado began his career as a professional photographer in Paris in 1973 and subsequently worked with the photo agencies Sygma, Gamma, and Magnum Photos. In 1994, he and his wife Lélia Wanick Salgado created Amazonas Images, which is today their studio, and exclusively handles his work. Salgado’s photographic projects have been featured in many exhibitions as well as books, including Sahel. L’Homme en détresse (1986), Other Americas (1986), Terra (1997), Migrations (2000), The Children (2000), Africa (2007), Genesis (2013), The Scent of a Dream (2015), Kuwait. A Desert on Fire (2016), Gold (2019) and Amazônia (2021).

Sebastião Salgado. Children
Hardcover24.8 x 33 cm1.53 kg124 pages

ISBN 978-3-8365-6136-5

Edition: Multilingual (English, French, German)

ISBN 978-3-8365-6140-2

Edition: Multilingual (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
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41 Ratings

The emotions in the looks

Marco,November 4, 2021
I would spend hours observing and reviewing the images captured by his camera. Trying to steal the thoughts that those looks transmit.

Un livre humaniste

Pierre,November 4, 2021
Sebastien Salgado nous invite à un voyage humaniste qui reflète à la fois la diversité des visages humains à travers des portrait d'enfants réfugiés de tout pays, et la profondeur de leur regard qui ne cesse de nous interpeler. superbe volume qui nous ramène à l'essentiel : préserver l'enfance.

Amazonia blister cartes postales

Nadine,October 31, 2021
J'ai découvert avec bonheur l'exposition AMAZONIA réalisée par S. SALGADO, photographe que je suis depuis longtemps autant pour ses œuvres que pour son engagement sans faille auprès des peuples autochtones et pour la préservation de l'environnement. N'ayant pas de gros moyens financiers, le blister cartes postales consacré à cette expo est un excellent support pour rester immergée dans la beauté de ces paysages sauvages et préservés. J'en ai réalisé un pèle-mêle bien en vu dans mon salon !merci


Denise,October 30, 2021
A collection of pictures taken all over the world, in those regions struck by any kind of crisis situation. The subjects are children, the first victims of something they can't have chosen, they can't understand but they must suffer helplessly. Despite everything, children's faces and especially their eyes are pure, proud and convey a marvellous thirst for life. It's an extraordinary miracle the way children see the world! Equally extraordinary is the way the photographer succeeds in materialising this miracle through black and white shots, thus giving children a moment of joyful peace. This book can certainly be considered a masterpiece of skill and sensibility, features that dominate all the works of the man and the artist Salgado.

Great photographer, great work

Manuel,October 30, 2021
Children's portraits by S. Salgado. Different places, different times, but all of them children seen with the magic eye of Salgado.