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Sebastião Salgado. Workers. An Archaeology of the Industrial Age

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Sebastião Salgado’s photographs present an archaeological perspective on manual labour, shedding light on practices which endured from the Stone Age through the Industrial Revolution and up to the present day. He created an elegy to outmoded traditions and the dignity and fortitude of those working in the face of the most dangerous conditions.

Hardcover9.6 x 13.0 in.6.42 lb400 pages

“Sebastião Salgado is a master at transforming his photojournalism into paintings in the best sense of the word, images that move and touch.”

Welt am Sonntag

“The book is a work of art, a sociological study and a historical document all in one, celebrating human fortitude in the toughest of challenges.”

Femmes Magazine

“Salgado's Workers: a respectful look at hard labor... The illustrated book pushes them back into our consciousness with great respect.”


"Workers is a book published by TASCHEN of current importance... Photographs in the finest print that flatters Sebastião Salgado's unique visual aesthetic. Fold-outs allow the reader to delve deeper into the stories... Less a book, more a journey."


“Salgado’s pictures will endure – as moving testimonies to human resilience. This is impressively demonstrated in Workers.”


“The Brazilian documentary photographer has produced one outstanding series of images after another, revealing the lives of people around the planet, from indigenous communities and migrants to steel workers and farmers.”

Black+White Photography

“The book delivers a masterclass in photographic technique – content and contrast, lighting and composition.”

Amateur Photographer

"This book is a tribute to those men and women who still work as they have for centuries."

Sebastião Salgado
Sebastião Salgado. Workers. An Archaeology of the Industrial Age

Sebastião Salgado. Workers. An Archaeology of the Industrial Age


Salgado’s World of Work

An homage to workers and a farewell to the world of manual labor

Sebastião Salgado’s photo book classic Workers. An Archaeology of the Industrial Age (first published in 1993) pays tribute to the time-honored tradition of manual labor in the new millennium when machines and computers replace human workers throughout the globe. With images of striking beauty and integrity, Salgado composes a visual elegy for the working men and women, whose indomitable spirit has prevailed over the harshest of conditions to achieve a singular grace.

More than those of any other living photographer, Sebastião Salgado’s images of the world’s poor stand in tribute to the human condition. Salgado defines his work as “militant photography”, dedicated to “the best comprehension of human being”; over the decades he has bestowed great dignity on the most isolated and neglected among us — from famine-stricken refugees in the Sahel to the indigenous peoples of South America.

With Workers, Salgado brings us a global epic that transcends mere image making to become an affirmation of the enduring spirit of working men and women. In this volume, three hundred fifty duotone photographs form an archaeological perspective of the activities that have defined hard work from the Stone Age through the Industrial Revolution to the present. With images of the infernal landscape of an Indonesian sulfur mine, the drama of traditional Sicilian tuna fishing, and the staggering endurance of Brazilian gold miners, Salgado unearths layers of visual information to reveal the ceaseless human activity at the core of modern civilization.

Workers presents its subject on several interactive levels: Salgado’s introductory text, written in collaboration with Brazilian author Eric Nepomuceno, expands his passionate photographic iconography; extended captions, also written by Salgado, provide a historical and factual framework. Honoring the timeless and indomitable spirit of the manual laborer, Workers renders the human condition with honesty and respect.

The photographer and author

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).

The editor

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. Workers. An Archaeology of the Industrial Age
Hardcover24.5 x 33 cm2.91 kg400 pages

ISBN 978-3-8365-9632-9

Edition: English

ISBN 978-3-8365-9646-6

Edition: German

ISBN 978-3-8365-9647-3

Edition: French

ISBN 978-3-8365-9649-7

Edition: Spanish
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1 Rating

Stuart H.,March 20, 2024
Beautiful book efficiently delivered.