More than those of any other living photographer, Sebastião Salgado’s images of the world’s poor stand in tribute to the human condition. His transforming photographs bestow dignity on the most isolated and neglected, from famine-stricken refugees in the Sahel to the indigenous peoples of South America. Workers is a global epic that transcends mere imagery to become an affirmation of the enduring spirit of working women and men. The book is an archaeological exploration of the activities that have defined labor from the Stone Age through the Industrial Age, to the present. Divided into six categories—Agriculture, Food, Mining, Industry, Oil, and Construction—the book unearths layers of visual information to reveal the ceaseless human activity at the core of modern civilization. Extended captions provide a historical and factual framework for the images. An elegy for the passing of traditional methods of labor and production, Workers delivers a message of endurance and hope.
“This book is the photography of humanity.”
—Gabriel García Márquez
“Salgado unveils the pain, the beauty, and the brutality of the world of work on which everything rests. This is a collection of deep devotion and impressive skill.”
“Sebastião Salgado has produced an elaborate, deluxe paean to laborers throughout the world, from tea harvesters in Rwanda to oil-well firefighters and well-cappers in Kuwait . . . He brings to the composition of photojournalism skills akin to those of the painter Caravaggio. Workers offers additional evidence of this mannerist style, which has its photographic roots in the legacy of W. Eugene Smith . . . There is no denying that Mr. Salgado’s photographs command attention.”
—Andy Grundberg, The New York Times Book Review
Sebastião Salgado has been awarded virtually every major photographic prize in France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Sweden, and the United States. A former member of Magnum Photos and recipient of the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, he has twice been named Photographer of the Year by the International Center of Photography.