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BEFORE THEY PASS AWAY: Jimmy Nelson (re)Connecting Us To The Purity Of Mankind

BEFORE THEY PASS AWAY: Jimmy Nelson (re)Connecting Us To The Purity Of Mankind

Jimmy Nelson spent three-and-a-half years photographing indigenous tribes across the world and the result is a series entitled Before They Pass Away, which is not only accessible but also reveals the photographer’s privileged contact with the 35 tribes he spent time with. Above all, Nelson’s work is a reminder of our profound humanity: ''In 2009, I planned to become a guest of 31 secluded and visually unique tribes. I wanted to witness their time-honoured traditions, join in their rituals and discover how the rest of the world is threatening to change their way of life forever. Most importantly, I wanted to create an ambitious aesthetic photographic document that would stand the test of time,'' reads a quote on
But Nelson does a lot more than that. ‘Before They’ is an ethnographic record of a fast disappearing world, and lifts the veil over communities where reality is at the opposite end of the spectrum - to our urbanised world. For his elegant and evocative portraits, Nelson used a 4x5 camera, a 50-year-old plate camera. ''The detail that is attained by using such large negatives would provide an extraordinary view into the emotional and spiritual lives of the last indigenous peoples of the world.''
Jimmy Nelson observed the tribesmen, formed a bond with them and drank their mysterious brews before taking out his camera. ''At the same time, it (the project) would glorify their (the tribes’) varying and unique cultural creativity with their painted faces, scarified bodies, jewellery, extravagant hairstyles and ritual language.''
 h/t: Yatzer

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