The origins of communication with Jimmy Nelson

From the first instantaneous photos of the twentieth century, to the today's mania for selfie: everything confirms that photography is an extremely powerful means, that documents, tells, celebrates. We learn this also fro the experience of Jimmy Nelson, who has captured and given to our memory the last tribes of the world

"Photography is the first global language that everyone understands". And if this is said by the photographer who has immortalized the tribal communities of the five continents, then you should believe it: Jimmy Nelson, from the stage of the Oscar Pomilio Forum (see video), has given his testimony of the universal power of visual language, telling us how photography has reached the most distant places and entered in dialogue with cultures, so different from one another.

The author of the reportage Before they pass away, dedicated to the endangered peoples, explained the background of every shot he showed us, sharing also compelling anecdotes and episodes rich in humanity: "I was with the Tsaatan, in Northern Mongolia. After three weeks without neither talking nor taking photos, one evening there were 40 of us in a tent, and to warm up we drank a sort of vodka. In the middle of the night, I peed in my pants and a few minutes after about 40 reindeer devastated the tent and started to chase me, trying to lick me. At that point, the chieftain started to laugh and since then, thanks to that disaster, and to what I call the "overturn of authority", we finally found a way to communicate. And I was able to explain to him that I wanted to celebrate them through photography".

Photography, for Nelson, is therefore a mission, an act of courage, an achievement: it is the culmination of a long and slow process of rapprochement, which overcomes the initial mistrust and becomes an instrument of communication, celebration, documentation and even "rescue": "What I'm trying to do, in a simple and contemporary way, is to travel across the planet and show, yell, share, make understand that even today there are still fantastic, rich, powerful cultures, that are very important for the modern world. We have to find a new balance in our communication and understand who they are, who we are, and what we can learn from each other".



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