Week in residence
Photographer Sebastião Salgado comes to Berkeley


refugee camp

Refugee camp at Benako, Tanzania, 1994.
Copyright by Sebastião Salgado/ AMAZONAS/Contact Press Images.

06 February 2002 | Since it opened at UC Berkeley Art Museum last month, some 1,200 people a week have visited “Migrations,” the monumental record of a world on the move created by photographer Sebastião Salgado.

“Anyone has to visit it twice — once to see the pictures and once to see the faces of the people looking at the pictures,” Candace Slater, director of the Townsend Center for the Humanities and a professor of Brazilian literature, says of the exhibition. Students especially are coming to see the work, she notes, and most view the pictures in silence. “You can see in their faces anger, amazement and incomprehension.”

Salgado crisscrossed the globe to photograph the migrants, refugees and displaced persons pictured in “Migrations.” Next week, he comes to Berkeley as the Townsend Center’s Avenali lecturer and is scheduled to participate in a series of events for students and the public.

The Brazilian-born photojournalist is known as a humanist with a keen interest in world politics, and the campus conversation with him is sure to encompass photographs and photography, but also poverty, politics, the environment and the representation of suffering.

“His work really allows us to think about what’s been happening in the world and then have conversations about our own responsibility,” says Ken Light, curator of the Center for Photography at the Graduate School of Journalism, where 15 photos from the “Migrations” series are on display. “He sees his role as photographer as a way to spark people’s conversation.”

Salgado’s week in residence includes several smaller events for invited guests, such as a workshop with Salgado and photographer Gilles Peress for graduate students in human rights, the humanities, international studies, journalism and other disciplines.

The public is invited to two evening events with Salgado, an afternoon panel discussion, and student-led guided tours of the exhibition at the museum:

• Avenali Lecture, 7:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 11, Wheeler Auditorium.
Following Salgado’s talk, Orville Schell, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, will join him in conversation. There is no charge to attend; seating is limited. For information, call 643-9670.

• “The Spectre of Hope” film showing, 7 p.m., Tuesday Feb. 12, Wheeler Auditorium.
Salgado will introduce the documentary on his work, in which he is filmed in conversation with acclaimed novelist and critic John Berger. The film was directed by Paul Carlin and produced by Tim Robbins.
Tickets are $25 and may be purchased at the Pacific Film Archive box office, the Berkeley Art Museum store, from charge-by-phone at 642-5249, and at the door, space permitting. Proceeds will go to Instituto Terra, a nonprofit environmental project in Brazil founded by Salgado and his wife, Lelia Wanick Salgado.

• Panel discussion, 4 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 13, Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall.
In a companion program to his Avenali lecture, Salgado will be joined by three campus scholars: Michael Watts, professor of geography and director of the Institute of International Studies; art historian Tim Clark; and anthropologist Nancy Scheper-Hughes.

• Exhibition guided tours, 12:15 p.m. Thursdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, Berkeley Art Museum.
Graduate students in geography, journalism and art history offer guided tours of “Migrations” on most Thursdays and Sundays for the duration of the show. For information, call 642-0808.


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