Between 1977 and 1984, after a few years of photographic adventures in Europe and Africa, Sebastião Salgado made several trips to Latin America, travelling from the torrid coastal lowlands of Northeastern Brazil to the mountains of Chile, to Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico, through the indescribable mysticism of the Brazilian sertão, with its leather-clad men and their ferocious fight for survival in the lands so arid, so poor, and so much the spiritual refuge of a whole country. He went through the Sierra Madre with its dense fog, its magical mushrooms and peyotes, he heard stories about its dead so alive in the imagination of the living: that place where it is so difficult to know if we are of this world or another, where death is the inseparable sister of everyday life.
The seven years spent making these images were like a trip seven centuries back in time to observe, at a slow, utterly sluggish pace - which marks the passage of time in these regions - the flow of different cultures, so similar in their beliefs, losses and sufferings.

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