In 1986 Sebastião Salgado began a series of reportages on the theme of manual labor, throughout the different continents. This work was conceived to tell the story of an era. The images offer a visual archaeology of a time that history knows as the Industrial Revolution, a time when men and women work with their hands provided the central axis of the world.

The highly industrialized world is racing ahead and stumbling over the future. In reality, this telescoping of time is the result of the work of people throughout the world, although in practice it may benefit few. The developed world produces only for those who can consume-approximately one-fifth of all people. The remaining four-fifths, who could theoretically benefit from surplus production, have no way of becoming consumers.
The destiny of men and women is to create a new world, to reveal a new life, to remember that there exists a frontier for everything except dreams. In this way, they adapt, resist, believe, and survive.

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