Sebastião Salgado. GENESIS. Tachen Books

Having come across this story while travelling in Bali, then visiting the photography exhibition at the natural history museum when we returned I am so happy to be able to share this wonderful collection of photos with our customers by stocking the book at Namaste. Tachen are famous for their quality coffee table books and Genesis is a particularly special, landmark Tachen publication that celebrates the beauty of nature and encourages us all to serve as its guardians.

The Genesis Project is the result of one mans epic eight-year expedition to rediscover the mountains, deserts and oceans, the animals and peoples that have so far escaped the imprint of modern society – the land and life of a still pristine planet. The project, along with the Salgados’ Instituto Terra, are dedicated to showing the beauty of our planet, reversing the damage done to it, and preserving it for the future.

The books are a stunning collection of exquisitely reproduced large-format images from the GENESIS project. They come with a booklet and key detailing the location and story behind each photograph – an awe inspiring gift for just £44.99.  You can get lost for hours in the photographs….they will literally take you to another world!

On over 30 trips – traveled on foot, by light aircraft, seagoing vessels, canoes, and even balloons, through extreme heat and cold and in sometimes dangerous conditions – Salgado created a collection of images showing us nature, animals, and indigenous peoples in such shocking and intense beauty it takes our breath away. In GENESIS, one discovers the animal species and volcanoes of the Galápagos; the penguins, sea lions, cormorants, and whales of the South Atlantic; Brazilian alligators and jaguars; and African lions, leopards, and elephants. Through Salgado’s lens, we travel over icebergs in the Antarctic, the volcanoes of Central Africa, the ravines of the Grand Canyon, and the glaciers of Alaska. We encounter the Stone Age Korowai people of West Papua, nomadic Dinka cattle farmers in Sudan, Nenets and their reindeer herds in the Arctic Circle, as well as the Mentawai jungle communities on islands west of Sumatra.


“My love letter to the planet.”

— Sebastião Salgado

The Instituto Terra was founded in 1998 at Aimorés in the state of Minas Gerais on land belonging to the Salgado family. Once a cattle ranch carved out of the Atlantic Forest, this property had become arid and infertile, with dried-up rivers and little more than shrubbery for vegetation. Lélia and Sebastião Salgado decided to reforest the entire area with the species that once flourished there. Since then, an almost miracu- lous transformation has taken place.

genesis before

Through a scientifically planned program of raising and planting saplings, the slopes and lowland of the Instituto Terra are now covered with two million new trees of more than 300 different species, among them the Pau-Brasil tree (which gave Brazil its name), the Jacarandá Caviuna (or Brazilian Rosewood), and the Jatobá (also known as the Brazilian Cherry).

This reforestation has resulted in the rebirth of a tropical microclimate, bringing increased rainfall and replenishing parched streams and creeks with water. The new trees have also secured the topsoil so that the rain from heavy storms is now absorbed, eliminating erosion and sharply reducing the danger of flash floods.

genesis after

With its new covering of forest offering both food and protection to a wide variety of fauna, the Instituto Terra’s land has attracted over 170 species of birds back to the area, including native species of tawny owls, thrushes, finches, and parrots. Scores of animals, some listed as endangered, and many of which had not been seen in decades, have also returned, among them capybaras, anteaters, monkeys, raccoons, ocelots,and pumas. Snakes, beetles, spiders, ants, and other insects complete the new ecosystem.

The Instituto Terra has also embarked on an ambitious educational campaign, involving school- children, teachers, leaders of cooperative farms, and local environmental officials. Teams of young volunteers frequently participate in planting young trees, while the institute’s outreach program provides advice to farmers, miners, and other people working in the forest region.

In fact, the Instituto Terra has become a model for what can be done to rescue a deteriorated landscape: Its initiative is exemplary in the fight against large- scale deforestation in many regions across the world, from the Amazon to Indonesia.

“It is possible to turn back the clock and recover what seemed lost forever.”

—Lélia Wanick Salgado

Be fruitful, and replenish the earth

Sebastião Salgado introduces his journey to the untouched corners of the planet, read more of his own words here….

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