Dispute between Serra Pelada gold mine workers and military police by Sebastiao Salgado (1986)

The photograph titled “Dispute between Serra Pelada gold mine workers and military police” was captured by artist Sebastiao Salgado in Brazil in 1986. The black-and-white image portrays a tense standoff between workers from the Serra Pelada gold mine and military police officers.

In the photograph, a gold mine worker, stripped to the waist and wearing shorts, is seen confronting a uniformed military police officer, who is pointing a wooden stick directly at the worker’s chest. The worker seems to be gesturing or arguing with the officer, who maintains a firm stance. Behind them, a crowd of other mine workers watches the confrontation, some looking anxious or expectant of what might unfold. The workers are mostly shirtless, reflecting a sense of the harsh and gritty conditions found in Serra Pelada during the gold rush era. The setting is rugged, with rocky terrain underfoot, and the overall mood of the photograph is one of tension and potential conflict. The photograph captures a moment that highlights the struggles and confrontations between the mining community and authority figures during that period.

Other Photographs from Sebastiao Salgado

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