San Juan, Chimborazo by Sebastiao Salgado (1979)

The photograph titled “San Juan, Chimborazo,” taken by Sebastiao Salgado in Ecuador in 1979, captures a compelling scene in black and white. It depicts an individual, seemingly a local inhabitant, standing against an earthen backdrop. The person is turned away from the camera, with a large bowl-shaped object balanced on their back, secured by a strap that runs across their forehead for support. They are dressed in a cloak-like garment that covers most of their body, and their barefoot, with their right foot slightly lifted, suggesting a moment of pause or movement. The individual also dons a hat, contributing to the traditional and rural aesthetic of the scene. The composition’s simplicity and textural contrasts, along with the capture of seemingly everyday life in this region, communicate a narrative beyond the stillness of the image, reflecting the culture and living conditions of the time and place where it was taken.

Other Photographs from Sebastiao Salgado

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