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Sahel: The End of the Road (Series in Contemporary Photography) Hardcover – October 11, 2004


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Sahel: The End of the Road (Series in Contemporary Photography) + Sebastião Salgado: GENESIS + Sebastião Salgado: Workers: An Archaeology of the Industrial Age
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Product Details

  • Series: Series in Contemporary Photography (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First edition (October 11, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520241703
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520241701
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.6 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Shot over 15 months during 1984–1985 as a horrific famine raged across sub-Saharan Africa, Salgado's documentation of the Sahel region (including parts of Chad, Ethiopia, Mali and the Sudan) was one of his first projects as he transitioned from working economist to photographer. More than 50 prizes and many books and exhibitions later, this edition brings that early work into the States in book form for the first time. Each of the 80 or so b&w shots is given a full page with generous borders; that photos of people near death are beautifully composed and printed make for just two of their paradoxes. Orville Schell argues in his foreword that "[Salgado's] strategy is to pull us into the subject with visual seduction, and then once we are enthralled—or shocked, as the case may be—to educate us about the issue at hand." With the genocide and displacement of black Africans by their Arab northern compatriots in the Sudan currently leading to serious food shortages, Salgado's book remains at the very least a relevant call to action. Portions of the profits of the book will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.
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Review

"While art should speak for itself, Salgado's photography is first and foremost a documentary way of bearing witness to something else. His work is both an anguished cri de coeur and, although he professes not to be religions, something of a votive offering presented in the hopes of getting the attention of a world that sometimes seems to have fallen asleep." - Orville Schell, from the Foreword"

Customer Reviews

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See all 11 customer reviews
I suspect that some may criticize Salgado's work for being too good.
Guy P. Harrison
This is a 'must have' book for every documentary photography enthusiast, a piece in the history of photography.
DOTAN GOOR-ARYE
Sebastiao Salgado is a master at using value to capture shape and texture in his subject matter.
T. Monson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Guy P. Harrison on August 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In 1984-1985 approximately one million people died as a result of a severe famine in the Sahel region of Africa (includes parts of Chad, Ethiopia, Mali, and Sudan). Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado spent many months shooting the disaster and "Sahel: The End of the Road" is the remarkable result of his efforts. The photos, all in black and white, are art in the most meaningful sense. Salgado's images grab you by the throat and pull you into the dizzying mix of horror, pain, love, hope and struggle that exists within a crisis like this.

I suspect that some may criticize Salgado's work for being too good. His photographs are so haunting and dramatic that they arguably could be seen as exploitive. His subjects, starving people, could be mistaken for actors on Hollywood sets precisely designed to drag emotions from viewers. If Stephen Spielberg did a famine movie to match "Schindler's List", for example, it probably would look a lot like Salgado's book. I imagine critics thinking that famine is not fiction; it's real and it's ugly. But Salgado's images are not staged. This obviously was life, death and the in-between as it occurred before his eyes. His choice of black and white film and his talent for seeing, framing and capturing spectacular shots are hardly crimes. He is a great photographer and he did what he does. One cannot blame him for preferring to apply his talents out on the jagged edge of human misery rather than some Paris runway or football match. "Sahel: The End of the Road" is not poverty pornography. I am very sensitive to the issue of extreme poverty yet I did not close this book with a feeling of disgust, rather I felt more aware, more human and more determined to care.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DOTAN GOOR-ARYE on March 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are only a handful of photographic projects that really changed the way the world reacts.
In the mid-eighties of the 20th century a disaster stroke Africa - drought and famine killed hundreds of thousands of people.
But the world stood silent, mostly due to unawareness of the disaster.

Then came Salgado.
After more than a year in the Sahel region, Sebastiao Salgado returned with shocking images the world (apparently) was not ready to see at that time.
Still, he eventually managed to publish this book in Europe, a book which became one of the most provocative and controversial pieces of documentary work at the time.
Salgado, in this book, presents slow decay and death, children mortality and infants starvation.
Yet, the pictures are artistically beautiful and almost touches divine perfection in a way.
At various occasions, Salgado was accused in inhumanity for his ability to take these pictures, the way he perfectly composed a frame of a dying young woman while her breath slowly evaporate from her being.

While looking at these images, one can easily relate to this argument: "How can he take such pictures and not helping these poor people?"
Well, think again. The awareness of the western world to humanitarian disasters as such is there thanks to Salgado and his followers.

This is a 'must have' book for every documentary photography enthusiast, a piece in the history of photography.

Dotan Goor-Arye
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By T. Monson on September 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
One of the most potent books on the human experience. I got a lump in my throat while viewing this collection of prints. Sebastiao Salgado is a master at using value to capture shape and texture in his subject matter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TheSoapmaker on March 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Sebastiao Salgado is pure genius when it comes to juxtaposing great subject matter with god-awesome composition. This book is definitely worth the price for those of you who really want to learn good photography. Every time I flip through the book, I learn something new. Great buy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GWG on June 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is not a light-hearted coffee table book but one which combines absolutely stunning images with thought-provoking messages. Could not recommend it more - I keep coming back to it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tassos Venetsanopoulos on October 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The book "Sahel: The End of the Road" is a rare example that shows how can a photojournalist produce excellent fine art pictures!!!
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