Romanticism and Activism – a Comparison of the Work of Fay Godwin and Sebastiao Salgado
3546 WordsJun 13, 201215 Pages
Romanticism and Activism – A comparison of the work of Fay Godwin and Sebastiao Salgado, to ascertain the degree to which they are romantics and how their images may move the viewer to action.
This essay will contrast how romanticism has influenced the photographic practice of Fay Godwin and Sebastiao Salgado, and how this approach in turn can start to affect environmental activism. The framework will specifically be within a genre defined by photographer David Ward, as ‘Romantic landscape’, (Ward, 2004, p.104). See plate 1.
Ward describes his approach as seeking to
‘evoking emotional responses from anonymous places’ (Ward, 2012)
Highlighting a romantic approach of connecting with emotions.
If an individual has an…show more content…
He was one of the driving forces in creating Yosemite National Park. See Plate 4
Adams on hearing of Alfred Stieglitz’s death said
“The agony of humanity was in direct relation to humanity’s separation from the truth and from nature.”
This gives an indication of Adams view on the need for humans to be in harmony with nature, a point reiterated by most ‘romantic’ artists.
Godwin herself said in her final interview
“I have a simple rule and that is to spend as much time in the location as possible.” (Godwin, 2004)
This essay focuses on the work of Sebastiao Salgado and Fay Godwin.
“She often used her photographs to draw attention to harm being done to the environment. This resulted in a critique called Our Forbidden Land, which won the first Green Book of the Year Award.” (Marinko, 2005)
“My project Genesis is designed to show how the unspoiled world must be preserved and, where possible expanded.” (Salgado, 2012, p.5)
These statements show that Godwin’s and Salgado’s work fits within an activist arena.
A brief overview of the photographers careers is given as an introduction to the analysis.
‘Salgado was born on 8th February 1944 in Amores, in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. Since beginning his career as a professional photographer in 1973 in Paris, he has travelled through over 100 countries for his personal