Jimmy Nelson is a British photographer who is known for his portraits of tribal and indigenous peoples. In order to reach these tribes, he travels to the farthest extremes on the planet, places like Siberia and Papua New Guinea. Very often, these communities are so remote that they have never seen a white person before and they’ve never been visited by car.
Read the full article on The Outdoor Journal.
Nelson’s lens is a small window into the world of indigenous tribes who could disappear tomorrow if our globalized society continues in its failure to appreciate them. And with them lies invaluable knowledge of how humanity can exist on this planet in a sustainable way. Nelson’s photos are more than pictures, they are heritage. In seeking out indigenous cultures in the only remote landscapes that are left for them to exist, Nelson’s innate curiosity for “the other'' holds up a mirror for the rest of us human beings living in the modern world.
If you are not familiar with Nelson’s work, click through to the article to see a sample of his photography. You can also find a link to Nelson’s latest book Homage to Humanity, which has over 500 pages of photos. I can’t think of a more stunning and thought-provoking coffee table book.
Indigenous tribes are the guardians of lands that are rich in minerals and preservers of ancient knowledge of how humans can live in alignment with the Earth. Although these peoples are often disrespected and marginalized in today’s world, the Jimmy Nelson Foundation seeks to reeducate our youth to see the power and wisdom of the indigenous communities.
Jimmy’s process of photographing the other is also a deeply personal journey, as it has helped him heal from childhood trauma. And here’s a warning that we do discuss sexual abuse in this conversation.
In this episode of The Outdoor Journal Podcast, Nelson discusses the source of his unlimited fascination with indigenous tribes, how he ingratiates himself into strange, yet ancient cultures, and how his obsession with photography reveals profound insights about himself.