Sebastião Salgado: Serra Pelada on view in São Paulo, Brazil

Created in 1986 as part of Sebastião Salgado’s vast photo-essay entitled Workers: An Archaeology of the Industrial Age, Serra Pelada is one of the artist’s most arresting series, and captures the sheer scale of appalling conditions at the controversial Serra Pelada gold mine in Brazil. A travelling exhibition of works taken from the series is currently on view at Sesc Avenida Paulista, São Paulo. The exhibition, titled Gold, will travel in September to Fotografiska in Stockholm and later in the year to CEART, Madrid. In 2020, the exhibition will culminate at the Fotografiska Tallinn in Estonia.

During the early 1980s, hoards of prospectors flocked to the Serra Pelada site, which at its peak was said to be not only the largest open-air gold mine in the world, but also the most violent. Salgado was finally authorized to visit Serra Pelada in September 1986, having been blocked for six years by Brazil’s military authorities. He went on to immortalise scenes of medieval horror as tens of thousands of men worked in appalling surroundings in the hope of striking gold.

Earlier this year, Salgado revisited the body of work for a new signed and limited Collector’s Edition, published by Taschen. This is the first monograph gathering the astonishing portfolio in full, featuring previously unpublished images. Curated by Lélia Wanick Salgado, this new edition is similarly titled Gold, and is available as part of edition of 1,000 copies.

Find out more here.

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