Amazon Indian protests outside Jimmy Nelson photo exhibition in London

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Nixiwaka Yawanawá protested against the 'outrageous' exhibition of Jimmy Nelson's work at London's Atlas Gallery today, wearing his ceremonial headdress.

Nixiwaka Yawanawá protested against the ‘outrageous’ exhibition of Jimmy Nelson’s work at London’s Atlas Gallery today, wearing his ceremonial headdress.
© Sophie Pinchetti/Survival

An Amazon Indian protested outside the exhibition of controversial photographer Jimmy Nelson’s work “Before They Pass Away” at London’s Atlas Gallery today.

Nelson’s work has been attacked by indigenous peoples around the world, as well as Survival International – the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights – for portraying afalse and damaging picture of tribal peoples.

Nixiwaka Yawanawá from Acre state in Brazil handed a letter to the gallery and said, “As a tribal person I feel offended by Jimmy Nelson’s work ’Before They Pass Away’. It’s outrageous! We are not passing away but struggling to survive. Industrialized society is trying to destroy us in the name of ‘progress’, but we will keep defending our lands and contributing to the protection of the planet.”

Read the letter to London’s Atlas Gallery (pdf, 10MB)

Famed photographer Jimmy Nelson's work 'Before They Pass Away' has been attacked by tribal peoples around the world.

Famed photographer Jimmy Nelson’s work ‘Before They Pass Away’ has been attacked by tribal peoples around the world.
© Jimmy Nelson/teNeues

While Nelson claims his work is “ethnographic fact”, Survival Director Stephen Corrydenounces it as a photographer’s fantasy which bears little relationship either to how the people pictured look now, or how they ever appeared. Nelson’s subjects are supposed to be “passing away”, but no mention is made of the genocidal violence they are being subjected to. …Read More

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