Capitalizing on the Indigenous | Post-Colonialist Gazes, Determinist Views and Simulacra that Sell Well

Read the full article here | THE GUARDIAN

The coffee-table portraits, which sell for up to £45,000 each, are visually stunning, unashamedly glamorous and have been seen in many of the world’s glossy magazines and leading galleries. But this week British photographer Jimmy Nelson’s stylised pictures of African, Asian and Amazon Indian groups have been roundly dismissed as “wrong” by community leaders as well as being called “false and damaging” by the world’s leading defender of indigenous peoples.

According to Stephen Corry, director of Survival International, the pictures, many of which are collected in Before They Pass Away, a book selling for £100 or over £5,000 in a limited edition, are more akin to high fashion than reality. He says in an essay in online US magazine Truthout that Nelson’s “claim that it’s the ‘irreplaceable ethnographic record of a fast disappearing world’ is wrong – from pretty much every angle”.

PASSAWAY

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