One of the main reasons why I travel to the places I do is to experience different cultures, beliefs and ways of living. With globalisation I’m sure it won’t be too long before we’re a homogeneous mass living in roughly the same way and consuming roughly the same things. With this in mind, I was delighted to discover a project and associated book by Jimmy Nelson called “Before They Pass Away”.
In Jimmy’s words:
In 2009, I planned to become a guest of 31 secluded and visually unique tribes. I wanted to witness their time-honoured traditions, join in their rituals and discover how the rest of the world is threatening to change their way of life forever. Most importantly, I wanted to create an ambitious aesthetic photographic document that would stand the test of time. A body of work that would be an irreplaceable ethnographic record of a fast disappearing world.
He took with him an ancient large format camera and after several years roaming the world has produced an amazing set of portraits highlighting the ethnic diversity that still clings to old traditions today. The journey documented include:
- Indonesia & Papua New Guinea
- Kenya & Tanzania
- New Zealand
- Argentina & Ecuador
There’s a huge book available, but you can also visit the website – beforethey.com – to check out his stunning photography and explore information on the tribes and groups included. I highly recommend it as the images are beautiful.