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The new global language is not Chinese, English or Spanish. Jimmy Nelson believes it is the visual language of photography. His travels to visit native peoples within small remote communities have become addictive. The bright, colorful, ecstatic feeling that comes through in the resulting photographs is in sharp contrast to a world that sometimes feels emotionally beige. They demonstrate the unique beauty of all the varieties of human life for the viewers and the subjects alike. It is the story he wants to tell and share with the world.
The parallels between the biodiversity of the planet and its cultural diversity are very clear. Our ethnodiversity, our ‘ethnosphere’, must also be protected. It is the sum total and manifestation of all the thoughts, dreams, myths, ideas, inspirations and intuitions produced by the human imagination since the dawn of consciousness. It is all that we have created through our endeavors as a wildly inquisitive and astonishingly adaptive species. In short, it is humanity’s greatest legacy.
We all come from the same source and together we are going through an amazing period of cultural evolution. Peoples with unique cultural identities need to be truly and effectively respected, cherished and supported, for them and for all of us If we are to do so we will all need some of the humility, vulnerability, kindness, generosity and good humor that comes through in these arresting images.