BLINK and they’re gone
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Worldwide call to preserve global cultural heritage by portraying the world’s last indigenous cultures in all their glory
Planet Earth is at risk of losing the cultural identities of the many of the world’s most unique indigenous people. This is a global issue and a result of many escalating factors, including industrialization, globalization and cultural saturation led by the increasing predominance of the internet. Together this sees a homogenization and westernization of the originally diverse cultures of this world.
Jimmy Nelson has made it his life’s work to attain understanding and respect for the world’s indigenous cultures through his photography. He presents these cultures in an aspirational and stylized way – which has previously caused some controversy amongst anthropologists and purists. However, Nelson believes that the beautification of indigenous cultures is an important message for greater humanity – and one that is needed now more than ever. Today, in a bid to help safeguard a part of what Nelson sees as the very essence of all of our humanity, he is taking a stand by issuing a worldwide caution.
Our world is changing rapidly. Through this inevitable process, the world’s cultural colours are fading and extraordinary knowledge is on the brink of being lost. Therefore, it is important to encourage people to find pride in their cultural heritage and celebrate diversity, for now and generations to come.
UNESCO director Irina Bokova calls cultural diversity: “the promise of renewal and dynamism, and an engine of innovation and development.” In the world of today, original and traditional knowledge of indigenous societies can contribute to the planet’s modern vision on technology, science, medicine and provide outstanding examples of sustainable living.
Therefore we enable photography projects that promote positive visibility and appreciation for indigenous cultures. In this way, we can show the world the great value that cultural heritage holds.