Modem Europe Fall-Winter 2016-2017
Cover by Jimmy Nelson
For this MODEM Europe january 2016 edition, we gave “carte blanche” to JIMMY NELSON for the project ‘BEFORE THEY PASS AWAY’ A tribute to tribal cultures around the world by the photographer, who has captured the smallest details of customs, artifacts and portraits of people who are the keepers of a culture they were hoping to pass on to future generations.
Jimmy Nelson (Sevenoaks, Kent, 1967) started working as a photographer in 1987. Having spent 10 years at a Jesuit boarding school in the North of England, he set off on his own to traverse the length of Tibet on foot. The journey lasted a year and upon his return his unique visual diary, featuring revealing images of a previously inaccessible Tibet, was published to wide international acclaim.
From 1997 onwards Jimmy began to successfully undertake commercial advertising assignments for many of the world’s leading brands. At the same time he started accumulating images of remote and unique cultures photographed with a traditional 50-year-old plate camera.
Between 2010 & 2013 Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to document some of the most fantastic indigenous cultures left on the planet today. He had come to realize that from a life spent travelling that his camera was the perfect tool for making contact and building intimate and unique friendships. Relationships with hitherto unknown and understood communities in some of the farther most reaches of the planet. He wanted to discover how the rest of the world is threatening to change their way of life forever. But most importantly, he wanted to create an ambitious aesthetic photographic document that would stand the test of time.
Jimmy’s projects title ‘Before they pass away’ is intended to be a controversial catalyst for further discussion as to the authenticity of these fragile disappearing cultures. Jimmy Nelson is not a studied scientist but rather an self trained and visual anthropologist who through curiosity is trying to find answers. He wants to tell stories that leave room for the recipient’s questions. With the project Jimmy Nelson tried next to creating a photographic document, creating an awareness for the fascinating variety of the cultureand history charged symbols of the people, reflecting their rites, customs and traditions
More information on www.beforethey.com