Sight of Grace
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"Vale do Amenhecer" (Valley of the Dawn)

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Art and Humanity

This photo, entitled "Vale do Amenhecer" (Valley of the Dawn), was taken in Brazil in 1980.  The image can be found on page 107 of An Uncertain Grace.

We--Lindsey McKay, Beth Forristell, and Megan Finnerty--chose this photo because it held meaning for all of us.  Foremost, we liked the way it looked, with the light shining through the transparent curtains.  The subject (the woman) is mysterious; the story being told is not obvious at first or even second glance, but it is meaningful to the audience because religion is a universal experience, a language without words.  While it is not as haunting as many of Salgado's other photos, it moves the reader by evoking deep-rooted feelings that we all possess.  The symbolism of Jesus standing over the old woman holds religious and cultural implications.

The first subpage, "History," briefly covers Brazil's background in a religious context while also emphasizing the nation's land distribution problem.  The next, "Religion," explores the role of Roman Catholicism in Brazil and its author, Megan, offers her own insight.  In the third, "Art and Humanity," Beth expresses her interpretation of the photo through a poem and briefly examines the role of art in the development of civilization.