Sight of Grace
Brazil 1980 | Ethiopia 1984 | Mali 1985 | Korem 1984 | Brazil 1983
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  www.ollusa.edu/academic/cas/RLSTCRS/PicturesRight.html                                          

This picture, to me, is rather ambiguous.  The caption, Valley Of the Dawn, only gives the location.  It doesn't give an explanation of what is going on, which leaves the photograph open to your own interpretation.  

I liked this photograph because of the contrast between light and darkness.  The statue of Jesus is surrounded in light, which I believe is an appropriate way for him to be pictured.  Light has always been associated with goodness, and also a kind of heavenliness, which basically is the description of Jesus.  The woman is laying in the darker area of the picture, which I see as a representation of her sadness.

In this photograph, I see a woman who is in despair, and perhaps even exhaustion.  Why?  I am not certain.  I just see it in the expression on her face.  Maybe those badges she is wearing across her chest are army badges.  Perhaps they belong to her husband or son who was just killed in battle.  The statue of Jesus seems to be looking over her, a benevolent power willing to give her the help or comfort that she is praying for.

Many people turn to god in times of trouble or stress, or when they're at the end of their proverbial rope and have nowhere else to turn.  They feel god has power over everything, and can help them solve their problems.  This has not been my own experience with religion.  I went to Catholic school for twelve years, and although I received a great education, I couldn't wait to get away from the religious doctrine in college.  But I also know some very religious people, and faith in their religion seems to help them through tough times. 

This photo was taken in Brazil, and most people in that country are Roman Catholics.  There is no official state religion though, so other faiths are also practiced.  Protestantism is also popular with Brazilians, as is syncretism.  Syncretism is the combination of different beliefs or practices. 

The people of Brazil have been economically and politically troubled for a long time.  I think when this happens in a country, the citizens need something to turn to give them hope.  For Brazilians, I think their hope comes from belief in divine intervention, which is a common thread in most religions practiced there.

 http://magnificat.qc.ca/english/im_ang.htm