Sal­gado on cof­fee

Se­bastião Sal­gado’s lat­est cof­fee-ta­ble book has just been pub­lished in English, and it’s all about cof­fee!

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“It is per­haps an odd thing for a Brazil­ian to ad­mit, but I never drink cof­fee,” con­fesses Se­bastião Sal­gado. “And yet it runs through my veins.” The famed pho­to­jour­nal­ist’s lat­est project chron­i­cles the lives and the lo­cales of cof­fee pro­duc­ers around the world. This lat­est port­fo­lio is par­tic­u­larly per­sonal to Sal­gado, and not just be­cause his home­land is the world’s big­gest pro­ducer of cof­fee.

“My ear­li­est mem­o­ries are linked to cof­fee. As the only boy among eight chil­dren, I would ac­com­pany my fa­ther in his truck to col­lect cof­fee beans for milling, and would fre­quently stay over with young friends on cof­fee farms in the re­gion,” Sal­gado rem­i­nisces in his in­tro­duc­tion to the 320-page book, The Scent of a Dream. “With­out notic­ing, I came to understand the nu­mer­ous steps that turn a cof­fee cherry into a cup of cof­fee.”

But even when he be­came an econ­o­mist and moved to Europe, Sal­gado still couldn’t kick the cof­fee con­nec­tion, writ­ing his doc­toral the­sis on the sup­ply and de­mand for the com­mod­ity in Paris, and then tak­ing a job with the In­ter­na­tional Cof­fee Or­ga­ni­za­tion in Lon­don. It was here that he be­gan to take pic­tures on his trav­els of the world’s cof­fee grow­ers with a cam­era

Cof­fee pick­ers at Finca La Hilda on the slopes of the Poás Vol­cano, San José re­gion, Costa Rica, 2013

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