Serra Pelada Gold Mine

Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

 

In the open-top mine at Serra Pelada, flat terraces are formed by the cooperative's bulldozers as routes along which the soil is carried to a top dumping area.

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

 

Carriers must keep their hands as free as possible to help balance on dangerous ladders in the struggle from the mine bottom to the top.

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

 

The mines are controlled by state civil guardsmen, known to make lower wages than carriers; often rivalries occur. Uniformed guards are proud of their status but don't want to be considered lower than mine workers because of their wages. Sometimes fighting and killings result: a guard who had shot a worker was stoned to death by carriers during such a battle.

 

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

 

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

Serra Pelada Gold Mine

State of Pará, Brazil, 1986

Gelatin Silver print

The Gold Mine Portfolio

Sebastião Salgado

Limited Edition

January 15, 2016

Sebastião Salgado

THE GOLD MINE PORTFOLIO

Limited Edition Portfolio

 

Swept along by the winds that carry the hint of fortune, men come to the gold mine of Serra Pelada. No one is taken there by force, yet once they arrive, all become slaves of the dream of gold and the need to stay alive. Once inside, it becomes impossible to leave. 

 

Every time a section finds gold, the men who carry up the loads of mud and earth have, by law, the right to pick one of the sacks they brought out. And inside they may find fortune and freedom. So their lives are a delirious sequence of climbs down into the vast hold and climbs out to the edge of the mine, bearing a sack of earth and the hope of gold.

 

Anyone arriving there for the first time confirms an extraordinary and tormented view of the human animal : 50,000 men sculpted by mud and dreams. All that can be heard are murmurs and silent shouts, the scrape of shovels driven by human hands, not a hint of a machine. It is the sound of gold echoing through the soul of its pursuers.

 

- Sebastião Salgado, 1992

 

 

 

 

20 Gelatin Silver prints. Signed and numbered. The group is presented in a cloth bound case. Each print measuring 16 x 20 inches. A total of 16 Editions.

 

For more information contact info@peterfetterman.com