Sebastiao Salgado, Rwandan refugee camp with mother and child, Tanzania, 1994, black and white photograph.
Brazilian photographer “Sebastião Salgado first went to Rwanda in 1971. He was a young economist at the time, helping local communities develop their own tea and coffee plantations. He returned in 1991, by then a celebrated photographer, and was astonished by the transformation. “Oh boy! The tea plantation was the most beautiful plantation in the world.” Rwanda was beginning to enjoy its wealth, and the plantation workers were learning how to work the land for their own benefit.
In 1994 and 1995, Salgado returned again. This time he was horrified by the transformation. Civil war had ravaged the land, and Hutu extremists had killed 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu moderates in a three-month genocide. The plantation had been burnt down, and families who’d worked on it had moved to Congo or been hacked to death. He saw the most terrible carnage and desolation. The fertile, prospering nation had become a sterile wasteland, a cemetery more than a country.” (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2004/dec/04/weekendmagazine.sebastiaosalgado)
“Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series depicts the migration of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North during and after World War I. The Great Migration was the largest movement of black people since slavery removed Africans to the Americas. Lawrence’s sixty panels portray the story of people seeking a better life. The captions for each image combine history, sociology, and poetry in a visual narrative.” (https://whitney.org/www/jacoblawrence/art/migration_series.html)
Explore a selection of five panels below.
Panel No. 1. During World War I there was a great migration north by southern African Americans.
Panel No. 10. They were very poor.
Panel No. 17. Tenant farmers received harsh treatment at the hands of planters.
Panel No. 49. They found discrimination in the North. It was a different kind.
Panel No. 52. One of the most violent race riots occurred in East St. Louis.
Click here to view the whole Migration Series.
“The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangzi River in China is the world’s largest generator of hydro-electric power. When it was built, it displaced more than one million people and submerged more than 1,200 towns. In his painting, Hotbed, contemporary Chinese artist Liu Xiaodong offers a response to the dam project.” (https://nasher.duke.edu/large-files/Nasher-AR-Final_2010.pdf)
Here is a picture of the whole painting, which is composed of five panels. Because the image is too intricate to apprehend in such a small reproduction, please also refer to the detailed views of three individual panels below. As well, you may find the “contextual images” at the end of this page illuminating.
Liu Xiaodong, Hotbed, 2005, oil on canvas, 102 3/8 x 393 5/8 inches, in five panels.
Panel 2: Standing men
Panel 3: Seating men (close-up)
Panel 5: Crouching man
THE THREE GORGES DAM
LIU XIADONG AT WORK
HOTBED ON DISPLAY AT A GALLERY IN THE US