Between 2010 & 2013 Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to document some of the most fantastic indigenous cultures left on the planet today. He had come to realize that from a life spent travelling that his camera was the perfect tool for making contact and building intimate and unique friendships. Relationships with hither to unknown and understood communities in some of the farther most reaches of the planet. He wanted to discover how the rest of the world is threatening to change their way of life forever. But most importantly, he wanted to create an ambitious aesthetic photographic document that would stand the test of time.
Jimmy’s projects title ‘Before they pass away’ is intended to be a controversial catalyst for further discussion as to the authenticity of these fragile disappearing cultures. Nelson is not a studied scientist but rather an self trained and visual anthropologist who through curiosity is trying to find answers. He wants to tell stories that leave room for the recipient’s questions. With the project Nelson tried next to creating a photographic document, creating an awareness for the fascinating variety of the culture- and history charged symbols of the people, reflecting their rites, customs and traditions, that had hitherto has not existed.
All images © Jimmy Nelson