Capturing Vanishing Worlds

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Jimmy Nelson traverses the globe to photograph obscure tribes.

Jimmy Nelson’s job is no walk in the park: constantly gallivanting in jungle thickets around the world, he leaves his family of four in Amsterdam, where they reside, and spends up to nine months every year in search of forlorn cultures.

He photographs them in ways that highlight their sheer power, pride and beauty. “These people stand next to beaches we spend most of our lives saving up to go to. We go to the gym every other day to get to their level of fitness. These people really have all we have lost,” says Nelson when he was in Penang last July for Before They Pass Away, his powerful photo exhibit – part of the George Town Festival – of the world’s last remaining indigenous cultures. Before They Pass Away is also the title of his book.


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