Photography: Children's portraits by Sebastiao Salgado

28th February 2003 at 00:00

Sebastiao Salgado has a problem wherever he goes to document the world's humanitarian problems: children come running and yelping with delight, demanding he take their picture.

At first, he turned it into a game, asking them to line up for their portrait so that afterwards he could be left in peace to depict his chosen subjects.

But after years of playing, he realised he had a remarkable collection on his hands, published now as The Children (Aperture, pound;30).

"I was struck by their intensity," he says. "Children who had been laughing and shouting only seconds before had become individuals who, through their clothes, their poses, their expressions and their eyes, were telling their stories with disarming frankness and dignity."

Many of the children in these black and white pictures are in refugee camps, displaced by a familiar roll call of conflicts - Rwanda, Bosnia, Palestine, to name a few. Others are from oppressed or marginalised tribes such as the Yanonami in Brazil.

Salgado, twice named international photographer of the year, is one of the best, and his pictures should not be missed.

Read the full review in this week's TES Friday Magazine

Children's Portraits is part of Exodus: photographs by Sebastiao Salgado at the Barbican Gallery until June 1.



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