Amazônia: Photography by Sebastião Salgado Will Make its North American Premiere at the California Science Center on October 21, 2022

Press Release / September 27, 2022

LOS ANGELES, Ca. - Amazônia: Photography by Sebastião Salgado, designed by Lélia Wanick Salgado, will make its North American debut at the California Science Center on October 21, 2022. This multimedia experience, presented with generous support from the Annenberg Foundation, includes photography, video, and an enveloping soundscape of the forest and original music composed by an acclaimed French musician, Jean Michel Jarre. Amazônia explores the interconnected lives of the people and forest of the Amazon and their survival in the face of the rapidly encroaching outside world.  

The 13,000 sq. ft. exhibition invites guests to explore more than 200 large-scale suspended photographs, including stunning portraits of indigenous leaders and their communities and dramatic landscapes taken over seven years of expeditions deep into the forest, captured by the world-renowned Brazilian photographer. Salgado’s breathtaking black-and-white photographs draw viewers into one of the planet’s most biodiverse regions.

“This extraordinary exhibition will enrich our understanding of life in the Amazon, the ongoing threats from the outside world, and the vital role of sustainable development and conservation to ensure its survival for generations to come,” said California Science Center President and CEO, Jeffrey Rudolph. “We are honored to share Amazônia with our guests, and are immensely grateful for both the vision and generosity of Wallis Annenberg and the Annenberg Foundation for bringing this opportunity to our visitors.”

“When I first saw the astounding work that makes up Amazônia, I felt a deep connection to parts of the Earth that my own eye had never seen,” said President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation, Wallis Annenberg. “I also felt a sense of outrage about the deforestation and the climate disruption ravaging the Amazon. Still, the photographs depicting the grit and strength of the indigenous peoples are awe inspiring. Amazônia is great art and great teaching and I so hope every Angeleno sees this groundbreaking exhibit.”

Two projected video montages and interviews with indigenous leaders highlight the contemporary issues facing the guardians of the planet’s largest rainforest and reveal how the lives of indigenous people are interconnected with their forest environment, its prosperity, and its fate.

“My wish, with all my heart, with all my energy, with all the passion I possess, is that in 50 years’ time this exhibition will not resemble a record of a lost world,” says Sebastião Salgado. “Amazônia must live on – and, always at its heart, its indigenous inhabitants.”

The bilingual exhibit, presented in both English and Spanish, is organized in six different forest sections to explore:

  • Aerial Views – The exhibition provides visitors with a look at sweeping aerial shots of immense waterfalls and stormy skies.
  • Flying Rivers – The Amazon forest is the only place on Earth where aerial humidity does not depend on evaporation of the oceans. Instead, every tree sucks groundwater through its roots, and the moisture that reaches the leaves evaporates as vapor, projecting hundreds of liters of water per day into the atmosphere and creating “flying rivers,” revealed in this exhibition, which carry even more water than the Amazon River itself.

  • Tropical Rains – Clouds, captured dramatically by Salgado, are an intrinsic part of the Amazon, offering an ever-changing spectacle.
  • Mountains – Brazil also boasts mountains, including the Pacaraima and Imeri mountain ranges, showcased in the exhibition, which feature peaks shrouded in mist and rainforest-covered lower slopes.
  • Anavilhanas – In the vastness of the Amazon rainforest lies the world’s largest fresh water archipelago, known as the Anavilhanas. Between 350 and 400 islands of every imaginable shape rise out of the dark waters.
  • Ocas In the center of the exhibition guests find three enclosures representing indigenous homes called “ocas.” Together the ocas display 100 photographs of the people of the Amazon, along with video interviews of indigenous leaders.

Sebastião Salgado is a documentary photographer, born in Brazil and renowned worldwide for the power and emotion of his photo journalism and his dedication to environmental education, social justice, and conservation. Having studied economics, Salgado began his career as a professional photographer in 1973 in Paris, working with the photo agencies until 1994 when he and Lélia Wanick Salgado formed Amazonas Images, an agency created exclusively for his work, today their studio. Throughout this time, the Salgados had also been working to restore a portion of the Atlantic Forest, damaged over time through deforestation and degradation. In 1998, they transformed the land into a nature reserve and formed Instituto Terra, a foundation dedicated to its reforestation and conservation, along with related programs in environmental training and education. Over his long and illustrious career, Salgado has traveled in 120 countries and his work has been featured in books and films on diverse themes. His most recent exhibition Amazônia has been shown in Paris, Rome, London, São Paulo, Manchester, Avignon and Rio de Janeiro.

Amazônia opens at the California Science Center with the generous support of the Annenberg Foundation. Reflecting the educational mission of the Science Center and the core values of accessibility and inclusiveness shared by the Annenberg Foundation, admission to the exhibition is free.

California Science Center guests are encouraged to complement their visit with the IMAX movie Amazon Adventure 3D, where they'll experience the heart of the Amazon rainforest and trace the extraordinary journey of naturalist and explorer Henry Walter Bates. Filmed on location in the lush Amazon region, Amazon Adventure 3D plunges audiences into a wild world of beauty and captivating animal behavior. Visitors to the California Science Center can also extend their visit by exploring the Ecosystems gallery, which features an unprecedented blend of live plants and animals, and hands-on science exhibits in 11 immersive environments. From walking through a living kelp forest to experimenting on a polar ice wall, guests will investigate some of the Earth's most fascinating ecosystems and discover the ways various species have had to adapt to their unique environments.

About the California Science Center

The California Science Center is a dynamic destination where families, adults and children can explore the wonders of science through interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, innovative programs and awe-inspiring movies. The California Science Center and IMAX Theater are located in historic Exposition Park just west of the Harbor (110) Freeway at 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles. The Science Center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. with free general admission. Parking is $15. Learn more about the California Science Center.

About the Annenberg Foundation

The Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation focused on addressing the critical issues of our time through innovation, community, compassion, and communications for more than 30 years. Since 1989, it has funded programs in education and youth development; civic and community life; equity and social justice; health and human services; animal services and the environment; and arts, culture and humanities. To learn more about the Annenberg Foundation and its various initiatives, click here.

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