Thank you, David, for this post.
Mike Hettwer’s photographs (with an accompanying essay by Peter Gwin) of ship-breakers in Bangladesh reminded me immediately of an earlier set of images of the same group of workers, by Sebastião Salgado (in the book Workers).*
As Julian Stallabrass has argued,
If this book, Workers, is disturbing it is partly because it says a good deal about the interdependence of rich and poor—in the captions which contain much economic material, but also in the very tones of the book which appear to unite its diverse subjects. Salgado makes this global interdependence his subject, proclaiming, ‘It is time to launch the concept of the universality of humanity. Photography lends itself to a demonstration of this and as an instrument of solidarity between peoples.’ . . .Universality is suggested by their stillness and the abstract means used to describe them—in this way, the particular is led to yield universality without…
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