I just spent three days at Photo London and came back really inspired. The highlight was definitely seeing Sebastio Salgado who is a living legend in the photographic world. He has spent a life time building a body of work that is both visually stunning while creating a voice for social justice. His two best books are Workers which documents manual labour around the world and Genius which focuses on the pure untouched natural world and humans that live symbiotically with their environment.
The great thing about going to a photo fair is the shear variety of work, both from a technique and historical perspective. One can see different approaches to subjects that can influence ones own work. Sometimes it is just validation that we are on track and the acceptability that it can be unique and a completely new vision. Whether you take pictures or appreciate them as an audience, it opens your mind to new possibilities.
Sharing work and giving it a public voice enables people to see something new, while opening debate. Just as Sebastio Salgado's work has opened discussion on social issues, which we are all responsible for. His life times work has captured the world as one giant organism, both human and natural. As people we need to accept responsibility and take active part in protecting and conserving where we live.
“We must preserve what exists.” Sebastio Salgado
Vaughan James is a photographer and writer based in Zurich Switzerland