Jimmy Nelson is a British photographer born in 1967. He has spent many years traveling the world and interacting with indigenous communities such as the Kazakhs in Mongolia and the Huli of Papua New Guinea. His photography documents the variety and importance of what is left of indigenous culture. He does this in a very staged and idealised way, which produces very spectacular and beautiful imagery. His photographs often command a very high price.

Some people believe that this is important work that reflects the reality confronting these communities – the threats to the culture, ways of life and livelihoods. But Jimmy’s style and methods also attract a lot of controversy. He has been criticised for taking advantage of these traditional tribes and also for presenting a false and damaging depiction of their daily lives. It’s a touchy topic with interesting points raised on both sides. What’s your take? Join the conversation in the comments below! (Note: sometimes online debates can get a little out of hand, please be respectful).

This video is one of the episodes of the potential TV series “Before They Pass Away – the making of”. In this episode photographer Jimmy Nelson and his team travel to Vanuatu Islands.

Check Jimmy Nelson’s site for more on his work here.

We would love to hear what you think of Jimmy’s work. To join the conversation, simply create a free account and comment below!


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