If we were asked to imagine a dream curator for a photo show, Wade Davis would definitely be on the list. An accomplished photographer himself, the esteemed Canadian anthropologist and ethnobiologist is also one of the world's most influential advocates of indigenous culture. Century City's Annenberg Space for Photography (ASP) has answered our curatorial dreams, giving Davis the reins for its latest exhibit, no strangers: ancient wisdom in a modern world.
We had the chance to preview the show, and it's everything you might expect from curator who is also a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence: sumptuous, large-scale images of forgotten cultures around the world, featuring the work of big-name photographers like Edward Burtynsky, Timothy Allen, Carol Beckwith, Angela Fisher, and more.
no strangers explores the ways cultures express a shared humanity and navigate the circle of life. It poses a fundamental question: What does it mean to be human and alive? When the people of the world answer this question, they do so in 7,000 unique voices. Tragically, half of these may be silenced within a generation or two. At risk is our human legacy, a vast archive of knowledge and expertise. Rediscovering a new appreciation for the diversity of culture is a crucial challenge that should be faced.
The show opens to the public on Saturday, November 17 and runs until February 24, 2013. Admission is free. There are also free lectures given by several of the contributing photographers as part of ASP's Iris Nights Series.
We'll be posting more images and an original video during the exhibition's run. Stay tuned.
Photos, left to right:
1. A Dassenech man tends his fields along the Omo River in Ethiopia. (Brent Stirton/Getty Images)
2. Danilo Villafana, a political leader of the Arhuacos in Colombia. (Wade Davis)
3. A young women in Rajasthan, India enjoys time with her family after the monsoons. (Steve McCurry/Magnum Photos)
4. An Oglala Sioux clown dancer burns sage in South Dakota. (Aaron Huey)
5. Longo Paea Moala gathers pandanus leaves in Tonga's Ha'apai Islands. (Amy Toensing)