Lieven's Blog

What's on my mind...

A Beautiful Man

blogEntryTopperclipboard-with-pencil_16x16The world of the 21st century with all its great inventions and its highly interconnected people is an exciting place to live in. I wouldn’t want to live in any other time. Like every episode of history, this century creates new opportunities for humankind and unfortunately it also destroys old traditions and cultures. Due to the constant information exchange between mostly urban societies, an increasingly uniform global culture is emerging. We live in what we call a globalized world and we think and act as if there was no one else on the planet. The cultural diversity among people that was once the richness of our species is slowly fading away. Many languages have disappeared and English and Chinese are becoming the predominant languages of the world.

Amid all this there is a man who reminds us with his exceptionally beautiful images that the world does not only belong to the humans who use smart phones and live in the urban world. He shows us that there are people for whom the financial crisis is not part of their daily reality. This man is Jimmy Nelson and what I particularly like about his work, is that he did not make voyeuristic pictures of the societies he visited. Instead he created iconic images that stimulate the viewer to observe what is in front of him. Jimmy’s work is in line with the tradition of the great photographers who lived at the beginning of the 20st century and who made pictures of the native American societies. Now these pictures are of historical value because they show people who lived in cultures that no longer exist. I wonder what later generations will think of the work of Jimmy Nelson. Will they blame the current generations for not having acted to preserve cultural diversity and diversity of languages? Or will they conclude that their world is a better one?

It was a pleasure to talk to Jimmy. He is a sensitive man and full of passion for what he does. His stories of how he created his wonderful book and the stories about his life, revealed a man who has a deep respect for others and is open to everyone regardless of their background. He shows to us people and their beauty. That alone makes Jimmy an exceptional beautiful man.

I bought his wonderful book “Before they pass away”.
Find out more about Jimmy Nelson and his work at