Jimmy Nelson

Jimmy Nelson was born in 1967 in SevenOaks, England. He currently lives in Amsterdam.

Nelson started working as a photographer in 1987. Having spent 10 years at a Jesuit boarding school in the North of England, he set off on his own to traverse the length of Tibet on foot. The journey lasted a year and upon his return his unique visual diary, featuring revealing images of a previously inaccessible Tibet, was published to wide international acclaim. This first trip was the starting point for his future projects.

The title of his latest one, BEFORE THEY PASS AWAY, is intented to act as a controversial catalyst for further discussions about the perennity of these ancient cultures in our contemporary times. Indeed, between 2010 & 2013, Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to document thirty-five of some of the most fantastic indigenous cultures on the planet. While not a scientist, he can be considered a self-trained ethnologist and visual anthropologist who, through curiosity, is looking for answers. While travelling the world, he soon realized his camera was the perfect connector for making contact and building close friendships with the most culturally distant people. He therefore embarked his traditional 5 x 4 plate Field camera to capture their emotional and spiritual lives via the recording of their painted faces, scarified bodies, jewellery, extravagant hairstyles and ritual languages.

Through this process, he wanted to put focus on the fascinating cultural span he?s encountered and highlight their historical roots and symbolic depth. There is pure beauty in these tribes? goals and family ties, their beliefs in gods and nature, and their will to do the right thing in order to be taken care of when their time comes. Whether in Papua New Guinea or in Kazakhstan, in Ethiopia or in Siberia, they are the last resorts of natural authenticity.

Beyond his position as a witness, Jimmy Nelson ultimately intended his project to be an ambitious aesthetic photographic record that would stand the test of time. It forces us to see, to understand and to remember, Before They Pass Away.

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Atlantsogts, Bayan Olgii, Kazakhs

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Rauwhiri Winitana Paki Taupo Village, North Islands, New Zealand

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Pema Tenjing Lo Mangthang Village, Upper Mustang, Nepal

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Gisborne Festival, North Island, New Zealand (Maori)

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Noel Pearse & Dominique Père, Huka Falls, North Island, New Zealand

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Bayau Bulang Renchinkhumbe, Khovsgol, Tsaatan, Mongolia

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Dassanech Tribe, Omorate Village, Southern Omo, Ethiopia

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Perak Lady, Lamayuru Monastery, Ladakh, India

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Rah lava Island, Torba Province, Vanuatu

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Perak Ladies Thikse Monastery, Ladakh, India

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Lekir Monastery Ladakh, India

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Ni Yakal Villagers Yakel, Tanna Island, Vanuatu

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Dele, Lale, Korcho Village, Omo Valley, Karo, Ethiopia

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Tsering Yangzom, Tachung & Tsering Wangmo Tangge Village, Upper Mustang Nepal

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Ni Vanuatu Men Rah Lava Island, Torba Province, Vanuatu

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Nyerere, Loingu, Lewangum & Lepokodou Kaisut Desert, Kenya

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Olaro, Boja, Gasho & Goba Korcho Village, Omo valley, Karo, Ethiopia

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Arago, Korch Village, Omo valley, Karo, Ehtiopia

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Dele & Lale Omo Valley, Karo, Ethiopia

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Yakim, Brigade 2, Nenet Yamal Peninsula, Ural Mountains

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Bodita, Arboshash & Nirjuda, Dassanech Tribe Omorate Village, Southern Omo, Ethiopia

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Gogine Boys Goroka, Eastern Highland, Goroka, Papua New Guinea

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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Dead Vlei, Sossusvlei, Himba, Namibia

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

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