Should you be visiting Stockholm this weekend take care not to miss one of the greatest exhibitions you could see anywhere at the moment. Nick Brandt’s photos of the endangered animals of East Africa are on show at the Fotografiska, The Swedish Museum of Photography, for a few more days.
Brandt is an English film maker and photographer who worked in the 1990s in the USA directing music videos. While filming Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song’ in Tanzania, he fell in love with the wildlife and nature of East Africa. Ever since he has kept returning to this region with his camera recording the beauty and majesty of the animals there before man has driven them to extinction.
Brandt’s photos take your breath away. They are shot in black-and-white film at close range in the natural habitat of the animals without any telephoto or zoom lenses. The result is simply magnificent: monochrome portraits of calm and dignified beasts that make you feel as if they were posing to the photographer.
For more than a decade now Brandt has been working entirely on his East African project publishing a trilogy of books on this mission. In addition, he has founded, together with conservationist Richard Bonham, Big Life Foundation for the conservation of East African wildlife and the ecosystem. The foundation also operates to suppress poaching having more than 300 rangers patrolling from 31 stations.
In May, we saw 65 photos selected from those published in Brandt’s two first books in Salo, a small town 45 min from here. The Stockholm show includes for the first time photos from all the parts of the trilogy entitled ‘On This Earth’, ‘A Shadow Falls’, ‘Across The Ravaged Land’. The next opportunity to see these fabulous photos will be in Ulm, Germany, from June to October 2016. Another show is being planned for Moscow although that one is not scheduled yet. I do hope you will be lucky enough to visit a Brandt exhibition somewhere one day.