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Wade Davis: Photographs

An anthropologist behind the lens.

In new photography collection, Wade Davis: Photographs, Canadian author, anthropologist, professor, and former National Geographic explorer-in-residence Wade Davis has selected 140 photographs from the thousands he has taken over the course of 15 years of travel across 80 nations, from Africa to the Arctic, the Columbian Amazon to the temples of Tibet.

In compiling the collection, Davis, whose 2009 book The Wayfinders explored the widespread erosion of language and traditional culture, sought not to document the exotic but rather, to provide a platform for indigenous voices and identify resonant narratives relatable the world over. “There is a fire burning over the earth, taking with it plants and animals, ancient skills and visionary wisdom,” writes Davis of his mission to promote the value of cultural diversity. “At risk is a vast archive of knowledge and expertise, a catalogue of the imagination, an oral and written language composed of the memories of countless elders and healers, warriors, farmers, fishermen, midwives, poets, and saints—in short, the artistic, intellectual, and spiritual expression of the full complexity and diversity of the human experience.”

Wade Davis: Photographs beautifully honours the moments captured in each image with perspicacious accompanying captions (excerpted above) and essays by Davis, resulting in a thorough and illuminating volume capable of inspiring a new way of thinking about, as Davis writes, “the extraordinary matrix of cultures that envelopes the planet.”

Wade Davis: Photographs was released October 2016 by Douglas & McIntyre. Images courtesy of publisher.