Forma Meravigli is currently hosting a world first, the exhibition entitled “Kuwait. Un deserto in fiamme (A Desert in Flames)”, curated by Lélia Wanick Salgado, made up of thirty-four large format photographs by Sebastião Salgado, presented in an extremely arresting display.
In 1991 during the Gulf War, to hinder the advance of the military coalition led by the U.S., Iraqi soldiers set fire to over 600 oil wells in Kuwait. It was an enormous ecological catastrophe and professional technicians and fire fighters from all over the world were called to extinguish it. Salgado was one of the first photographers to understand the seriousness of the situation and document the environmental disaster, following the incessant work of the firefighters in this hellish landscape. His black and white photographs are rendered even more dramatic by the contrast between the light of the burning wells and the dark blanket of petrol covering everything: the desert, things and people, which becomes a metaphorical ‘black desperation’ that extinguishes hope and will. The public event on 20th October 2017 that accompanied the opening of the exhibition was made even more touching by the presence of Mike Miller, one of the fire fighters involved in 1991, and Sebastião Salgado himself explained what it meant: “It was like facing the end of the world, a world filled with blackness and death”.
Title: Kuwait. Un deserto in fiamme
Curated by Lélia Wanick Salgado
Date: 20th October 2017 – 28th January 2018
Place: Forma Meravigli, Milan - Italy
Photos: Sebastião Salgado