The impact of COVID-19 on first nations in the photos by Tarso Sarraf

Alysson Camargo
3 min readSep 21, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic opened a space for reflecting on the meaning of caring. The need to halt several activities, routines and physical encounters stimulated thinking about our lifestyle and its impact on nature and the planet.

Living disconnected from nature, consuming processed food, adopting exhaustive work routines, without the support of a network of friends and social relationships has serious consequences.

However, we have several examples of native communities that live more harmoniously with nature. In the photographs of Tarso Sarraf, we see how this way of life is in great danger of disappearing, when, in fact, it may be one of the solutions to the problems described above.

Unfortunately, since they live disconnected from the rest of the population, they are less immune to viruses. For this reason epidemics have during the last centuries decimated the first nations of America The current pandemic resulted until now in dozens of deaths brought by non-indigenous people to native communities.

Although outlanders transmit diseases to native communities, state authorities fail to provide medical assistance. Tarso Sarraf’s photographs contribute to understanding the impact of colonial and capitalist logic in public health and the survival of first people.

The study of native traditional knowledge should not be just a way to understand their culture, but it should contribute in choosing a healthier lifestyle, in contact with nature and the community. There are clear signs that our urban culture is broken, but the question remains: how will we achieve a more sustainable society in the future?

Written by Alysson Camargo, edited by Yannis Papadopoulos.



Alysson Camargo

Latin American Photography through a socio-anthropological approach 📸