Art and Documentary Photography - Loading EC-94829S-22_20221024_L1009001.jpg

A Darwin’s rhea, named for naturalist Charles Darwin, is displayed at the Maggiorino Borgatello museum. Darwin encountered the species of flightless bird in 1834 during a tour of Patagonia. Comparing it with the larger American rhea helped him realize that two species can arise from a common ancestor.

Featured in National Geographic's 2023 Pictures of the Year
marcio pimenta
Nov 17, 2023
It is an honor to have a photo from the "Finding Darwin" expedition, funded by the National Geographic Society, chosen as the "Picture of the Year 2023" among thousands of powerful images by talented colleagues.

Here is the story behind the photo.

When I proposed to NatGeo to follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin in Patagonia, I knew exactly what I was doing. It took two years of research before heading into the field. I could never test if it was possible, through photography, to showcase the legacy of the brilliant scientist 192 years later. Until then, I only had studied and knew that the story was there. How to show Darwin's influences on our society? Science, culture, religion, racism, landscape, politics, etc.? Darwin changed everything!

The possibility of failure was real, but there was no choice. I had to move forward.

Traveling alone over 11,000 km through Patagonia in more than 40 days, I experienced Darwin's presence in conversations with scientists, indigenous peoples, local authorities, farmers, and residents. In the Maggiorino Borgatello museum in Punta Arenas, Chile, I found Darwin's rhea, majestic in a discreet showcase.

The museum's management and technicians kindly allowed the photo. The museum, rich in the natural history of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, with the history of indigenous peoples, has religious origins. By positioning Darwin's rhea for the portrait, other elements appeared. Looking through the camera viewfinder, the entire story was there: science, natural life, religion, indigenous peoples, racism, Darwin's evolution, and the seed of his famous theory.

To know more:

2023: The Pictures of the Year
This year we sent 126 photographers into the field to document the world's most compelling stories. They sent back more than 2 million images. Here is a selection of their best work.

Marcio Pimenta | Photographer

Marcio Pimenta is a explorer and photographer based in the South of Brazil.
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