Minamata by W. Eugene Smith was a very instrumental book in my growth as a photographer.
Needless to say, I am not the only one mesmerised by the images, the writing, but more importantly, what the whole project represents.
Smith had spent many years in this mercury-polluted town in Japan to document the atrocities of environmental irresponsibility.
Given that this work was done more than four decades ago, it is safe to say that Smith was a true visionary who spotted a problem well before it became a global issue today.
Though Smith’s methodology – of being involved with the subjects and being not objective – was not always condoned by his peers, Minamata has long been a guiding light for many aspiring documentary photographers.