While Paris is awakening, Atelier des Lumières reopens its doors with Jimmy Nelson's immersive exhibition 'The Last Sentinels'

After the huge success and critical acclaim of 'The Last Sentinels' in October 2020, visitors are given a second chance to be immersed in the jaw-dropping experience where they will witness the awe-inspiring richness of the Indigenous way of life as an antidote for the modern day crisis of disconnection.

From the 9th of June to until the 10th of July 2021, the renowned artist Jimmy Nelson will take up the space of Atelier des Lumières for a second time. A breathtaking art show combining photography, film, animation, and sound will invite the visitor to follow the footsteps of Indigenous peoples and to celebrate them as our new role models. 'The Last Sentinels' is a 40-minute immersive experience that reconnects visitors to themselves, others, and the planet. This is all-encompassing art with a huge social, cultural, environmental message.

Do you want to discover the world and meet the most remote peoples? No need to go far! Go to the Atelier des Lumières in Paris. As you stand or stroll around the huge space, you are overwhelmed by a remarkable and exhilarating sensation, as if you were in the midst of all these peoples, immortalized by the lens and yet so alive. The imagery is wild and sublime, and this breathtaking exhibition is a feast for the eyes and ears.

Le Parisien
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The art space Atelier des Lumières ("Studio of Light"), founded by Culturespaces in 2018, is located in a repurposed 19th Century foundry in the heart of Paris. It uses 120 digital projectors and a spatialized sound system with 50 speakers to present immersive sight-and-sound exhibitions based on the works of famous artists from the past and present. Thanks to the world's largest fixed video installation in an area of 3300 m², the audience will be fully immersed in images, movement and sound, amplifying all emotions.

After having made a wonderful debut in 2018 with the very first exhibition dedicated to Gustav Klimt, a majestic exhibition addressing the oeuvre of Vincent van Gogh paved the way for the work of the great masters, from Monet to Chagall, Renoir, Picasso and Matisse.

After Gustav Klimt, Van Gogh and Monet, the Atelier des Lumières in Paris will be displaying the art of artist Jimmy Nelson on its walls. The exhibition "The Last Sentinels" is a beautiful immersion into the world of faraway peoples, where Jimmy Nelson takes us to meet the people of New Guinea, South Sudan, Peru, Mongolia, Tanzania and many other extraordinary places. 

Vanity Fair

A striking 40-minute journey to the heart of these remote peoples living in harmony with nature. It reminds us how essential it is to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of humanity, a humanist approach supported by the Jimmy Nelson Foundation.


From spectacle to guardianship

The immersive exhibition is an initiative by Atelier des Lumières and the Dutch Jimmy Nelson Foundation.  The Jimmy Nelson Foundation is set up with the mission to share the valuable knowledge of the world’s last Indigenous cultures by means of a worldwide cultural education program. By reigniting the fire of their cultural pride, we want to empower present and future generations to illuminate their cultural heritage before our world is changed forever. “We need to protect Indigenous cultures to protect the planet from ecocide; the red thread connecting all Indigenous communities is their respect for the land. This 5% of the population protects 80% of the Earth’s remaining biodiversity. We need these cultures to help save the environment”, says artist Jimmy Nelson. This is one of the main ideas behind the show.  'The Last Sentinels' promotes environmental and cultural guardianship by immersing visitors into the world of Indigenous cultures who are protecting the natural planet.  

We think the world belongs to us, but we belong to the world. 'The Last Sentinels' shows that we must learn from Indigenous communities.

Jimmy Nelson

Through this immersive experience, the visitor regains the connection with the source of what it is to be human. We, as the dominant culture, have distanced ourselves from our origins and tend to have forgotten our purpose of living in full connection with each other, ourselves and the natural world. The few on this planet that are still in touch with this knowledge and live by its values are Indigenous peoples. These cultures are the guardians of both humanity and this planet. They are the living examples of how to live in respect to their natural environment, how to understand that we are all united, and how to live our lives to the fullest. By making 'The Last Sentinels', Jimmy Nelson and his team hold up a mirror to humanity; they invite us to see and reflect on ourselves through the eyes of the other, and confront us with an overwhelming call to action. Its purpose is provide a radical intervention in rethinking our own values and behaviour; our role within humanity. As cultures are rapidly changing through time and the world's cultural diversity is at risk, now is the moment to act.

'The Last Sentinels' is an example of how the Jimmy Nelson Foundation bridges the disconnection between humanity and the natural world through learning from Indigenous life and knowledge.

Photographic Artist Jimmy Nelson

Practical information

- The show runs from the 9th of June to 10th of July

- Open daily from 6.30 PM to 10.45 PM

- Atelier des Lumières is situated at 38 rue Saint-Maur 75011 Paris

- Metro lines 9 (Voltaire, Saint-Ambroise) and 3 (Rue Saint-Maur)


- Full price: € 13 / Youth price (from 5 to 25 years old): € 10

- Every ticket and book sold fuels the Jimmy Nelson Foundation in supporting the communities directly to bring their heritage and knowledge healthily into the future.

- Order tickets here.

Press interview possibilities with Jimmy Nelson in Atelier des Lumières

- 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th of June

- 8th, 9th, 10th of July

Book signing sessions

- June 9, 10, 11, 12

- July 8, 9, 10

From 7 PM until 11 PM

Before traveling, please check the travel regulations of your country and those of France in regards to Covid 19.


For press and interview requests, contact:

Lili van Lith, Jimmy Nelson Foundation


+31 (0)20 7220925

+31 (6)52 71 09 33

Download images and teasers here:

Download PDF
Download PDF
About Jimmy Nelson

Jimmy Nelson (UK, 1967) started working as a photographer in 1987. Having spent ten years at a Jesuit boarding school in the North of England, he set off on his own to traverse the length of Tibet on foot (1985). The journey lasted two years and upon his return his visual diary, featuring revealing images of a previously inaccessible Tibet, was published.

Soon after (1987) he was commissioned to cover a variety of culturally newsworthy themes for many of the world-leading publications ranging from the Russian involvement in Afghanistan and the ongoing strife between India and Pakistan in Kashmir to the beginning of the war in former Yugoslavia.

In early 1994 he and his Dutch ex-wife Ashkaine Hora Adema produced Literary Portraits of China. A coffee-table book about all indigenous cultures in China and their translated literature. From 1997 onwards, Jimmy undertook commercial advertising assignments for many of the world’s leading brands. Meanwhile, he spent his whole life accumulating images of indigenous cultures.

In 2010 he began his journey to create the artistic document that became Before They Pass Away, which was published in October 2013. Its success and the responses to it have enabled and encouraged Jimmy to continue this journey. In October 2018, Nelson published the first interactive book Homage to Humanity, for which he visited another unique 34 indigenous cultures around the globe. The book is accompanied by the 2019 Webby Award-winning mobile application that makes it possible to scan every image in the book and bring them to life with exclusive films, interviews and 360 ̊ film material. This allows people to see the making of the work and to understand the process behind it.

Today Jimmy is using an 8x10 analogue plate camera to bring the project to its next level. Jimmy strongly believes that if you change the way you look at people, the people you look at change. And if that change is powerful enough, it will gather momentum to affect the whole of humanity. A message that today he is promoting through talks at international conferences and museum exhibitions. With the proceedings of his art projects, the Jimmy Nelson Foundation was set up to take it a step further in supporting the communities on the ground.