For the last three years we have been working on one of the most ambitious photographic initiatives in the world to shine a light on the small, family farmers who bring food to our plates day after day, despite the many challenges they face.
Bringing together over 40 award winning photographers including Rankin, Martin Parr, Sophie Gerard, Pieter Hugo and Graciela Iturbide, We Feed the World captures the triumphs and tribulations of the small-holder farmers who produce over 70% of the world’s food.
Launching at the Bargehouse Gallery, Southbank on 11th October and opening to the public on Friday 12th October, We Feed the World documents the lives of nearly 50 farming communities across six continents. A selection of the 400+ images, together with their inspirational stories, will be shown in London until Sunday 21st October and be accompanied by an exciting programme of talks and events, soon to be announced. At the same time, all of the participating farming communities will receive exhibition packs in order to display We Feed the World wherever they are, breaking the Guinness World Record for the number of simultaneous photographic exhibitions held at any one time.
The exhibition aims to challenge the myth that we need industrial agriculture and quick-fix technologies to feed an ever-increasing population. Rowan Phillimore from The Gaia Foundation explains: “These world-renowned photographers capture agroecology in action for the first time. Agroecology is the future of farming. It is agriculture (farming) practised in a way that respects ecology (all the living things). We must stand up to the multi-million pound marketing budgets of agri-businesss to set the record straight because it is small-holder, agro-ecological farming that holds the answers to many of the world’s problems – from climate change and fertile soils, to public health & wellbeing.”
Cheryl Newman, curator and former photography director of the Telegraph magazine, said: “To convey such a critical message to a global audience is no small task, but photography really is the language of our age. When people come face to face with the farmers who produce the majority of the world’s food they see a real person, not a factory or a machine. They can connect with that person, be moved by their story and join the dots between farm and fork. Our food choices today are truly critical and I have seen time and again how photography has the ability to shift consciousness and effect change on a scale beyond any other form of communication. I have no doubt that We Feed the World has the power to do the same.”
The exhibition will be accompanied by a ten-day programme of talks, films and workshops by international activists in the food and farming movement, artists and leading campaign groups – the full itinerary on its way! There will also be a Good Food March organised by Gaia in collaboration with the LandWorkers Alliance on Sunday 14th October, meeting at noon at Parliament Square. Please join us! The march will call for changes to UK agricultural policy ahead of World Food Day on 16th October. Speeches at the Bargehouse Gallery will be delivered by food activists, Anna Lappe and Jyoti Fernandez.
Jyoti Fernandes, Chair of the Landworkers Alliance said: “As we leave the European Common Agricultural Policy, the UK agriculture bill will determine the future of our food system for the next 50 years or more. We want a food systems that support farmers to produce healthy, affordable food for everyone, using methods that are kind to animals, the earth and support independent farmers. This is a critical time for the public to come together and make their support for good food and good farming clear to those negotiating our future”.
Francesca Price, We Feed the World project director, states: “From ice covered Northern Sweden to the depths of the Amazon jungle, these iconic images tell the diverse and inspiring stories of the men, women and families that supply the majority of the world’s food.
“In doing so, the project seeks to replace the image of the poor, struggling farmer with a truer, more resilient picture that both highlights the political complexities yet simple solutions that are available to us in addressing some of the greatest challenges of our time. We want these images to empower people to support their local food system and protect our planet.”
Jeremy Irons, actor, claims: “We Feed the World’s winning combination of beautiful images and powerful storytelling is a wake-up call. Our most urgent task is to support farming communities around the world practicing the kind of regenerative agriculture that can keep our planet, our climate and our communities healthy into the future.”
We Feed the World is a bold and ambitious collaboration between the arts, environmental and business sectors, who have come together for the first time to share the inspiring stories of regenerative agriculture across the world. We hope that you will join us between Friday 12th and Sunday 21st October for the great unveiling of this incredible body of work, and to celebrate small, family farmers the world over.