Food for Life Portraits
We are living with a broken food system. Most of us don’t know where our food comes from, who grows it or what harmful chemicals are inside of it. It is a system based on monocultures, intensive use of synthetic products, like pesticides and fertilisers, and GE crops. A system where farmers become ‘workers’ and biodiversity suffers. This broken system is controlled by large corporations whose only interest is in increasing profits year on year. They have little concern over long-term health implications, food safety, food security or the soil that is dying under our feet.
Through this portrait series the work advocates a new system based on Ecological Farming, and I am portraying it by celebrating ecological farmers and their families, science and innovation, technology, biodiversity and the power that we all have as consumers. The work has put faces to farmers across 5 continents and 6 countries over a 10-month period. It shows the relationship between farmers and people which should be cultivated and reflects a more ‘human’ side to farming. This is in direct opposition to the current faceless and industrialised food production system which cannot be trusted and is generating food scandals the world over.
I have documented ecological farming and the farmers as our ‘heroes.’ Such heroes are at the heart of our vision of how food should be produced. After all, small-scale farmers are the ones that feed all of us by producing 70% of the world’s food. These farmers vary in age, race and gender, from rural landscapes in Africa to urban gardens in Brazil.
In addition, I am celebrating the growing number of people around the world who are standing up in defiance against this broken system. They want a future for their children and their communities. They want to know that their food comes from a healthy source and that they can feel safe at their dinner tables. They are also taking action by growing their own food, shopping at farmers markets more frequently, and eating less meat as you can see on this recently launched web platform called I Know Who Grew It.
Ultimately, I would like these images to arouse a more positive connection around food thorough building a relationship with farmers and inspire people into action. There is an urgent need to challenge the broken system and champion a food model based on ecological farming.