“We wanted to portray the devotion of these people to defending their own food communities. It would be a shame to allow these unique traditions to disappear. The idea of protecting them is the inspiration behind this calendar dedicated to the Earth Defenders and to the African continent as a whole.”
Back in 2015, Lavazza together with Slow Food collaborated with iconic photographer Steve McCurry and creative director Armando Testa for the creation of the Earth Defenders calendar. For lack of the right words, we will loosely though very respectfully sum up the Earth Defenders project as a visual journey of men women who are devoted to nurturing and therefore courageously defending their land in Africa.
“This series take a stand beside all the Earth Defenders and food traditions: they are symbols of hope for local communities and spokespeople of the potential for development and a better future. The picture capture the spirit, strength and humanity of women and men who protect their land and projects in Africa with passion and bravery.” – Photography Office, 2015
From Edward, the guardian of sustainable agriculture to John the pumpkin Lare whisperer. From Maye the spice and grain alchemist to the women of Kafa who are deeply rooted in coffee. The Earth Defenders project captured Africa’s very warriors, who are at the heart of protecting food traditions for future generations.
From 1993, Lavazza began collaborating with esteemed photographers – such as Helmut Newton, Annie Leibovitz, David LaChapelle and Ellen von Unwerth – to produce a series of calendars that quickly became sought-after collector items. And, for the first time in history, this particular calendar was on sale to support the “10,000 food gardens in Africa” project.
Words by Khumoetsile Seamogano