Food or politics?

The long weeks finally caught up with me. Balancing with school and work hasn’t left too much free time that wouldn’t go to relaxing. Luckily my schedule will be more flexible from now on and I promise to be more active here.

With the busy days I’m glad that we visit interesting places with school. Few weeks ago we went to the Finnish Museum of Photography to see The Festival of Political Photography 2017: Post Food exhibition. Powerful. Thought provoking. Sad. So many emotions rambled through me while looking at the photos and for a long time after that as well. There is a magazine of the event as well which provides backgrounds and more information about each display which were very interesting, yet scary, to read.

Even living in a conflict zone hasn’t  stopped Gaza farmers from growing their own food. It is one of the only things they can control according to a Slovenian photographer Jošt Franko. Farming is the only way of surviving.

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From frontlines to big cities. Some farmers don’t get caught up with was conflicts but in the way of urbanization. The city of Chongqing in China is one of the fastest growing areas in the world. Forced evictions from the country side to the city leave former farmers struggling to keep the bread on the table. That is why they keep farming amongst the skyscrapers and highways. It is puzzling to think that something that is a new trend amongst the urban hipsters is a way of surviving for others.

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I feel that we are never satisfied with anything. We need to be able to please every craving right away even if is fresh strawberries in the middle of the dark winter. But do we really need them? Is is sustainable to grow something that is not in the season artificially? Or should we just eat what is in the season? The pictures from Freya Najade reminded me of some kind of ski-fi movie’s garden.

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Famine is, and has been, a major problem in the world. According to the World Food Program there is already enough food produced to feed every human being on the planet. The food simply does not reach everybody. The food productions itself can be an issue as well.

An Argentinian photographer Pablo Ernesto Piovano want to raise awareness about the chemicals used in farming. Glyphosate, a herbicide, has been under scrutiny for a while but has been yet to be declared dangerous. Piovano has photographed people living in the country side of Argentina who suffer from curious deceases, allergies and malformations.

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“If major corporations have control over food production, they also have control over our health. And if they control our health, they also control our freedom.”                      – Photographer Pablo Piovano (PVF 2017, p. 2)

There is always a responsibility when producing food. I can only hope that farming will become more transparent and with that give more power to the consumer to choose responsibly grown products. There are big issues to be solved and I’m really glad to see that some issues are brought up to wide audience.Where ever you are if you have a chance to visit the exhibition displayed in your country, I highly recommend it. You will look the world a little different after that.  We can start changing the world together for better.

Reference: Magazine of Festival of Political Photography 2017

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