In a new project, Harvest, photographer Luis Fabini hopes to connect farmers throughout the globe by shining a spotlight on their lives when harvesting the world’s food. Inspired by the connection between people, land, and food, Fabini aims to create a visual expedition that documents rituals, celebrations, work, and community—all organized around annual harvests.
Since 2018, Fabini has been photographing harvests across Peru including potato harvests in the Peruvian Andes, salt harvests in Maras, and corn harvest in the Colca Canyon. Fabini plans to document chili pepper harvests in Mexico, saffron harvest in India, and cacao harvest in Guatemala. The project will require another three years traveling the world to photograph all the people and the land producing food for global consumers, says Fabini, but the journey will be worth it—allowing Fabini to share his encounters with these farmers to the world. “I travel on foot, by horse, by car, and I share food with people, and in return they allow me to capture their lives,” Fabini tells Food Tank.
Across his journey, Fabini notes that the farmers and communities have opened their lives to him generously, describing an experience with a tribal community in the Peruvian Andes. The community allowed Fabini to document rituals in which they performed and gave spiritual payments to the land to show their respect and gratitude. In this moment, the ritual put forth a connection between humanity, land, and existence: there, “the land is God, and God is the land,” Fabini tells Food Tank.
Harvest aims to protect and empower indigenous farming communities around the world by featuring their connections to the land and farming in a way that evokes an emotional response for viewers. “At the end of the day, we are all the same. If we lose the connection to the planet, we will be desperate to touch the land again,” Fabini tells Food Tank.
“I hope my images somehow empower people to support their local farmers and food systems,” Fabini explains to Food Tank. Through Harvest, viewers will be able to learn more about how small farmers contribute to protecting diversity and biodiversity—through biodiverse seeds and through preserving their cultures. “Culture includes everything,” Fabini tells Food Tank. “It includes clothing, tools, and rituals, but ultimately a connection with the land.”
Fabini’s past projects include Cowboys of the Americas, which took him from Canada to Patagonia over 10 years, documenting cowboys across the Americas. Once documenting authentic gauchos in Uruguay and Brazil, the connection between people and the land inspired Fabini to document planet and people as one. “My work has always been around the connection that man has to the earth. That has always been vital to me: that encounter in between the human hand and the raw materials of the planet. My work is a tribute to these people,” Fabini tells Food Tank.
Photo courtesy of Luis Fabini.