In keeping with its commitment and work for gender equality, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) has mounted a traveling photo exhibition, “The Soul of Rurality”. The project is the product of an unprecedented partnership with Vogue Magazine and portrays the reality of women who work the land in Jujuy, Argentina; Pará, Brazil; Antigua, Guatemala; and Treasure Beach, Jamaica.
The exhibition includes 28 photographs by renowned Brazilian photographer, Cecilia Duarte, and arose out of a Vogue-IICA partnership, seeking to draw public attention to these rural women: true examples of resilience, courage and sisterhood.
The term ‘sisterhood’ refers to the feeling of solidarity among women, and their sense that they are equals who can join forces, share, and most of all, change their reality.
The exhibit was displayed for the first time at IICA’s Headquarters in San José, Costa Rica, as one of the Institute’s events to commemorate International Day of Rural Women on October 15. It then travelled to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and it will also be shown in the city of San Pablo, Brazil.
IICA’s Director General, Manuel Otero, remarked that, “This exhibition is in keeping with one of IICA’s firm commitments: to foster and contribute to the formulation of sound and long-term public policies to benefit women in the countryside. Bridging the gaps of inequality in rural areas is the duty not only of governments but also of civil society”.
Some of the images on display were published in the Vogue October edition, alongside articles relating the stories of courageous rural women, whose daily toil contributes to world food security – producing more than half of the food consumed in the world according to W20 data - and also to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030 Agenda.
The Vogue-IICA team journeyed to four countries and photographed one hundred rural women.
During the production - which promises to have a global impact - the team took 15 flights and travelled 2, 500 kilometers, crossing rivers, mountains, forests and deserts.
Daniela Falcão, CEO of Ediciones Globo/ Condé Nast and Editor of Vogue Brazil, forged the partnership with IICA. Falcão shared her hope that these printed images would, “light a spark in those who viewed them, inspiring them to turn the spotlight on these women, their causes and their strength”.
A number of private organizations came on board to support this novel initiative, including Canon, the multinational corporation specializing in comprehensive image solutions; Canson Infinity, which produces canvas and art paper specifically designed for printing pictures; Moldurarte, Brazil’s leading producer of picture frames; 3t Locadora de Equipamentos, a Brazilian company that sources photographic equipment; and Thinkers MGT, experts in artistic design of photographic concepts.
Copa Airlines and the Turvisa Travel Agency also provided support for this photographic production.