Minga: the first free agroecological photography hotbed is born

Tierra Viva Agency launches "Minga", a free photography hotbed that shows the life and work of peasant families, indigenous communities, agricultural cooperative sectors and socio-environmental assemblies. In the first phase, 12 photographers contributed images that show the diversity of Argentina that contributes to the construction of food sovereignty and good living.

"They do not see her". With the ease of a teenage streamer, Javier Miley, Argentina's top official, recreated the phrase from his cell phone, so that the seven letters could be added to a virtual library of social networks, artificial intelligence, several diverse "lions" and selfies with Donald Trump and Elon Musk on their X network (formerly Twitter) accounts.

In recent weeks, the slogan born on Twitter, the president's favorite territory, has transcended the cyberspace of the Internet and has become a permanent fixture in secular discussions. Although they systematically attack photographers at every demonstration, it is worth asking: what do they "not see"? Why do they point out those who they consider “shortsighted” and at the same time persecute those who they want to show and denounce?

Repression is an effervescent phenomenon that is not harmless and has very specific objectives. The effects of tear gas do not dissipate in the streets but spread in a symbolic battle that the ruling party is willing to fight on all fronts. There are no photos, only the statistics that emerge from that irritating vapor.

"There is a very peculiar function for words in colonialism: they do not designate, but rather they conceal", points out the Bolivian sociologist Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui in her book Chixinacax Utxiva as a harbinger of the history of oblivion. Photography is definitely memory. Once done, it will become a record of the past. In a country like Argentina, where vertigo forces us to exercise selective memory to remember what happened just a few days ago: how can we build a collective story if we don't even have suitable images to tell the present? In this context and with these questions in mind, members of the Tierra Viva cooperative created Minga: the first photo bank on family, peasant and indigenous agriculture.

It would be presumptuous to assume that this initiative will serve any purpose other than providing free downloadable images to rural organizations, researchers, journalists and anyone else interested in telling the story of the countryside from the perspective of those who produce food and put it into use. the people's table. Five hundred and seventy images that complete the first upload of this hotbed of photographs create the feeling that we are dealing with a larger project and that it was born to grow.

hotbed of photographs
Photo: Matías Sarlo. Horticulture in the province of Mendoza.

Online photography hotbed

The cover of this photography hotbed currently online features a cast of authors from across the country, creating a series of fresh and engaging photographs. The images were requested by the Tierra Viva cooperative, according to specific criteria, in order to create a set of images related to the earth, what arises from it and what keeps it alive.

In the first phase, 12 photographers sent their photographs to expand the photographic collection and create a website with diverse, well-organized and high-quality material. The "Minga" website, whose name comes from a general meeting aimed at carrying out a collective task for the public good, was created over the course of a year and involved, in addition to the authors, the entire team responsible for programming. of the website, the development of licenses, the editing of images, the documentation to catalog and finalize the creation of the project identity.

As such, it is argued that "Minga" is a powerful tool that serves practical purposes, acting as an accurate search engine and as an extensive visual record of life in rural Argentina. In this visual world, photography's role in creating meaning becomes increasingly important.

Recently, a new term has emerged to describe our gluttonous consumption of images in the constant flow of social media and mass production. The iconography determines the constant consumption of the image, at the same time that it suggests the creator's ability to prey and create new images with the same assimilation and reproduction. The visual excess actually hides the story's shortcomings. Constant and insatiable hunger is not a consequence of scarcity but of the quality of food.

This "hotbed of photographs", as the members of Tierra Viva like to call it, contrasts with the profitable idea of ​​the "bank", which aims to make an important contribution to strengthening the communication of the agroecology, this sector produces food and all those who support the rural model defend food sovereignty and good living.


With information of: https://agenciatierraviva.com.ar/