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January 2017

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“How many can claim that they own a magic mirror? In Tanjung, everyone can...”
Tanjung Harapan, Sumatra, Indonesia

February 2017

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“I was born at the foot of tall hills, amidst the foliage of the Mother Forest. My roots are in this corner of the world...”
Pilla, Sumatra, Indonesia

March 2017

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“Two souls live in me. An ancient one, acquired from my ancestors. A modern one, stemming from my will...”
Karnataka, Chikmagalur, India

April 2017

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“At Maussawa space is vaster. I realize that looking at it from up here...”
Halpola, Kotmale, Sri Lanka

May 2017

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“Kotagiri is a forest of tall trees backed up by rock faces...”
Kotagiri, India

June 2017

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“I am a girl of these mountains. I will be a woman of these mountains...”
Karnataka, Chikmagalur, India

July 2017

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“Before this place was called Paksong, meaning “Two mouths of the river”, it was known as “Land of Gold” because of its fertility...”
Paksong, Laos

August 2017

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“You breathe in a special atmosphere in Paksong. We feel the world is watching us and we are proud of it...”
Paksong, Laos

September 2017

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“The heat of this land is part of me. And I am one of its elements...”
Quang Tien, Buôn na Thuôt, Vietnam

October 2017

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“There is a legend in Jatiluwih. It is about a dragon that passed through here one day and was moved by the beauty of this place...”
Jatiluwi, Bali, Indonesia

November 2017

1_scatto_principale
“Once I had a garden as big as a coffee plantation. Back then, sun and rain alternated harmoniously...”
Quang Tien, Buôn na Thuôt, Vietnam

December 2017

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“After a long journey by sea, I decided to stop on these shores...”
Kusamba, Bali, Indonesia

January 2017

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“How many can claim that they own a magic mirror? In Tanjung, everyone can. So that means we live in a very special place. The mirror has various powers. It calms the spirit. It inspires legends. It transforms reflected hillsides into an embrace. It is a source of life for an entire community that comes together to grow coffee in the surrounding hills. It is a mirror that you listen to and with which you can dialogue, just like in fairy tales. It is the mirror of the lake of Tanjung. It is the mirror of its people.” Tanjung Harapan, Sumatra, Indonesia

Taken by Denis Rouvre

Coffee plants in the shadows of ancient legends: this land is the enemy of moisture and the friend of people who live in symbiosis with the forest, respect its spirit, fear its rage.

“If you mistreat the lake, sticks appear on the water. I saw them once...”

Abudul Khalik, Key Farmer

“The air is marvellous, like our forest, which has remained completely intact.”

Abudul Khalik, Key Farmer

“We are sustainable farmers. That’s why we produce coffee better than anyone else.”

Dewi Septirita, Project Assistant

“If our Earth doesn’t talk to us, we have to talk to her. Always.”

Abudul Khalik, Key Farmer

February 2017

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“I was born at the foot of tall hills, amidst the foliage of the Mother Forest. My roots are in this corner of the world. I immediately modelled my life according to changes in climate. I learned to absorb rain. To stand up to the wind. To dry off in the sun. To generate shade. To generate the shade that, here, means generating coffee. Because in order to grow at the Equator, coffee needs to be sheltered from the heat of the sun. And ever since I was born I have had one task: protecting it. Because I am from Pilla. And I am a woman. And I am a plant.” Pilla, Sumatra, Indonesia

Taken by Denis Rouvre

A body of water surrounded by coffee leaves: on the banks of Lake Ranau farmers are working to ensure that this nature, which listens to them, observes them and nourishes them with love, will remain pure and intact.

“If a man and a woman are united before they marry, the spirit of the forest punishes them.”

Sunardi, Key Farmer

“In the spring, the water of the lake becomes very hot. We can boil eggs in it.”

Sunardi, Key Farmer

“Technology helps us defend ourselves from the damp climate threatening our coffee beans.”

Efendi, Commercial Coordinator

“I am proud to cultivate the fields, to live in harmony with my nature.”

Sunardi, Key Farmer

March 2017

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“Two souls live in me. An ancient one, acquired from my ancestors. A modern one, stemming from my will. Together they are the essence of this region: the spirit of Karnataka. The former inspires me every day to go to the coffee plantations to continue the work of those before me. The latter forces me to pay more and more attention to them. So to do this I plant new tall trees amidst the crops. They help filter sunlight so the heat of the rays will not jeopardize their growth. So I can create an ideal climate and achieve perfect development of the plant, which goes hand in hand with that of the community. All of this thanks to my two souls. That are tradition. That are progress.” Karnataka, Chikmagalur, India

Taken by Denis Rouvre

Everything is born from a spirit: the coffee plants, the land and its wonders hidden from the world. You can’t see the city from here, but you can smell it in the air: pollution has already laid down the gauntlet.

“A woman, Hagartama, taught us respect for the land. Now it’s up to us.”

M.R. Harsha, Key Farmer

“Far from the city and pollution, in the middle of the mountains and crops, we’re happy.”

(M.R. Harsha, Key Farmer

“Coffee and pepper are our life, our livelihood for generations.”

Sri H.M. Lokesh, Chairman

“Nature has given us freedom, and we have to defend it from inclement weather.”

M.R. Harsha, Key Farmer

April 2017

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“At Maussawa space is vaster. I realize that looking at it from up here. I admire its vastness extending as far as its borders, sometimes imagining that I cross them and others that I am conquering them. Ever since I have been in the world I have nourished and supported this land. I offer flour, lumber and, above all, treacle: a natural sweetener that has survived the massive cultivation of sugarcane, which took land and primacy away from it since the colonial age. But I withstood the test of time, without ever bending to headwinds. Now everyone recognises my role. They safeguard it through rituals. They teach it and hand it down. Because I am the lifeblood of this forest and this community. They call me the Kitul palm. They call me the woman of Maussawa.” Halpola, Kotmale, Sri Lanka

Taken by Denis Rouvre

Taking care of the flowers, like you would with children. Only those who respect the land receive a special gift in exchange: the Kitul sap, which keeps the leaves of the plants and the dreams of an entire village alive.

“You need to treat the Kitul blossom like a child: in other words, lavishing attention on it.”

Sumil Wijesirl, Farmer

“On our land there is fruit, there are animals ... nature has given the best of itself.”

Sumil Wijesirl, Farmer

“The world should learn from us, because we use only natural products.”

Chamika Samarawila, Manager administration

“I can only thank this land. Losing it would be like losing ourselves.”

Sumil Wijesirl, Farmer

May 2017

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“Kotagiri is a forest of tall trees backed up by rock faces. It is a magnificent and delightful place with plenty of rainfall. That life is difficult around here is something that not even the foliage can conceal. But Kotagiri also has its pleasant side. It is merely difficult to reach because it is amidst the tallest treetops and narrow mountain gorges. That’s where the beehives with Jenu are: the most prized multi floral forest honey in all of India. So every day, for centuries, someone climbs up and hunts for honey, while others defend it. It is a high-altitude duel of agility and mutual respect, in which victory is very sweet indeed. A struggle for survival that pits the king and queen of the forest against each other. The man of Kotagiri, the bee of Kotagiri.” Kotagiri, India

Taken by Denis Rouvre

An entire populace of “sacred hunters” looks for the divine wildflower honey, which bees safeguard like a treasure. Every day in the mountains is an adventure, a duel to be experienced with a positive spirit.

“The bees’ honey is sacred, nourishing: it is given to pregnant women.”

Robert Leo, Deputy Director Technical

“It is a magnificent place to make films: there are paths, the sounds of nature, sunsets.”

Palraj, Key Farmer

“The honey is sent around the world, including Italy. We are happy. It is a gift of God.”

Palraj, Key Farmer

“We have learned coherence from the bees … we are our own forest.”

Robert Leo, Deputy Director Technical

June 2017

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“I am a girl of these mountains. I will be a woman of these mountains. I am the daughter of coffee growers and I grow coffee. I will be the mother of coffee growers and will always grow coffee. I collect the rains that nourish these lands in the wet season. I will use the water I’ve collected to nourish these lands when the dry season arrives. Every day I learn the best production techniques. Every day I will teach the most sustainable production techniques. I work so that the role of women will be recognized in our country. I will work so that the role of women will be recognized in our world. I am my today. I will be my tomorrow.” Karnataka, Chikmagalur, India

Taken by Denis Rouvre

Nature loves them and the community respects them. Women take care of the land and nourish it like a daughter. And they work alongside their fathers and husbands to produce wealth.

“In the village there’s a well that never dries up. The water has been flowing for decades.”

Rosie Goyeas, Key Farmer

“The most adventurous come to us to see elephants, deer, wild boars.”

Rosie Goyeas, Key Farmer

“Men and women have worked in close contact for coffee for three generations now.”

Girish B., Project Manager

“I think that Nature is proud of me: I am a woman and I protect her too.”

Rosie Goyeas, Key Farmer

July 2017

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“Before this place was called Paksong, meaning “Two mouths of the river”, it was known as “Land of Gold” because of its fertility. A generous, volcanic land poised between waterfalls and mountains, that welcomed into its arms and its foliage everyone who ventured here. A land where we cultivate coffee — and, above all, respect. Because here in Paksong we live together peacefully. We “co-exist”: we exist together. Among the various ethnic groups — the Laven, Yahen, Ta-oy and Lao — but also with different crops: coffee as well as cabbages, chilli peppers, aubergines and fruit trees. It is easy to understand why complete harmony with the environment is the only rule for living here. On this land that is red, but rooted in gold. Rich in values and fruits. That is culture. That is cultivation.” Paksong, Laos

Taken by Denis Rouvre

They have been growing coffee for generations on a stretch of red earth. People thank nature and nature thanks them, because with them it is turning into gold, ever stronger.

“The land is ‘Maiy Thor la ny’, the queen of the subsoil that protects us.”

SombounSai Bouakea, President Jai Coffee Farmer Cooperative

“The connection with nature means cultivating trees to cover the coffee plants.”

SombounSai Bouakea, President Jai Coffee Farmer Cooperative

“Our coffee is a good and delicious product, and I think the world wants more of it.”

SombounSai Bouakea, President Jai Coffee Farmer Cooperative

“We are transforming the land into gold. It would thank us for this a hundred times over.”

SombounSai Bouakea, President Jai Coffee Farmer Cooperative

August 2017

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“You breathe in a special atmosphere in Paksong. We feel the world is watching us and we are proud of it. Because here we all share the same dream and, together, we try to make it come true. We want to improve the conditions of the Planet through our Arabica plantations. We are a sort of huge natural laboratory, in which even the tiniest results that are achieved here at Paksong are an enormous step forward for everyone’s future. The consumption of water and energy, the emission and absorption of carbon dioxide, fertilizers: everything is taken into consideration to minimize any environmental impact. And in this daily miracle we are the body and the breath. We, men and trees. We, women and plantations.” Paksong, Laos

Taken by Denis Rouvre

Five populations in the heart of the forest. The green of the coffee plantations erases every difference: to them, sharing the same land means sharing the same future.

“The Laven worship pigs, and the Yahen worship buffaloes to ensure health and peaceful slumber.”

Boum Evang, Deputy Director Jai Coffee Farmer Cooperative

“The mountains, the waterfalls, the rivers are a wonder and contribute to moisture.”

Boum Evang, Deputy Director Jai Coffee Farmer Cooperative

“We improve the land with technology, to attain quality and quantity.”

Khampkong Pheng Khao Phone, Coffee Adviser

“We eat and live thanks to nature. I would tell her, ‘I want you to stay this way.”

Boum Evang, Deputy Director Jai Coffee Farmer Cooperative

September 2017

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“The heat of this land is part of me. And I am one of its elements. I bring light here when climate changes cast shadows. Because that which can no longer yield anything starts growing again thanks to my commitment. I burn plants that have become non-productive because of the alternation of drought and bad weather, allowing new crops to be planted. Mainly coffee. So that, along with the forest, the community can also advance. I am proof that, at times, what dies with ashes can be reborn from those ashes. That’s why I am respected and even venerated in the community of Ea Sin. I am a generating and regenerating force. I am man. I am fire.” Quang Tien, Buôn na Thuôt, Vietnam

Taken by Denis Rouvre

Cutting, without losing one’s roots. A great lesson to put into practice every day to save the coffee plants and their flowers, which dot the rural landscape with white.

“The Tay Nguyen preserve the beauty of the coffee blossoms to preserve their children’s future.”

Do Thanh Dinh, Vice President of Farmer Cooperative

“When the coffee plantations are in bloom, the morning is a real spectacle.”

Do Thanh Dinh, Vice President of Farmer Cooperative

“This year we saved about 180,000 coffee plants. That’s something to be proud of!”

Do Thanh Chung, Country Director

“Between the community and the land, the land probably gives more: it creates life.”

Do Thanh Dinh, Vice President of Farmer Cooperative

October 2017

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“There is a legend in Jatiluwih. It is about a dragon that passed through here one day and was moved by the beauty of this place. His tears fell to the ground and spawned Dewi Sri, goddess of prosperity. Later, when her body left these lands to return to the heavenly kingdom, red rice grew in its place: a unique wild variety famous for its fragrance. Since that day, I too have been on this land. I bathe these green terraces to give them ever-new lifeblood and I protect this rice from the risk of extinction. I allow these ancient rituals to continue. I give new generations the opportunity to continue the work of the first builders of the subak, the irrigation system. I nourish the land so it can nourish people. Because I am the water of these rice paddies. Because I am the woman of these rice paddies.” Jatiluwi, Bali, Indonesia

Taken by Denis Rouvre

A large cloud in the sky makes the village’s prosperity grow, protecting its inhabitants and the red rice that emerges from the water, gathered by careful, proud, happy hands.

“‘Dewi Sir’, the goddess of rice and prosperity, was born from the dragon’s tears.”

Nyoman Sugita, Chairman Red Rice Farmers

“Nature has given us more than it gave the others: large terraces of rice and culture.”

Nyoman Sugita, Chairman Red Rice Farmers

“Rice production improves the economy of the village and the unity of us inhabitants.”

Grace M. Tarjoto, Member Slow Food Ubud

“The earth gives life and we take care of it, for the future of the next generations.”

Nyoman Sugita, Chairman Red Rice Farmers

November 2017

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“Once I had a garden as big as a coffee plantation. Back then, sun and rain alternated harmoniously. The grateful land yielded its fruits and my garden flourished. Then one day things became more difficult: I started to face serious problems and damage. So in the rainy season I observed increasingly intense precipitation and in the dry season long periods of great heat and no water. I heard about global warming for the very first time, and my garden almost stopped yielding any fruit. But I wasn’t alarmed. If anything, I learned the concept of resilience, because someone showed me by example, and my garden immediately flourished once more. As it did before, better than before. And if Vietnam is now the second leading producer of coffee in the world, it is also thanks to the fabulous story of my garden – and my story. Me, the man of this land and the climate of this land.” Quang Tien, Buôn na Thuôt, Vietnam

Taken by Denis Rouvre

Nature is rebelling, attacking humans with heat and drought. The territory can only be reborn by combining sustainability with technology. Then coffee can grow and the community can still live.

“Once Mother Nature gave us plenty of water. Now we need to deserve it.”

Nguyen Thi Cong, Key Farmer

“We are now an extent of coffee plants, but climate can devastate everything.”

Le Ngul Linh, Provincial Coordinator

“With new techniques, we are learning how to fight our demon: drought.”

Le Ngul Linh, Provincial Coordinator

“Our land is exhausted. I would like to give it water to make it fertile again, like before.”

Nguyen Thi Cong, Key Farmer

December 2017

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“After a long journey by sea, I decided to stop on these shores. The beaches of Kusamba proved to be ideal for my adventure. I wanted to produce wealth for the people who live here. So I started a cycle that has been repeated daily ever since. Reaching the shore with the waves. Drying myself in the sun. Resting in the huts. Giving the community self-determination and pride. It seems easy to describe now, but it wasn’t at first. I could only do it in the name of my purity. The same as that of those who live in Kusamba. Because I am the salt of this sea. Because I am the man of this beach.” Kusamba, Bali, Indonesia

Taken by Denis Rouvre

From a volcanic eruption to a paradise so beautiful it looks like a film set. The black sand generates a sweet natural gem that keeps the economy and culture of the population alive: salt.

“Everything changed here with the 1963 eruption: the environment, work, our lives.”

Pak Ketut Kaping, Key Farmer

“Marvellous waves and black sand: there is nothing more beautiful than our beach.”

Pak Ketut Kaping, Key Farmer

“Our salt is much sweeter than the industrial kind and comes from excellent water.”

Pak Ketut Kaping, Key Farmer

“I must thank nature, because it takes care of me and the entire community.”

Pak Ketut Kaping, Key Farmer