A new photographic exhibition on rural women, The Soul of Rurality, opens in Canada

A new photographic exhibition on rural women, The Soul of Rurality, opens in Canada
As a result of the partnership between IICA and Vogue, the photographs exhibited in Ottawa depict the essential role played by women in agriculture throughout the Americas.

IICA Canada Office Manager, Ysabel Giroux; Director General of the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, Kerry-Leigh Burchill; and IICA’s administrative assistant in the country, Gloria Ramírez, during the official opening of the photographic exhibition. 

Ottawa, Canada, March 11, 2020 (IICA). As part of its commitment to gender equality, and as a recognition of the fundamental contribution of rural women to world agriculture and food production, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) presented a photography exhibit entitled The Soul of Rurality, showcasing the reality, resilience, courage and perseverance of rural women in the countries of the Americas.

The exhibit, which opened this week and will be on view through 10 May 2020 at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, features 25 photographs of rural women from Jujuy, Argentina; Pará, Brazil; Antigua, Guatemala; and Treasure Beach, Jamaica, taken by renowned Brazilian photographer Cecilia Duarte.

“I am delighted to have partnered with IICA to bring these beautiful images to an audience that may never have had the chance to see images from the countries producing much of the food they consume. Many of these women work in agriculture, in rural areas and in food production, and I believe it is a powerful statement to see these images displayed in Canada”, said the Director General of the Museum, Kerry-Leigh Burchill.

“The museum strongly believes in including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into its new programs, to ensure that diversity and inclusion are taken into account as important elements of our visitors’ experience’’, she added.

IICA’s Representative in Canada, Jean-Charles Le Vallée, also stated that “the images showcased in the exhibit not only pay tribute to rural women in Latin America and the Caribbean but also invite the media and society as a whole to become part of the event, offering an opportunity to raise awareness and highlight the reality of women farmers, as a step towards achieving the goals of gender equality and empowerment”.

This photographic body of work is the result of a unique partnership between Vogue and IICA, supported by Corteva Agriscience, to draw society’s attention to women living and working in the rural milieu.

The exhibit held in Ottawa is also supported by Ingenium, a state-owned Canadian company responsible for supervising national museums featuring science- and technology-related content, formerly called the Canada Science and Technology Museum Corporation. About 75,000 visitors are expected to attend the exhibit.

The Soul of Rurality was previously exhibited in San Jose (Costa Rica), Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo, Washington and Madrid.

These powerful portraits were also published by Vogue Brazil in its October 2018 issue, together with stories about these strong rural women who contribute to food security through their work on a daily basis.

For the photographic project, the production team took 15 different flights and covered about 2,500 kilometers, crossing rivers, mountains, forests and deserts.

About IICAIICA is the specialized agency for agriculture in the Inter-American system, with a mission to encourage, promote and support its 34 Member States in their efforts to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical cooperation of excellence.