As I mentioned in my last post, I was very lucky this year to travel to Seattle with Food 4 Farmers to attend the SCAA to present my photographs. I selected what I consider the best 40 images from Nicaragua and printed them for a portfolio. Below is a digital copy of the portfolio for those of you who didn’t get a chance to check it out!
The SCAA is always a fantastic event, just the sheer number of fascinating and enthusiastic people attending the event makes it impossible to have a bad time, and this year did not disappoint. It was great to work at the booth with some truly amazing women – Sophie Conway, Charlene Farmer, Janice Nadworny and Marcela Pino.
In keeping with tradition of last year’s event, Food 4 Farmers had an Ice Cream social with some special celebrity scoopers – Rick Peyser & Kayd Whalen! These two were later replaced by Sophie Conway and Marcela Pino!
Thank you to all our fantastic scoopers and to everyone who stopped by to get some Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream! FairTrade International actually sponsored another Ice Cream Social at their booth the next day and helped fundraise for Food 4 Farmers! Big thank you to FairTrade International.
Marcela Pino gave a talk at the Sustainability Lectures and did an incredible job!
The SCAA is attended by about 10,000 people, and I was able to snap a couple photos of the event as I walked the floor. This represents probably about 0.5% of what was happening this year.
It was an exciting and busy weekend in Seattle! Last week I photographed the album release party for a funk rock band, The Gang of Thieves, and I had Cocoa Mocha stuck in my head the entire weekend! This was actually quite helpful because the whole event was very high-energy, and, even with the endless supply of coffee, music works just as well.
As usual, I decided to take a self portrait to reflect on the experience.
The SCAA was very very busy for me, and I found myself quickly swept up in attending events and parties, sharing stories about Food 4 Farmers, and making connections with people. By the end of every night I was socially exhilarated to meet so many interesting people, but, by the time I finally got back to the quiet of the hotel room, silence felt a little shocking.
In these quiet moments I would meditate on why I was at SCAA – yes, to connect with people and assist Food 4 Farmers – but the purpose of doing ALL of this is to help coffee farmers live a more fulfilling life. That is what Food 4 Farmers is about, and this is what I want to contribute to. The SCAA is incredibly important event for developing relationships, but the distance between the coffee farmer, the consumer, and where I fit somewhere in the middle, felt simultaneously out of reach and yet somehow tangible.
But this is the nature of the coffee industry, it is a business that attempts to bridge the gap between bean and cup, between farmer and consumer.