Songs of coffee : Letter #1
By Reza Deghati
"I'm writing to you from the high plateaus of Guatemala, at the heart of the land of the Mayan peoples. There, the mountainsides are carpeted with coffee plantations – a sea of green sprinkled with red berries and men bent over them. With delicate passion, they separate the fruit from the branches, their gestures resound in an ineffable song which echoes through these mountains. Thus begins the starting point of the Songs of the Coffee Fields, a new photographic story I'll be pursuing in the coffee fields throughout the world, among the people who labour in them.
In the heart of a little village, a few kilometers from the most ancient vestiges of the Mayan civilization, a community of small coffee growers has assembled to discuss their passion – a gathering of wise and noble faces. I raise the now global question of the posited end of the world on this 21st of December.
My question is greeted with nothing less than a burst of laughter, making light of the international anxieties purveyed by the world's media.
One of them explains: "Our calendar announces the end of an era, and thus, the beginning of another. This December 21st marks the beginning of this new era. Our Mayan civilization will be renewed."
Then, he adds: "We have given much to the world. The successive invasions here have been nothing more than a brief interlude on the scale of our history and that of humanity. The fears of the end of the world are merely one interpretation of our calendar that is reflective of a state of mind."
Reza, by Rachel Deghati