About the life is an ongoing project by Luca Francesconi
In the sixties a number of movements demanded social changes, ethical recognition and legitimacy in the public sphere. It's been so that a large part of today's society has taken shape. Today no one was outraged for the social dignity of a farmer, for the near impossibility to create income in agriculture and for an insignificant social image, as illiterate for example, that persists. We live in a reversal of roles, it was impossible to imagine before, that sees today the farmer as marginalized, hidden (often for shame), but not worthy of generating news for those who live with the land. Farmers, or that glimmer which of them still survives, living a phase not unlike that of social minorities fifty years ago. While feeding the planet, the ground no longer seems an everyone's business, but instrument of trade. Hidden among the shelves of the supermarket, it consumes asocial injustice. Without a damn power there will be no farmers, but farm laborers only. And our stomachs programmed by forfeit.
"Man abandons career in investment banking to pursue life as a farmer in Grandfather's country property."
This is a familiar story, a recurring narrative with many variations.
However, this does not matter. Now, when we hear it, we do not give it much importance.
In all this, one aspect to acknowledge is the act and purpose of storytelling; the former bank manager, the property inherited.
One may even think this as an act of merit, even worthy of being described as "courageous."
I think it is an abomination. Let me explain; there is nothing wrong with this, or so it would seem. In the many adaptations of this story, we do not however, enounter a real worker, waiter or second generation immigrant.The most absurd thing of all, is that the protagonist of that bucolic narrative, is never - or almost never - a farm laborer.
Absurd, but there it is.
In reality, our closest, daily interraction with Agriculture is when we buy vegetables at the supermarket.
It 's ridiculous, but it's true.
Foodstuffs for cash.
Here is our summary, our account of Agriculture. At least for now it is.
On the other end of our economic chain (from us as buyers) or rather: at the other side of the food chain, there is no "wise farmer" as the one who produces vegetables. Rather, there is an intermediate buyer or a commercial brand.
Like it or not, on the other side of that chain there is almost never that guy "who has returned to the earth", because this idealistic model could never compete with the prices in the supermarket and (the intermediate) buyer needs.
That's why you'll never hear, unless in meritorious exceptions, of this idyllic narrative, going back to the land, of this agricultural awakening, atavistic, which seems to be buried within the human being. You will never hear - I say - a farmhand that has become the owner. The profit margins - if there are any - can never cover the loan repaymments on this small piece of land.
So this leaves us with generational farmers, inheriting both land and profession as birthright.
Look around, it's just like that.
These romantic, agricultural land interractions are very few.
All this is really a long way, from the time when estates were conquered.
I know that when you buy a tomato, you would never think about these things.
But they are a reality and it is worth thinking about.