In 2016, I visited an agroecological farm – Naturaleza Viva, located in Argentina’s Santa Fe Province – for the Gaia Foundation as part of a large-scale initiative that will become the book and exhibition We Feed the World in October 2018, in London.
“If you work with nature, it will help you. If you work against it, it will also work against you,” Remo said proudly while showing me his farm Naturaleza Viva. He and his wife Irmina were members of the Agrarian Leagues in their youth – a farmers’ movement in Northeast Argentina that rallied small producers in response to the corporate control of large estate owners.
The state terrorism of The National Reorganization Process, a military dictatorship that took place between 1976 and 1983, targeted members of the Agrarian Leagues, eventually wiping them out. Remo and Irmina were forced to hide in the dense forest of Argentina’s Chaco region for four years to avoid the army that was searching for them.
They had two children and through a network of contacts managed to escape to Spain where they remained until the dictatorship was over. Upon returning to Santa Fe Province they started the farm with the idea of it being a place of change where society could be re-thought and developed in a more sustainable way. Currently, they host 15 families and ship their agro-ecological products all over the country.