Photoville

Women coffee farmers play a vital yet often overlooked role in coffee production, contributing up to 70% of the labor to plant, harvest, and process coffee beans. Despite their significant contribution, these women frequently go unrecognized and unpaid for their efforts. Lucia Bawot, Colombian photographer and storyteller, set out to change and rewrite this narrative with her debut book “We Belong: An Anthology of Colombian Women Coffee Farmers” (2023).

This initiative evolved into a larger project, encompassing “Beans to Minds,” a pilot program focused on mental health support for 39 women coffee farmers and pickers, and “The Revolution of Belonging,” a lecture series that seeks to help women find belonging. Through her photography, Lucia aims to shed light on the lives of Colombian women coffee farmers and pickers. Her photographs are more than mere images: they’re windows through which one can glimpse the depth and complexity of the human experience. With each photograph, she peels back the layers of stereotype and stigma, inviting us to see these women not as laborers toiling in coffee fields, but as humans. This isn’t merely a photographic endeavor; it’s a cathartic exploration of identity and the power of making the invisible visible.

The most intimate work is often the most universal. In the end, we are reminded of what belonging truly is: a feeling, a connection, a shared sense of humanity that transcends borders and barriers.

Artist Bios

  • Lucia Bawot

    Lucia Bawot is passionate about transforming ideas into tangible projects. Her motto is: “Make the invisible VISIBLE.”

    After a decade of working with more than 12 leading companies in the coffee industry to form supply-chain narratives and communicate the values of their sustainability projects, in March of 2023, Lucia marked a new chapter in her professional career and independently published her debut book, “We Belong: An Anthology of Colombian Women Coffee Farmers.” This book is an artistic declaration with a humanistic approach that reveals the life stories of 25 Colombian women coffee farmers and pickers in their full spectrum. “We Belong” won 3rd Place in the Women’s Book category at the Gourmand Awards and 2nd Place/Honoree in the Best Coffee Book category at the Sprudgie Awards.

    After the publication of her book, she discovered how much passion she feels for writing and crafting stories. Currently, Lucia is brewing up two book ideas. First, a guidebook to tackle the challenge of belonging, which aims to be a tool for women who have emigrated from their homes and are searching for a sense of belonging and identity. Second, a novel that unpacks her mother’s intricate, inspiring, and trailblazing story of founding and running a transportation company during the Colombian armed conflict.

    Last but not least, Lucia is Colombian, a “montañera”, and has coffee roots that extend deep within her family. Even though she lives in the United States and has spent most of her life outside of her country, she takes refuge in and empowers herself through, the stories of her land, her family, and her childhood experiences.

Organizations

  • The Seaport

    The Seaport

    The Seaport is New York City’s original neighborhood, a maritime hub of history, culture, entertainment, and dining, located along the East River in Lower Manhattan. The neighborhood celebrates emerging and resident artists, local organizations, and community connectivity through its curated events & activations, including its public art program, Seaport Arts.

  • Photoville

    Photoville

    Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race.

    In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions.

    By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, we join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation.

    Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.

    For more information about Photoville visit, www.photoville.com

We Belong: Making the Invisible visible!

 coming soon

Featuring: Lucia Bawot

Presented by: The Seaport and Photoville
  • The Seaport
  • Photoville

Locations

View Location Details The South Street Seaport

23 Fulton Street, as well as windows on the corner of Fulton & Front Streets
New York, NY 10038

Number 68 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map

Listen to Lucia’s audio commentary on the project (available in English and Spanish) & a playlist of the women’s favorite songs here.

This website was made possible thanks to the generous support and partnership of Photowings