National Geographic : 2015 Apr
Argentine Identities A rgentina is a promised land blessed with incredible beauty and potential. I wanted to create a project that would emphasize its diversity, foster conservation, and empower rural communities to reach their produc- tive and social potential. To support this work, I created a foundation called Biophilia ( biophilia-founda- tion .org), which means a love for life. Since I moved here from Italy ten years ago, I’ve seen Argentina’s economy become more and more focused on the large-scale cultivation of genetically modified soybeans. This is tragic, in terms of both cul- ture and biodiversity. I felt the need to do something about this by work- ing to create an alternative approach to a more sustainable future. So on December 27, 2013, my wife, Juli, and I began a five-month jour- ney across the country. We worked with rural farmers and small-scale food producers to select, conceive, and shape a specific set of projects in four different Argentine regions: Story and Photographs by MARCO VERNASCHI Jujuy Province The Suris, also known as Samilantes, are a cultural group within the Quechua community. This woman is Belén Cruz. Her feathered costume represents the nandu, or rhea, sacred bird of the Suris.