16 Dec 2016

WFO donates "Soil Quilt - Women of the World" artwork to the FAO Director General

Rome, 16 December 2016 - On the occasion of the High-level Event “Step It Up Together with Rural Women to End Hunger and Poverty”, scheduled for December 16 2016, at FAO headquarters in Rome, the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) organized an Official Ceremony during which an artwork “Soil Quilt – Women of the World”, realized by the artist Fausto Roma, donated to the Director-General of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Josè Graziano da Silva.

The artistic patchwork aims at highlighting the critical role of rural women in contributing to food security, poverty eradication and rural development.

The idea is to showcase how gender equality and the empowerment of rural women are inextricably linked to food systems in fighting hunger and malnutrition.

"The partnership with WFO is crucial for the future work of FAO" said the Director General, Josè Graziano da Silva.

Kati Partanen, facilitator of the WFO Women's Committee, introduced the vision and the process of realization of the artwork of the artist Fausto Roma.


Phot Credit:FAO/Riccardo De Luca

"The work of the artist Roma features patches coming from different countries of the world" said Kati Partanen.

The patches were collected and “placed under the soil” during the 2015 International Year of Soils by women farmers from different countries (Japan, Uganda, USA, Finland, Australia, Italia, Canada, Malaysia and Argentina). The main objective was to cross all borders of all territories and archetypes, highlighting the vital role of women in preserving biodiversity, achieving food security, nutrition, and socio-economic development.

Women comprise an average 43 percent of the agricultural labour force of developing countries. The female share of the agricultural labour force ranges from about 20 percent in the Americas to almost 50 percent in East and Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, according to a recent FAO study.

The artwork “SOIL QUILT - Women of the World”, is conceived as a gift donated by women farmers to the FAO Director-General, as an anthropological symbol of the symbiosis between women, agriculture, food security and land.

40 women farmers from across the world participating to the event.


Photo credit: FAO/Riccardo De Luca

The Earth has always been a key theme at the center of the artistic personality and constant experimentation of the artist Roma. In fact, he has launched a strong message through his works during the years, such as the megalithic sculpture “The Big Wall”, the sculpture-jewel “Eneide Mission”, “Terra 2011” presented during the 54th Biennale di Venezia, and “Coffee Lands”, a solo exhibition at the Vittoriano in Rome.

The work “SOIL QUILT –“Women of the World, is a triptyque that represents a long journey examining the Earth through the eyes of the artist. The soil is represented in the two lateral panels composed by all the unearthed patchworks sewed together through the harmonious combination of symbols, signs, Earth and Sky, and the visual interpretation of the space.
There is an inner significance deriving from Incas, Vikings, Celts, and Etruscans. At the same time, the artwork shows the innovative reference to the space and satellite images. The Past is rediscovered and recreated by the Present.


Photo credit: FAO/Riccardo De Luca

In the central panel, the artist Roma wishes to represent the famous “Cretto di Burri” (crack of Burri) or “Cretto di Gibellina” (crack of Gibellina), also known as “The Great Cretto”, highlighting the main obstacles faced by rural women. Eliminating all these obstacles will enhance women to improve their livelihood and contribute to their socio-economic development as well as the development of their own community.
Aside of the High-Level Event, from 14 – 16 December 2016, a solo exhibition of the artist Fausto Roma “Coffee Lands”, promoted in partnership with WFO, will be hosted in the FAO Hq.

The exhibition “Coffee Lands”, features five artworks, which will help us discover all the diverse cultures and processes from production to consumption of a coffee bean. It shows stories from the countries of cultivation (i.e. Kenya, Mexico, Ethiopia, Guatemala and Colombia), as well as those for other processes such as blending, roasting, identification of quality and final consumption.


Photo credit: FAO/Riccardo De Luca