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In Mayan culture, bee-keepers believe that bees are a gift from the god Ah Muzen Cab and provide a link with the spirit world. For centuries, these insects made the Yucatán Peninsula the world’s leading honey-producing region. In 2011, however, the Mexican government began offering subsidies to allow farmers to use GMO crops to increase their soy bean production. As a result, the hives have been declining for the past few years or have been contaminated by the pesticides used extensively by certain farmers – mainly Mennonites, the Anabaptist Christians who eschew technological progress. Two different worlds with two conceptions of tradition and rurality are at loggerheads. American photographer Nadia Shira Cohen has already received a World Press Photo award for this long-term project, which she began in 2016. She tells a story in which the race for profit and the over-exploitation of land has triggered a domino effect with inevitable, irreversible consequences for the surrounding fauna and flora, as well as for the entire ecosystem.

Nadia Shira Cohen is the 2019 winner of the Yves Rocher Foundation Photo Award in partnership with Visa pour l’Image. She was awarded a grant of €8,000 for her work God’s Honey, which is on show for the first time in full at La Gacilly.

photographs by Nadia SHIRA COHEN

From 01/07/2020 to 31/10/2020
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