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Telling an Authentic Story of Coffee Through Photo-Voice

The story of coffee and those who grow it is increasingly important for consumers to know. How do you strike a balance between telling that coffee story well and being authentic?

To change how we share the story of coffee, we explored the photo-voice approach by giving coffee farmers digital cameras and asking them to answer a series of questions by taking photographs. This led to incredible discussions and stories that we might otherwise never have heard or thought of asking about. Photo-Voice gave farmers the opportunity to share their lived experiences using their own voice. What started with a social scientist employing photo-voice for research purposes within a coffee growing community in Burundi, led to a new way of engaging with coffee farmers and sharing their stories. We will share the approach and results of this, and the things we learned along the way – including the mistakes made and surprising benefits of learning from this.

This is a combined lecture with Milda Rosenberg (a researcher) and Robyn-Leigh van Laren (a story team representative of a Burundian coffee producer). We aim to link this talk to an exhibition of selected photos and stories in an interactive social setting.

Category: Humanities and Social Sciences

Lecture Room 2

Target Audience: Producers, Baristas, Roasters, Traders, Retail Operators, Coffee Enthusiasts

Download lecture handout here.