Around 500 billion cups of coffee are consumed globally each year. The second-most common drink in the world, it stands alongside oil, sugar and wheat as one of the most valuable primary commodities in international trade. Coffee has become such an important part of our lives that many of us can't even think about starting our day without it. Yet, despite its popularity, many of us have little idea of the often-harsh realities of everyday life for those whose livelihood depends on this resource.
To celebrate the launch of his new book, From These Hands (published by Phaidon), join internationally renowned photographer Steve McCurry as he takes us on a journey to the heart of coffee-growing communities around the world. From the foothills of the Andes to the slopes of Kilimanjaro, McCurry has recorded men and women harvesting coffee beans, children at play in the fields and families relaxing at home after a hard day's work. All the important coffee-growing regions are represented, captured in all their startling vibrancy in McCurry's highly recognisable colour portraits. This remarkable collection reaches beyond the processes of coffee production to capture the very essence of these communities: "This project is about coffee, but not in a literal sense," says McCurry. "…Its about how we live, about how people interact with one another."
Steve McCurry (b.1950) has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than 30 years, with scores of magazine covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name. A member of Magnum Photos, he has created stunning images in six continents and countless countries. His work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike - yet always retains the human element. McCurry has been recognized with the Robert Capa Gold Medal and National Press Photographers Award.