The Industrial Revolution sparked a change in the way humans live on planet Earth. Arguably the most important development was the steam engine, which enabled the transportation of people, food and products. Slowly but surely, sometimes around the 1760s, we moved from being an agrarian society to one dominated by machines and mass production.
Some historians and environmentalists would propose that industrial agriculture in the form we know it today is one of the most damaging steps we have taken towards the way we treat our home planet. In our fundamentally transformed society, especially in the West, we are used to having whatever food we want on our plates, no matter how many thousands of miles it has to travel to get to us and what impact this has on Earth. Modern people have lost a deep and meaningful connection to the food they eat — to them, it’s just something they buy from the supermarket, probably wrapped in cellophane, rather than something they have grown and cared for themselves in order to sustain their biological needs.
Timo Knorr poses the question “is this right, is there a better way” with his photographic body of work Entwurzelt. For six months he worked in a local community food farm helping with all kinds of daily activities, from planting the seeds to caring for the vegetables, maintaining the machinery and infrastructure and driving the tractors and other vehicles. Knorr has produced dramatically lit photographs and the color and tone resemble scenes from a movie. It’s admirable that he decided to get his hands dirty and be personally involved to get a better understanding of how our food comes to our tables rather than passively observe the process. Every job is different and harder than it appears initially once you do it yourself.
Very recently I visited my grandparents who only eat what they produce themselves in their allotment. I tried to explain to them the concept of organic produce and they simply couldn’t grasp it because they don’t know anything else, to them organic, pesticide-free food is the only food that should exist. Sadly, we as a species have slightly lost our ways and now produce more food to feed the world twice and over, with the rest going to waste.
Sign up for the newsletter to read this post
We support independent documentary photographers and photojournalists by promoting their work. Read unique documentary stories with our newsletter.