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College News

Lavery Library Presents "El Campo: La Crisis En Silencio" Exhibit


Lavery Library Presents "El Campo: La Crisis En Silencio" Exhibit

Lavery Library's latest exhibit, "El Campo: La Crisis En Silencio (Rural Mexico's Silent Crisis)," is on display through December 22 at St. John Fisher College. The exhibit features photographs by Joseph Sorrentino, taken during his trips to rural Mexico in 2003 and 2008. Featured in the Lower Level Gallery, the exhibit is free and open to the public.

Sorrentino's photographs document the state of crisis in Mexico's rural areas. More than 80 percent of campesinos (rural workers or small farmers) are defined as "extremely poor," meaning that they earn less than $2 per day. During his travels, Sorrentino spent time in approximately 15 villages throughout five Mexican states. He photographed campesinos who grew gourmet coffee, nopal (an edible cactus), jicama (a root vegetable), cacao, and vanilla to sell. They also grew corn and beans for their own consumption.

The situation Sorrentino captured through his lens was the same in every village: dire poverty. The only glimmer of hope that he saw lies in organizations that promote fair trade. These organizations pay campesinos more for their goods and provide programs designed to lift them out of poverty. A recent study showed that fair trade can double a campesino's income. These organizations are also working to preserve traditional ways of living and are promoting organic farming and sustainable living. Sorrentino's photographs help share the story of his experiences as he followed the fair trade movement over the past several years.

In celebration of the exhibit, a reception will be held on Thursday, November 12 at 6 p.m. in Lavery Library on the lower level. Sorrentino will attend to discuss his work and his story.

Parking is available in Lots A and B off of the main entrance to the College at East Ave./Fairport Road. The exhibit is handicapped accessible.

For more information about "El Campo: La Crisis En Silencio," please contact Nancy Greco, Reference Librarian and Head of Circulation, at (585) 385-8139 or


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