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Isa Jamira of Oko Farms

The 195th recipient is Isa Jamira @theartistactivistfarmer of Oko Farms @okofarms in Brooklyn, NY. Isa writes, “In college I wanted to become a small organic farmer after I learned about the negative impact of the industrial food system on ourselves and the planet. As a young professional, I coined the phrase ‘Abolish the Food System’ because I realized by becoming a farmer I was participating in my own oppression. Farming is physically intensive labor, but selling produce is not profitable because good nutrient filled food needs to be affordable for everyone. Therefore, the physical toll of the labor is not fully reflected in the price of food.

I switched gears to become an educator, now I farm, garden, and teach. Teaching folks how to grow food is a great way to liberate the land and ourselves, caring for ourselves and the land at the same time. Through growing food and being on the land, folks learn to perceive ecosystems as caring communities that sustain life on this earth. As humans we need to do our part in sustaining these ecosystems by noticing plants, insects, and even bacteria as our equals and allies in caring for the planet. Documenting and making art is an important form of communication for myself. Self care for me looks like creating art about my relationship with the land and eating from the many farms and gardens I help to steward.”

Photo credit @intl.nef


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