The Earth Defenders:

the guardians of the Earth, behind the lens.



Steve McCurry was the photographer who, in 2015,

portrayed the protagonists of the first calendar of Lavazza’s Earth Defenders trilogy.




Thirty-six shots, one for each page of the three calendars dedicated to the Earth Defenders.


A torrent of emotions: boldness, pride, love and toil, captured in a snapshot and preserved for eternity by three great photographers of international fame.


In 2015, we entrusted the first calendar of the trilogy to Steve McCurry: a photographer known for using artistic sensitivity to tell the human story during situations of conflict, in cultures that are disappearing, and both ancient and modern traditions.

“When Francesca Lavazza proposed this project I was excited and honoured”, revealed McCurry.


Steve has pledged to pay tribute to Africa, to its people with their great dignity, tradition and history. To honour its men and especially its women, who do the hardest work.


He has managed to capture the immense soul of the continent, its energy and dignity, by portraying the food and traditions connected to the land. Traditions that the guardians of the Earth preserve for their children, in the spirit of sacrifice and great passion.    


And it is this generational transition between fathers and sons, together with the new world vision that the young teach to their elders, that is the subject of the second calendar, set in Latin America and entrusted to Joseph Anthony Lawrence.  Joey L., as he is known in the art world, is a Canadian photographer already renowned for his portrayals of major Hollywood stars, as well as for his work exploring distant lands, from India to Ethiopia and Iraq to Syria, depicting not only conflict but different cultures and lifestyles too. His photographs for our calendar reveal the habits and practices of a new generation of Earth Defenders: modern heroes of the land who, thanks to the teachings of their forefathers, defend biodiversity and promote sustainable development. 


Each shot expresses the theme “From father to son”, with a perfect balance between a new world vision and skills handed down from the distant past.


“We have invested a lot of time, resources and especially passion in these photos”, says Joey L.


The Earth Defenders project closed in Asia in 2017 with the French photographer Denis Rouvre, known for his exceptional sensitivity in depicting ordinary people with extraordinary lives, who he himself calls “contemporary heroes”. Many of his works are profound investigations into the strength and fragility of man


“This collaboration with Lavazza has been a unique and magical experience”, reminisced Rouvre at the end of the project.


He found the subject of the last calendar, “We are what we live”, particularly interesting and stimulating from a creative point of view, as it allowed him to portray man in relation to his environment through the magical “geography of faces”. Every page of the calendar depicts the profound relationship that binds the earth to the people who inhabit it, through pairs of photographs with the face of a man or woman portrayed in their essence and naturalness, alongside a landscape that represents the environment in which they live and work: evocative pairings that tell a clear tale of love for every coffee plant, the fight against a hostile climate, the hardships of a life bound to the land, the desire to learn new techniques.


Steve, Joey and Denis admit that they returned home after the photo shoots having learned a huge lesson about life, one which they hope they have succeeded in passing on to all those who will gaze upon their photographs.