Cocoa Pickers


Zongo Arouna, 40, Zongkoro, Ivory Coast

Issey Miyake asked me to contribute to an exhibition on Chocolate, he was curating with the designer Naoto Fukasawa. Chocolate in Japan has become a luxury product with organised tastings- similar to wine.

I decided it would be interesting to explore the disparity between the producer and consumer. I choose the Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s largest cacao producing country. These farmers of cocoa beans were photographed in the village of Zongokro in the 25km no-man’s land dividing the country since the civil war in 2003, they earn less than a $1 per day.