Sweet Venom is an independent transmedia production that sheds light on the truth about pesticides and the dark side of the food industry. It raises awareness about the tragic deaths caused by these pesticides. Laborers and consumers are dying, and the public needs to know about these atrocities.
For more than a half-century, thousands of people have died every year due to contamination from agrotoxins. This number is increasing proportionally with the increased use of agrotoxins. It is challenging for medical professionals to reveal the cause of death when agrotoxins are involved.
It is also a challenge for global policymakers to fight a food production model that pollutes by manufacturing poison, and yet leads to sales of over $30 billion a year. Rural workers are dying, and the Sweet Venom production team is conscious of this. We are determined to change this reality by immersing ourselves in this context and recording what we see.
Melquiades has been a journalist for 13 years and is a special reporter for the newspaper Diário do Nordeste in the state of Ceará, Brazil. He received an international award, four national journalism awards and some nominations for the series of articles the Poison Widows report (2013), where for seven years he followed rural workers contaminated by pesticides use in major agricultural crops in the Northeast of Brazil. Besides writing and photography, he has been active in the production of videos about human rights.
Waleska is a master student for the Media for Social Justice program at Woodbury University in California. She is originally from Fortaleza, Brazil. Her undergraduate was in journalism at Universidade de Fortaleza. She is a very accomplished photographer and documentarian whose work has been recognized globally. In 2013 Waleska won first place in national and international contests for her undergraduate thesis short film “Peixe Roncador” and for her work as a photojournalist.
How much do you know about agricultural workers and how they live? They are planting what you eat, and yet how much do you really know about them? It was with these initial questions that we started our transmedia project Sweet Venom. We wanted to talk more deeply about food, which is a challenging topic […]