Isadora Romero

Isadora Romero, Ecuador

Muyu Lab

Crop diversity is crucial in guaranteeing long-term food security, yet this diversity is getting lost at alarming rates. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, since the 1900s, some 75% of plant genetic diversity has been lost as farmers worldwide have left their multiple local varieties and landraces for genetically uniform, high-yielding varieties. In Ecuador, there are initiatives to curb this erosion. Ancestral communities have been preserving, domesticating, exchanging, and improving seeds for generations, and the national germplasm bank in Quito houses more than 28,000 accessions to generate the strongest seeds without genetic modification.

Muyu Lab documents the efforts for the conservation of agrobiodiversity in Ecuador from two points of view: the scientific and the ancestral, as a proposal for dialogue between the two. Isadora Romero worked with the community of Camuendo Chico, in the Ecuadorian Imbabura province and scientists in Quito for this project.


Isadora Romero is a visual storyteller based in Quito, Ecuador. She is interested in social, gender, and environmental issues. Her visual essays, exploring the border between art and photojournalism, seek different approaches using various narrative tools.

Twitter: @irfotografa

2020 Joop Swart Masterclass

For the first time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Joop Swart Masterclass took place online over a period of four months, and 24 participants and eight masters were selected to make the program more inclusive. The educational experience of the Joop Swart Masterclass is based on an assignment to produce a photo essay around a given theme. This year the theme was ‘Reset’.

From July to October 2020, the participants worked on their projects and received mentorship and guidance from the mentors.

Learn more about the 2020 Joop Swart Masterclass.