Exhibition > “Hasta que la tierra aguante”, by Santi Donaire

Abandoned and rotten tomato container at the doors of a greenhouse in Níjar, Almería. © Santi Donaire

Spain is the third largest exporter of fruit and vegetables in the world, only after the US and China.
This position places our country in a leading position within the global industrial food production.
To be world or European leaders in food production
such as mango, avocado, strawberry, olive oil or pork,
means that territory, its natural resources and its population
are oriented to the maximum production and economic profitability,
far from any balance with the environment or the most basic rights of people”.

This is how Santi Donaire, journalist and documentary photographer, winner of the III Beca Joana Biarnés, expresses himself, thanks to which he has carried out in-depth and detailed research on the way we produce our food that you can now discover:


Part of his research can be seen through the exhibition Hasta que la tierra aguante, produced by Photographic Social Vision and which can be visited in Madrid from June 23 to July 23, 2023 in the Fujifilm Hall of EFTI – International Center of Photography and Cinema (Fuenterrabía St., 4).


In addition, Santi Donaire will be in Barcelona to present his project open to the general public on Monday, July 17, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. at Photographic Foundation (Via Augusta, 175. Barcelona). In order to access this event, send us an e-mail indicating your name and number of companions, in case you want to access with more people.


The exhibition Hasta que la tierra aguante travels to Zaragoza from March 15 to April 26, 2024 at the Spectrum Photography School (C/ de Concepción Arenal, 19; Zaragoza).

An abandoned pesticide bottle outside an agricultural facility. © Santi Donaire


When the jury of the III Joana Biarnés Scholarship named winner Santi Donaire, they described Hasta que la tierra aguante (Exhausted Land) as “as ambitious as it is pertinent, covering issues as urgent as climate change, the emptied Spain, the absolute precariousness of many of the farm workers who survive on miserable wages in unbearable conditions, the lack of water, the depletion of land or environmental contamination”.

Thanks to the scholarship offered by the Photographic Foundation, the author has been able to dedicate nine months to his photojournalistic research, with the tutor advice of Juan Valbuena, founder photographer of the NOPHOTO agency, director of the PHREE publishing house and coordinator of the International Master of Photography and Project Management of the EFTI School.

The exhibition that in Madrid, produced by Photographic Foundation and curated by the same entity with the support of Juan Valbuena, presents part of the results collected in this photojournalistic investigation, which has led the author from the greenhouses of Almería to the macrofarms from Aragon, through Catalonia, Zamora, Murcia, Jaen or Huelva.

In it he portrays industrial agriculture and livestock in Spain and its environmental, human and health consequences. “In the last 40 years Spain has become the pantry of Europe in matters as essential as livestock, the pig industry, olive oil, the horticultural sector, avocado or banana” — explains Santi Donaire — ” Our climate and our privileged geographical position and the exploitation of thousands of migrant people have made tSpain become the great food producer of Europe. But do we know what this really means? Under what conditions is produced the food we eat and export? How do local communities live the intensive industrialization of the sector?

Hasta que la tierra aguante is a route through the great centers of food production in Spain to analyze an industrial model anchored in greed and that denies the limits of the planet’s biological capacity, as the author declares.

As his research shows, agriculture and livestock play a very important role in the advancement of climate change, consuming enormous amounts of water, exploiting the soil and nutrients, generating waste and pollution that bathe our rivers and aquifers, and employing labor in a regime of semi-slavery.

But this project is also a call to reflection for city dwellers and the urban consumption and economic model. The way we consume and feed ourselves causes the uncontrolled exploitation of resources and people in the rural environment by large multinationals. We produce as we consume and vice versa.

A young couple observe the set of greenhouses in El Ejido. © Santi Donaire


Born in Jaén (Andalusia) in 1988, Santi Donaire is a documentary photographer, journalist and co-founder of the documentary production company Nervio.

He studied Journalism and Audiovisual Communication at the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid, and continued his photographic training at the Blankpaper school.

He has worked for seven years as a photojournalist at the EFE news agency and the European Pressphoto Agency (EPA). His work has been published in newspapers such as El País, The Washington Post and Le Monde or Time magazine.

In 2018, he obtained third place in the POY – Picture Of The Year International awards, in the General News category, as well as being a participant in the Premio Rey de España de Periodismo, for a report published in The New York Times about gasoline smuggling children on the border between Venezuela and Colombia.

Currently, his graphic commitment focuses mainly on denouncing violations of human rights in subjects related to migration, spanish dictatorship or climate change. In the last six years, he has addressed, from different perspectives, the consequences of the military dictatorship in Spain, but always with the intention of analyzing the collective memory and the historical trauma that survives and accompanies Spanish society.

You can read the interview we conducted with Santi Donaire in 2022, when he obtained the Beca Joana Biarnés. In the 1st part, he analyzed the situation of the photojournalism sector and its trajectory up to now, and in the 2nd part, he went into detail about the reasons that prompted him to start Hasta que la tierra aguante, the necessary project that is now presenting its first results.