Thursday, February 15, 2007

Return from the ashes

I am back to the dungeon and to the light table trying to decide on the photographs that tell the story.
I have been photographing all week the lives of the people of Ptolemaida, the Coal people as I like to call them,
as their lives are interwined with the mines that surround them. Ptolemaida is a huge area with mines and Power stations that produce almost 60% of the electricity in Greece. It is a haevilly polluted area, and when it is sunny or windy my God you don't want to be around.
Your eyes hurt and tears are coming out. Your lungs feel heavy and you hear the wistle on your chest as the air tries to get down your lungs. Mud, and dust are everywhere and the black dust of the mines covers everything for kilometers away.
But that there is something I love about the area and its people. On one it's the mines with their monumental size that you feel so small and looking at the open cast mines you can feel the wounds on the Earth. It hurts you as if it is your own body that somedy has attack you and scrathed your skin and down more to the bone. And on the other it is a space that i would rather be on my own there. It is almost surreal to think that for miles away there is no unscathed earth and your eye can rest heavilly on the depth of the earth.
I drive for days on through a desolate landscape meeting people that despite their condition they have remained human to the bone. I am wondering what is it that makes them stay and live and grow their children in such a god forsaken place?
I am trying to find out for all the aesthetics and I am all in for it, but I still cannot comprehend how necessity has brought these people to endure this.
I will go back. It is not enough.

View the gallery

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

Good work, a lot of nice images in there, hope you'll be going back to shoot more, keep it growing. It reminds me of Copsa Mica (the 'Black town" in Transylvania, Romania).
Also found your Scottish G8 pics...good to see shots of my home country. One or two very ncie ones, helicopter/police/houses was one...

Best wishes from sunny Tokyo,