You can follow the development of the project through this [**BLOG**]
In a coal-mining area in Spain, people say mining is much more than just a job: it makes you live but it can also kill you. Over there, future has a black color, even blacker than the extracted coal. BLACK FUTURE is a photo-documentary project which tells the story of those areas, giving voice to miners' wives. The project is ongoing: right now I've finished my second trip to photographically document this story. The outcome of the production will be a 10 minutes audiovisual (based on photographs, texts and audios with the interviews) and a printed catalogue.
WHAT STAYS IN THE SHADOW
In the last few months, the majority of newspapers showed photographs of Spanish miners fighting against anti-riots police. In a time of crisis and social rights cuts, many people looked at them with admiration, impressed by their strength and courage. As a photographer, I felt attracted by the subject too. I was wondering how could I contribute to this large coverage. Well, I went to the coal-mine areas and I could see that there is still a lot to tell.
One can say a lot about everyday life there, and explain the stories of families which entirely depend on the mine. There is a lot to say about miners' funds, corruption and lack of responsibility, as well as about the lack of any alternative to the mine. While on one hand the government cuts mine's subsidies, on the other, it restricts the quantity of coal that mines can sell to the power stations, but we don't read much about this in the press. And not much is said either when tonnes of extracted national coal lie abandoned in the fields, while at the same time, trucks bring it in from abroad.
The reality is always more complicated that the way it is described in the newspapers. When I started to speak with miners' wives, all of them told me that what can be read in newspapers does not reflect their reality even in a small part. This is why, through this project, I wanted those women to tell their version of the story.
WHAT I DID AND WHAT IS TO BE DONE
In my photo-reportages it's very important for me to get close enough to my "subjects". So I try to spend time with them and share part of their life as
I believe this is the best way to better understand their situation. I contacted different associations of miners' wives and, at the end of July, I could realize my first trip to Asturias (in the coal-mine region). At that time I could only spend there a few days, during which I spent much time with Olga, Monica and Chioni who shared their stories with me.
However, five days it's not enough to go into the subject in depth. That's why went back, this time for about two weeks. During this trip spent time with several women who work as miners themselves.
In the photo-reportage I try to cover the story from different angles: everyday life within the family and the local society; general conditions in the coal-mine areas; different activities organized by those women to resist the government's policy; and, finally, situations related directly to the work in the mines.
All of this material will be used to create an audiovisual of about 10 minutes, and a catalogue of about 40 pages. The last will include a selection of photographs from the project, as well as some general facts about the situation and texts based on the interviews I'm conducting with the participants.
DIFFUSION AND COVERAGE
The audiovisual will be broadcast on the internet and also will be at the disposal of the miners' wives associations. Additionally, I will present it to different photographic festivals and organize independent projections. Other, more traditional, forms of diffusion are of course exhibitions and publications in magazines (both at the Spanish and international levels). The catalogue will be accompanied by a CD-ROM version of the audiovisual.
Both the audiovisual and the catalogue will have a section of acknowledgments in which I will include a list of all persons who support this project.
To have a better idea on how I conduct and finish my projects, please have a look at my previous reportages:
Project Lesbians & much more tells the story of 12 lesbian couples in Poland, where homophobia is still much present.
To conduct this project I carried out four long-term trips to Poland. Audiovisual Lesbians
Project Hard Times is about the mortgage crisis in Spain.
This time I followed two families through the time of suffering problems with their bank and being evicted from their apartment. Audiovisual Hard Times
Both of these projects have been profusely exhibited and published in Spain and abroad (for more details, I invite you to visit my web page: hanna jarzabek)
YOUR SUPPORT IS CRUCIAL
Nowadays, the media work very fast. Conflicts and spectacular events catch attention and tend to be presented as front-page topics. Rarely there is enough time and space to cover a given subject in depth and to present it in a way that would reflect its complexity.
In my opinion, independent photo-documentary projects can fill this gap, escaping the frenzy of most media. In a time when traditional media undergo a deep crisis, such independent projects are really important to help explain situations and realities in a more comprehensive way. However, due to financial reasons, it's often really difficult for freelance photographers to cover many stories we would like to talk about. That is why I decided to resort to a crowdfunding campaign in this case. Your support and your trust will help me cover this story which, in my opinion, is worth to be told and explained in more detail.
***Thank you for your support and your trust!