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Tomasz Tomaszewski | Silesia, Poland

Rudolf Wrobel, 56, proud to be a Polish coal miner. On a street, in his typical Silesian neighborhood, Nikiszowiec.


This series of photographs was taken from March through August 2009.
It was my intention to pay homage to people performing hard manual labour, the workers who once were very proud of their positions and are now loosing their jobs. Changes in global economy and recession speeds up the process tremendously.

I chose the Upper Silesia, Poland where the work ethos, traditions, and related customs seemed to be most alive, apparent and colourful. In recent years half of the existing coal mines in this region where shot down, as well as 70% of the heavy industry factories. Very little is done by the state to help those who lost jobs. The problem is not only the workers, but in many situations the man is traditionally accustomed to supporting the family.

My photographs depict tasks, places and objects that are becoming the thing of the past. It is thus somehow a story about Silesia itself and of what it is today.

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