Illegal Coal Miners

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Young illegal coal miners start their late night shift in a ‘rat-hole’ mine outside of Walbrzych.

Illegal Coal Miner in Walbrzych

2014_Walbrzych-1554An illegal coal miner is digging in the outskirts of Walbrzych. Coal miners first remove a few meters of soil in search for coal and then start to dig a tunnel beneath the ground.

Illegal Coal Mining in Poland

I am currently working on a new reportage covering illegal coal mining in Poland. I will post new images of the story here from time to time.

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An illegal coal miner works late night inside one of the so-called ‘rat holes’ on the outskirts of Walbrzych.

The World Has Forgotten Us

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA. I have updated the story section “The World Has Forgotten Us” about ‘Bosnian Landmine Surviovors’ with new images and captions. Please have a look: http://goo.gl/A2vVrA

This image: Razija Aljić (54) with her only remaining son Ruzmir (19). Following the return to their pre-war house in the village of Lukavica Rijeka, the family’s tragedy took its course: In 1996 Razija lost Nedzad (19) in a landmine incident near their house. Only two years later her husband got killed in another explosion. In summer 2011 Razija’s second son Yusuf and his brother-in-law were fatally wounded by a landmine explosion and died in the forests. “I also go into the woods, one has to provide sustenance for the family.” says Ruzmir (19), her only remaining son.

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Road to Lukomir

Lukomir is Bosnia & Herzegovina’s highest and most isolated village that sits at an altitude of 1,495 m on the Bjelašnica mountain between a cliff and the valley of Pogled.  Lukomir’s remaining population is at around 60 people living in the village from May through November. Eco tourism is on the rise and since the road has been improved more and more weekend-hikers take the opportunity to visit the medieval-style village. Especially the young residents were leaving Lukomir for better prospects in Sarajevo. Medieval Tombstones, called Stećci, from the 14th and 15th century are testimonies of an hundreds of years old inhabitation. But fears arise that Lukomir will soon turn into a museum village and that even the last residents will be leaving.

2013_Bosnian Highlands-blog-4107Lukomir village. The small mosque with the wooden minaret can be seen on the left side of the village.

2013_Bosnian Highlands-blog-4072One of the last remaining inhabitants of Lukomir village.

2013_Bosnian Highlands-blog-4141Residents still herd sheep and use their wool for everyday clothing.

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View from Lukomir village.

2013_Bosnian Highlands-blog-4069Residents of Lukomir cultivating their land for vegetables.

2013_Bosnian Highlands-blog-4112Residents of Lukomir cultivating their land for vegetables.

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Onions drying in front a villager’s house.

2013_Bosnian Highlands-blog-4075Lukomir’s cementary.

2013_Bosnian Highlands-blog-4073One of Lukomir’s abandoned houses.

2013_Bosnian Highlands-blog-4120Inside the home of one of Lukomir’s oldest residents family photographs hang on the wall.

2013_Bosnian Highlands-blog-4079Medieval Tombstones, called Stećci, from the 14th and 15th century are testimonies of an hundreds of years old inhabitation.

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2013_Bosnian Highlands-blog-4180Hikers should stay on the road as there are still landmines even in the Bosnian highlands. Due to BHMAC(Bosnia & Herzegovina Mine Action Center) landmines are only a risk in the Bjelasnica area around the mountain’s eastern slope.

 

 

“Pay Respect to the Victims” – Sarajevo, Bosnia

Activists from Bosnian political left organization Foncacija CURE (CURE foundation) are campaigning in front of Sarajevo’s Sacred Heart Cathedral for more rights of victims of the 1992-1995 war. Although many politicians promise financial and psychological help for victims of war ahead of elections less has been done in the past two decades. On October 12th 2014 Bosnia will held nationwide elections in both entities.
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An activist of Foncacija CURE is holding a banner reading “I don’t want to be a shadow, I want to be a witness”.

 

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Activist holding a banner in front of Sarajevo’s Catholic Cathedral Sacred Heart. In front of the image one of the many famous Sarajevo Roses can be seen. It is a concrete scar caused by a mortar shell’s explosion that was later filled with red resin.

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Activists holding a banner reading “Pay respect to the victims”.

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Activists of Foncacija CURE is holding a banner reading “I don’t want to be a shadow, I want to be a witness”.

 

 

Burmese Dreams

As I am going through images of my recent travel to Burma to make a selection for my website I wanted to take the opportunity and share a couple of them with you. More images to come soon: http://www.michaelbiach.com

2014_Burma-5073Chinatown. Yangon. Burma.

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Bagan. Burma.

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Crab fisherman. Chaungtha Beach. Burma.

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Shwedagon Pagoda. Yangon. Burma.

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Nam-Pan. Inle Lake. Burma.

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Chauk. Burma.

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Bogyoke Aung San Market. Yangon. Burma.

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Transgender Nat Spirit Mediums. Mount Popa. Burma.

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Kandawgyi Lake. Yangon. Burma.