New Facebook Page

Burma/Myanmar

I would like to invite you to follow my new Facebook page where I will post images and stories of my travel & documentary photography. In the future I will share my recent work as well as images from the archive, write about personal experiences and keep you updated on travels, adventures and interesting news in photojournalism and photography.

stolenbeauty_michaelbiachphotography-7141BURMA. The name Intha is said to mean ‘children of the lake’. The Intha are famous for their highly individual rowing technique. Fishermen wrap a paddle around one hand and leg and use this to propel the boat, while balancing precariously on the other. This position leaves them with one hand free, allowing them to drop a large conical net over passing fish in the shallow waters of the lake.

Vendor in Jaffna

Sri Lanka

srilanka_jaffna_michaelbiach-7670A fish vendor outside of his shop in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

30 pictures from Burma

Burma/Myanmar

The second dispatch from my travel section 30  pictures comes from Burma/Myanmar. I hope you enjoy the images. Click on the image below to enter the full gallery.

michaelbiach_30picsfromburma-7189Pa-O women wearing a traditional black tunic and a brightly colored turban. The turbans are often simply scarves or towels bought at local markets and then are wrapped in a traditional style. According to an old legend the Pa-O are descendants of a father who was a supernatural being and a mother who was a dragon. The women’s trademark turban is a manifestation of the creation myth. The Pa-O, also known as Taungthu, are the second most numerous ethnic group in Burma’s Shan-State.

 

The Mechanic

Burma/Myanmar

michaelbiach_30picsfromburma-6911An old man is opening his mechanic shop in Mandalay, Burma. 

Young at Work

Bangladesh, Burma/Myanmar, Poland, Slovakia

Although illegal in most countries, child labor still continues all over the world, especially in developing countries. It is estimated that more than 168 million kids worldwide are working long hours under harsh conditions. In countries affected by poverty and unemployment, child labor often seems the only way for families to survive. In other cases, like organized begging, children are forced to work. Since 2002 the global child labor force has decreased by a third.

michaelbiach_youngatwork-5701Two boys working for a sub-contractor of a garment-factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

michaelbiach_youngatwork-8193A young Roma boy is forced to beg in the streets of Bratislava, Slovakia. He was playing his accordion in several locations across the city, always only for a limited time to avoid being picked up by Slovakian police.

michaelbiach_youngatwork-5461A young boy working in a shipyard in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

michaelbiach_youngatwork-6118New roads are constructed in remote Chin-State, Burma, often with the use of low-paid child labor.

2014_Walbrzych-2236Two teenagers in Walbrzych, Poland, are searching for ‘black gold’ in an illegal coal mine. The boys work on their own and are selling the coal to friends and neighbors in order to earn some money.

michaelbiach_youngatwork-5366A young boy working in a shipyard in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

michaelbiach_youngatwork-5088A young girl is selling bells on the streets of Yangon, Burma.

michaelbiach_youngatwork-5713Boys working for a sub-contractor of a garment-factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

 

Abandoned Memory

Scotland, Urban Exploration

An old wedding photo still hangs on the wall inside an abandoned house on Shetland Island.

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Searching for Poland’s (Black) Gold

Poland

About a year ago two private treasure hunters, Piotr Koper and Andreas Liechter, announced that they have found a secret tunnel in Poland’s Lower Silesia that may hide a train full of stolen gold and artwork from World War II. Since then hundreds of treasure hunters made their way to search the area around the former coal mining town Wałbrzych.

Recently Koper and Liechter have brought heavy equipment to Wałbrzych and began to remove earth on Monday to search for the hidden Nazi gold train. Although historians doubt such a train has ever existed, the treasure hunters are still optimistic that within the next days they will find what they are looking for.

Not so long ago I spend some time in Wałbrzych with illegal coal miners searching for Poland’s real treasure, the ‘Black Gold‘:

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For centuries coal mining has been the most important industry in Walbrzych, Poland. However, in the 1980s many of the coal mines became unprofitable. With Poland’s transformation from a state-directed to a free-market economy in the 1990s, nearly all of the coal mines in Lower Silesia were shut down. Thousands of people became jobless.

The area still has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country despite new industry settling in the area. It didn’t take very long until the jobless miners in the area started to dig for coal on their own.

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The business is dangerous and illegal. Tunnels leading as deep as ten or fifteen meters below the ground are only protected by wood and sandbags. Inside, people dig for coal the same way they did centuries ago, by hand. Police regularly arrest illegal coal miners and confiscate their equipment, so most people dig by night to avoid police control. Not only the well-educated former miners search for ‘black gold,’ but also young and unexperienced jobless men risk their freedom and their lives to make a couple of Euros a night by selling illegal coal to residents.

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Welcome to the Blog

Bangladesh

Dear friends,

after haven’t posted in a while I have decided to rearrange my photography blog. In the future I will post regularly about my travel & documentary photography, share my recent work as well as images from the archive, write about personal experiences and keep you updated on travels, adventures and interesting news in photojournalism and photography.

I will also open a new page called 30  pictures which will be devoted to travel photography and will feature thirty single images of one country or destination.

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Chittagong, Bangladesh.