Poland’s Kings of Coal – Photo Essay by Tomasz Tomaszewski (Social Documentary Network)


Poland-Faces blackened with coal, miners in Upper Silesia emerge from beneath the surface and blink into the Polish twilight – just as they have been doing for hundreds of years.

When photojournalist Tomasz Tomaszewski showed up, however, he found an industry flailing amidst global competition and a Western World hungry for green energy, leaving the proud Polish miner a dying breed.

“When the time comes to work, The Silesian miner works relentlessly. When a colleague must be saved from death, he does not hesitate to walk into danger. The Silesian miner, along with his comrade the steelworker, is one of the most valuable members of Polish socity,” wrote Gustaw Mocinek in Upper Silesia, a book about gritty Polish communities written in 1950.

In the industrial communities, the men who descend into the mines are particularly revered, and, not just in literature, but in the hearts of their countrymen.

With strong personal ties, and even stronger labor unions, miners enjoy a reputation as fierce loyal, committed to their colleagues and communities.

For the rest of this article and a selection of photos, click here: http://viewfind.com/story/hades-upper-silesia-poland-at-the-time-of-global-recession