The project is a result of an extensive photographic engagement with the two largest coal mining companies in the European Union located in Silesia, the most industrialised part of Poland.
‘Coal Story’ combines contemporary photography and archival research dating back to the 1960s, when Poland experienced significant economic and industrial expansion. In the early 1980s, coal mines were a major site of struggle and resistance against the communist regime. Workers’ protests resulted in the creation of Solidarity – a workers’ and citizens’ movement under the leadership of Lech Walesa. The coal miners actions eventually led to the collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War.
‘Coal Story’ highlights the social and political capacity of the miners and evokes the history and aftermath of the legendary Solidarity movement. It also poses important questions that are associated with Solidarity’s values; the movement’s legacy and its influence on contemporary Polish society.