PERSONAL PROJECTS: The Black Gold
Chiatura City located in Imereti region, has the largest Manganese reserve in Georgia. There are over 3,400 people working as mineworkers with 8-12 hours of work, with a monthly salary of approximately $270. Throughout the years there have been massive and small protests against harsh conditions, low salaries and mass dismissal of employees. Several cases of death raised a question of how safe it is for people to work in the mines, deep in the ground with equipment that have never been upgraded since installment, dated back in the 50’s.
Many miners are originally from the villages on the surface of the tunnels, so to feed their families they are digging and exploding under their own homes, in the search for Manganese. Inside the tunnels the water drips, there is a lack of oxygen, because of the poor ventilation system. After the explosion of the soil the chemicals stay in the tunnel. Mineworkers endure the hard labor to support their families.
Chiatura City is also characterized by rusty 60 year old Cable cars as public transportation that have never been replaced. Built during the Soviet era for the mineworkers, to transfer them up and down the mines.
My story focuses on the lives of mineworkers who face the everyday challenge working under harsh conditions. As well as the daily life of the locals and young generation, who slowly make their way to the Capital for a better future, but many stay and follow the footsteps of their Parents.