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It is a lunar landscape, apocalyptic. There are huge man-made holes in the landscape, the ground is burning. Large glowing pits open up the gates to the underworld. The whole area is oozing of toxic gases and toxic smoke. Sometimes the land is divided and split open. Villages are sinking down into the ground. Young children are digging in the soil with their bare hands. It is all about Coal - or "BLACK DIAMOND" as it is also called by the locals.
BLACK DIAMOND is a long term photography work by Sebastian Sardi. The images will be published in a high quality hard cover photo book in collaboration with the renowned German Publisher Kehrer Verlag.
<figure><figcaption>Kumkum, (2015)</figcaption></figure>
Dhanbad is called the "Capital of Coal" and is located in Jharkhand state in northern India. Coal is mined everywhere, and large parts are sorted by hand by people who once had land and houses, and lived in villages that now have become big black pits. Many have been forced away from these areas when companies and authorities recognized the richness that hides in the ground. The underground fires force people to relocate. The mining companies claim they are unable to put out the fires while the local people blame the companies for letting the fires burn so the coal can be reached and excavated from underneath the villages.
<figure><figcaption>Lamboo, (2017) - 1 pcs Print Reward Image</figcaption></figure>
BLACK DIAMOND is about the environmental aspects of fossil fuel usage and it is also a close portrait of the people who work with extracting it from the ground. The photographs show the coal mining and the everyday lives of coal workers and miners in India. What I have seen and photographed at all the mines that I visited in India are hard-working men, women and children and their living and working conditions. As well as the nature and landscape.
There is a fragile balance between nature and mankind. The human inability to break patterns is painstakingly visible in these photographs, as we knowingly keep on extracting the ground beneath our own feet. Energy produced by the burning of coal is the single biggest contributor to the carbon dioxide emissions generated by human kind. Coal is a major part in the issue of global warming.

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