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Silver 2020 Editorial / Environmental

Charcoal Black

  • Photographer
    Alain Schroeder
  • Prize
    Silver in Editorial / Environmental

Portraits of miners at the Pniówek coal mine, 40 km south-west of Katowice, the capital of Silesia. The region contains numerous active coal mines guaranteeing the supply of coal from which Poland draws 80% of its energy. Job security, good salaries, early retirement and, in many cases, family tradition make this an attractive occupation, but the profession is in an inexorable decline as many of the mines are not profitable. Poland, one of the largest producers of coal in Europe, is also one of the most polluted countries. The EU recommendation of carbon neutrality by 2050 seems out of reach.

Belgian photojournalist Alain Schroeder has been working in the industry for over four decades. First as a sports photographer in the 80s, then shooting books and editorial pieces in art and human stories. In 2013, he uprooted his life, trading-in his shares in Reporters, to pursue life on the road with a camera. He now travels the world shooting stories focusing on social issues and people. He has won many international awards including Nikon Japan, Nikon Belgium, TPOTY, Istanbul Photo, Days Japan, Trieste, PX3, IPA, MIFA, BIFA, PDN, the Fence, LensCulture, Siena, POYI and World Press.