Eduardo Teixeira de Sousa

Hell's Pit X

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Creator
Eduardo Teixeira de Sousa
Edition
1 of 50
Description
At the border of Kawah Ijen, the largest highly acidic lake in the world, in East Java, Indonesia. Ijen is the site of a harvesting operation in which sulfur loads of up 60-90kg are extracted from precipitated rocks around cracks from where ignited sulfuric gas emerge at temperatures up to ... (read more)
At the border of Kawah Ijen, the largest highly acidic lake in the world, in East Java, Indonesia. Ijen is the site of a harvesting operation in which sulfur loads of up 60-90kg are extracted from precipitated rocks around cracks from where ignited sulfuric gas emerge at temperatures up to 600 °C. The rock is carried by hand from the crater floor up the crater rim; then 3km down the mountain to the nearby Paltuding Valley for weighing and get paid. Miners complain of skeletal, respiratory and eye afflictions; their teeth slowly dissolve in the sulfurous vapours; they die of accidents at a rate of 1,5 miners a year - but even if no serious accident arises by an unexpected change of winds or a slippery rock, the long term effects of sulfur gas inhalation and strenuous, continued physical effort mean a certain payback in the older years. Daily salary is around 10USD. I came back in silence, impressed and humbled by what i tried to capture here - the resilience, humanity and suffering of these men in their beautiful and merciless natural setting. This is the last one from a mini series i published on this subject.

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