Stunning photos of Poland’s kings of coal

Poland is Europe’s top coal producer and a fossil fuel defender in the European Union. Eighty-five percent of the country's electricity comes from coal. Yet, the industry has been shrinking at such as speed in recent years that, in order to give it a little boost, parliament had to approve a wind parks bill to curb the clean energy industry.

The government also suspended the introduction of a new law regulating subsidies for renewable energy, and it is considering to reduce support for wind and solar power by reworking an earlier plan to introduce renewable energy auctions.

According to ViewFind, by the end of last year, the industry’s debt totalled 3 billion euros.

Photo courtesy of Tomasz Tomaszewski and ViewFind.

Photo courtesy of Tomasz Tomaszewski and ViewFind.

But authorities are not the only ones striving to support the coal industry. Many citizens, among them artists, are doing their part too.

Award-winning photographer Tomasz Tomaszewski has joined the voices of those trying to cheer up the 100,000 workers still employed in the sector.

In a soulful photo essay published on ViewFind, a platform for immersive, visual storytelling, Tomaszewski explores the coal-rich lands of Silesia. The long-time National Geographic contributor decided it was time to go beyond the news of debt, laws, and falling shares to show the real people getting their hands dirty while living with the uncertainty of a crumbling industry.

He shared a few images with MINING.com. To take a look at the whole gallery, visit this link.

Photo courtesy of Tomasz Tomaszewski and ViewFind.

Photo courtesy of Tomasz Tomaszewski and ViewFind.