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ZEHRA COPLU

Turkey

Chasing the Fire Stone

 

Manual sulfur extraction technique abandoned all over the world due to hazardous way to work. Nowadays, this technique enforced just İjen Crateria in East Island of Indonesia. For go down below one of the most poisonous place in all over the world, me as a first turkish woman photographer who took photos of here. I witnes the work of sulfur miners who put their life on the line for earn 5 dollars a day. Giant sulfur rocks are burned next to acid lake. It is flowed in molten state from ceramic pipes and barrels to level of lake. Sulfur that contacting with air is solidifying it here.

The workers who inside these intensive gas are broken the sulfur with iron rods. Broken sulfur parts is stuffed into baskets that made from bamboo. A worker loads an average of 70 kilos of sulfur into his basket and carries it on their shoulders. All baskets is weighed on the top of the crater. This time the workers start to descend from 3 kilometers mountain, carry these baskets to villiage at the foot of mountain. The workers, encounter a lot of health problems like; respiratory diseases, bone crushes, tooth loss, burns, eye diseases. Unfortunately, most of the workers in this mine; dies before 40. This project is formed with photographs that  taken by me, under extremely difficult conditions

 

Biography: She gratuated from Fine Arts Faculty of Marmara University. She recieved a lot of awards from national and international competitions. Her photographs and conversations were published in many magazines. She attended a lot of group exhibitions and she also in Turkish National Team at FİAB Bienals. She participated photography associations and communities with her presentations and interviews. In 2016, she won Sami Güner Cup and also she is a member of İFSAK and FOTOGEN.