COAL FACE examines the relationship between people and mining in a long term action research, locally in Limburg, Flanders and internationally. The impact of the coal industry on people and the environment is not only of a problematic nature. The mining industry also provides for the creation of communities: yesterday, today and who knows, maybe even tomorrow? In mining areas around the world, we find a remarkable shared identity: people descend into the earth to gain energy and share a certain pride, which is hard to understand for an outsider. Connectedness, identity, common fate, working with the primal force of Mother Earth, are possible ingredients.

COALFACE focuses on the human face of mining, people in the mining environment, memory and consciousness, ‘the face of the coal’. COALFACE is the technical term for the ‘coal face’ or ‘coal vein in full operation’. COALFACE’s team and photographers work very close to where the action is or was, the coalmine itself, the miner’s communities themselves. The term "working at the coal face 'means being there where things are really happening in the heart of the action. COAL FACE is an action research that builds the collective memory of mining regions.

Mine Strikes in England,
25 years later

In 2009 it has been 25 years since the legendary British mine strikes began. Gerry Smith wrote a very present-day reflection, wherein identity, pride and the social struggle of a quarter of a century ago, are being put in a new perspective. Read more>>

Photograph: Don McPhee


the man and the legend


The story of a miner Stakhanov (°1906 - UA) is a story of myth, a story of heroism and ideals. Anna Bogdan reconstructed his life and tries to discover why one miner from Donbass still affects thousands of people today. Read more>>





Revisiting the Klondike Goldrush

A scientific-artistic endeavour in North-West Canada: Danny Veys and Francis Soenen will travel the arduous route of the original goldseekers in Yukon! This will result in a photographic essay.