Ijen Sulfur miner | everyday load of guys climbs 9,000 feet to the summit of mount ijen positioned in java, Indonesia after which trek 3,000 ft down into the crater to break slabs of sulfur. Each load of sulfur is around one hundred-a hundred and thirty-five pounds, that’s the approximate overall frame weight of the miners.
Lots of those guys no longer put on gas masks and deliver their masses of sulfur up a steep volcano sporting sandals versus shoes. Through a translator, a number of the employees advised me that they have fitness and respiration troubles as well as lower back deformities while handiest earning the equivalent of $5 to $10 u.S. Bucks a day.
I met an old man in his 70s that earned $five for an afternoon’s earnings of lower back-breaking paintings. I encountered a younger guy in his 20s who had a bandage wrapped around his head because of a fallen rock that fractured his skull. Those are only a few of the testimonies that inhabit mount ijen and the resiliency of spirit that I encountered.
An average day could start leaving within the middle of the night to get to the mountain a touch before dawn. At that point, I would stay for the majority of the day photographing the human beings long after the travelers have left.
Even though I wore fuel masks, the sulfur burned through my lungs and I used to be coughing most people of the time. I can’t consider a person spending 12 months after yr inhaling that toxic gas and the damage it does to 1’s health after years of abuse.
What new may be stated that hasn’t already been stated before approximately the human beings of mount ijen? It has been blanketed plenty by way of photographers better than i. I live in a country that is extremely divided among more than one facets: the us. However, if there may be one truth that i’ve learned at some point of my travels is that regardless of our spiritual, economic, and racial variations, we are extra alike than we are different.
That is obvious while i used to be instructed that the more serious worry that these guys go through is that their kids would grow to be doing the equal onerous work as them. All parents need their children to live better lives than them, specifically coming from an immigrant historical past. We all need a few semblance of dignity to maintain onto.
It’s a totally simple idea, but i hope my pics can by some means specific that love transcends the variations in our lives and may actually convey us nearer collectively than divide. I believe within the strength of images. As i am getting a touch bit older it is able to be too naive to think images can catalyze “alternate” but possibly it may inspire a touch bit of empathy.