Lifestyle: A photographer spent years exploring India's apocalyptic 'capital of coal' and returned with unreal photos

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As the mining operations have expanded, they have moved closer and closer to the villages. In many cases, the mining has caused the ground beneath houses to collapse.

In India, photographer Sebastian Sardi was introduced to Dhanbad, a city known as the "capital of coal" due to the vast number of coal fields and strip-mines. The mining has turned the landscape into a post-apocalyptic moonscape.

Courtesy of Sebastian Sardi

  • Swedish photographer Sebastian Sardi has been photographing major mining sites all over the world for the last decade, having visited mines in China, Russia, Kazakhstan and India.
  • In India, Sardi was introduced to Dhanbad, a city known as the "capital of coal" due to the vast number of coal fields and strip-mines. The mining has turned the landscape into a post-apocalyptic moonscape.
  • Sardi has collected his years of work photographing Dhanbad into "Black Diamond," to be published in December. People can pre-order the book here.

With a population exceeding 1.3 billion and a quickly developing economy, India has become the world's third-largest greenhouse gas emitter.

Coal is a big reason why. In recent years, India has experienced a "coal rush" as the country attempts to satisfy its ever-expanding energy needs.

At the center of the rush is Dhanbad, a city known as the "capital of coal," and the nearby Jharia mines. There, mostly state-run coal companies operate massive open coal mines that wreak havoc on the villages that have long populated the area. The smoke-choked landscape is marked by burning cracks in the ground that have been on fire for over 100 years.

Swedish photographer Sebastian Sardi became fascinated by Dhanbad nearly a decade ago while traveling to mining sites all over the world.

Sardi told Business Insider that what struck him about the Jharia mines is the way villagers live amongst the mines, depending on them for their livelihood while also suffering terribly from the environment they create.

"It's a vastly changing environment in nature and, for the inhabitants, it's a disaster," said Sardi.

A book of Sardi's multi-year exploration of Dhanbad, titled "Black Diamond," will be published by German publisher Kehrer Verlag in December. Sardi is currently taking pre-orders of the book, which you can check out here »

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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