Inside The Coal Mines of Jharia

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Inside The Coal Mines of Jharia

Photographer Ronny Sen captures a world of underground fires and blasting mines in the dystopian photo series, What Does The End of Time Look Like 

In his latest photo series that won him the prestigious Getty Images Instagram grant, photographer Ronny Sen, travelled to the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand, to the erstwhile forest of Jharia and posited an important question, what does the end of time look like?

Through this question, he explores the erstwhile green forest where coal was discovered in the late 18th century. By the beginning of the 19th century most of India’s mineral resource was mined here.

As the imperial government, mercenaries and princely families wrestled for control on distribution, Jharia withstood their greed and eventually became successor to its own suffering.

For over a 100 years, an underground fire has been burning here, its presence is now over ground—inside homes, temples, schools, churches and mosques. Places that were once thriving with life are now consumed by flames. Yet people live here because it is their only form of sustenance, building their lives on the edges of these coal mines.

This sense of foreboding doom is manifested in Sen’s pictures, which depict fragmented, random, scattered elements of human existence and a community without a future. Plunderers of coal who move from site to site along the blasting mines, surviving in an apocalyptic landscape.

Take a look at the pictures below.

Ronny Sen has launched his book - End of Time. Published by Nazar Foundation 
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