THE HERITAGE OF DARKNESS

Brown Coal Mine "Breza" exists since 1907. It is located 20 km northwest of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Brown coal from the pit "Kamenica" and "Sretno" which translates to “good luck” feed about 1,250 families and the daily production of both pits is about 2,000 tons. Some families in Breza have at least three generations of coal miners, where the father, son and grandson are coal miners. The coal mining job requires a lot of effort. At a depth of 400 meters, a working day flows in darkness, dust and sweat. Under the dirty clothes these hard workers conceal a pure heart - always positive and ready for a joke. Proud and brave, with tools in their hands, they begin their day with the arrival at work site, the greeting "Good luck" and going under the ground. The traditional mining greeting 'Good luck' carries the desire to once again return to the light of day or a starry night. 

Despite of all the machines that help them dig coal, it is still one of the toughest and most dangerous jobs. In the last 50 years, hundreds of miners have lost their lives in the pits throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. Exposed to constant danger of poisoning, explosions, fires and collapse of the hall, they work hard until the end of their shifts, after which they once again return happy to the surface of the earth and their families. 

These people are digging the ore that heavy industries depend on, the coal that produces the electricity that warms the many homes of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Society forgets about these helpful hard workers. Who is thinking of them, their families and their children while they keep risking their lives to ensure the prosperity of this society?
 View of part of the Brown Coal Mine Breza where they doing the technological process of separation and washing of coal for medium and large pieces of coal. The whole technological process is fully mechanized.

View of part of the Brown Coal Mine Breza where they doing the technological process of separation and washing of coal for medium and large pieces of coal. The whole technological process is fully mechanized.

 Coal miners walk down the hall, they gather in the main room before the shift begins

Coal miners walk down the hall, they gather in the main room before the shift begins

 Coal Miners are sitting while chief of the shift reads a list of names aloud and subsequent responses, in order to determine who is present or absent. Working time is divided into three shifts per 8 hrs, so that the coal mine operates 24 hours.

Coal Miners are sitting while chief of the shift reads a list of names aloud and subsequent responses, in order to determine who is present or absent. Working time is divided into three shifts per 8 hrs, so that the coal mine operates 24 hours.

 The board with the inscription "Good luck" was placed next to the lockers.The traditional mining greeting 'Good luck' carries the desire to once again return to the light of day or a starry night.   

The board with the inscription "Good luck" was placed next to the lockers.The traditional mining greeting 'Good luck' carries the desire to once again return to the light of day or a starry night. 
 

 Coal miners prepare work site and manually dig coal at a depth of 350 meters.Today there are machines that extraction of coal make it easier, but in many places in the coal mine they still work the old-fashioned way.

Coal miners prepare work site and manually dig coal at a depth of 350 meters.Today there are machines that extraction of coal make it easier, but in many places in the coal mine they still work the old-fashioned way.

 Adil Muhic drilled holes in which he will put the dynamite, by blasting will be conducted excavation of coall. He started working in the coal mine when he was nineteen years old. He is from Breza, his father and grandfather were also miners. Almost three years he works in a coal mine.

Adil Muhic drilled holes in which he will put the dynamite, by blasting will be conducted excavation of coall. He started working in the coal mine when he was nineteen years old. He is from Breza, his father and grandfather were also miners. Almost three years he works in a coal mine.

 21-year-old Emir Kalota sets ladders to help the coal miner drill holes high on the wall of the coal mine.

21-year-old Emir Kalota sets ladders to help the coal miner drill holes high on the wall of the coal mine.

 Coal miner stands in the dust, which is caused by blasting. After blasting there is a lot of dust, often takes up to 15 minutes to clean up the air. In one blasting they get about 20 to 30 tons of coal.

Coal miner stands in the dust, which is caused by blasting. After blasting there is a lot of dust, often takes up to 15 minutes to clean up the air. In one blasting they get about 20 to 30 tons of coal.

 Dusty hands of coal miner who eats his meal during the break.The only thing next to their equipment they may carry in the coal mine is a bottle of water and lunch.

Dusty hands of coal miner who eats his meal during the break.The only thing next to their equipment they may carry in the coal mine is a bottle of water and lunch.

 Coal mines help to drill holes for dynamite.

Coal mines help to drill holes for dynamite.

 Adil Muhic, using a shovel, pushes the coal on a conveyor belt that draws coal to the surface.

Adil Muhic, using a shovel, pushes the coal on a conveyor belt that draws coal to the surface.

 Brown coal on the conveyor belt

Brown coal on the conveyor belt

 Coal miners on the conveyor belt comes out of pit which transports the coal to the surface.

Coal miners on the conveyor belt comes out of pit which transports the coal to the surface.

 Belt and gloves of coal miners.

Belt and gloves of coal miners.

 Coal miners take a coffee from a coffee machine after hard work.

Coal miners take a coffee from a coffee machine after hard work.

 Coal miner takes off dirty clothes after work. Personal belongings are kept in baskets that are hooked to the chain with which they will raise it high and lock them.

Coal miner takes off dirty clothes after work. Personal belongings are kept in baskets that are hooked to the chain with which they will raise it high and lock them.

 Smoking in the coal mine is strictly forbidden, most of the coal miners on arriving at the locker room light a cigar. That is usually the first thing they doafter exhausting shifts.

Smoking in the coal mine is strictly forbidden, most of the coal miners on arriving at the locker room light a cigar. That is usually the first thing they doafter exhausting shifts.

 Dust from the mine on the floor while coal miners take a shower. Coal miners take a shower in the bathroom next to the dressing room. Dust from the mine is not easy to wash, so they use sponges and rags to wash the body.

Dust from the mine on the floor while coal miners take a shower. Coal miners take a shower in the bathroom next to the dressing room. Dust from the mine is not easy to wash, so they use sponges and rags to wash the body.