Foundation for Visual Documentary
BeforePhotography

Bytom Karb in Silesia region, Poland

2011. Piotr Wójcik

Piotr Wojcik was documenting the unprecedented calamity in Karb, a district in Bytom, which has recently seen the end of the demolishing action of 27 buildings destroyed by the collapse of coal mining. Bulldozers have been working for two months after nearly 500 people were evacuated from the area. The demolition works were conducted on the cost of Coal Company.
It all started with a building at Pocztowa Street that collapsed and made a bulge in the pavement, demolishing several tenement houses; it reaches the broken water pipeline and, even further the 94 national road lanes had to be closed down.
600 tenants from 274 flats in 28 buildings have to be prepared for the eviction. People lost their ownership rights.
The President of Bytom announces the emergency state, pleading for help Waldemar Pawlak, the Vice-Prime Minister, who was the only one, who could make the mine stop.
“Polish economy cannot resign from excavating 12mln tons of coal that still is to be found under this area of Bytom.”
(“Coal more important than Bytom”, 17.08.2011).