A Close Story of the Far Lands

Fatoş Kalınkaya

Fatoş Kalınkaya

Fatoş Kalınkaya

Fatoş Kalınkaya

She was born in Istanbul in 1969. In 1992, she graduated from Anadolu University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of Economics. She worked in the marine transportation industry for many years. In 2015, she became a member of Izmir Photography Art Association (IFOD). She took part in IFOD Board of Management. During this period, she took part in many group exhibitions and opened a personal photography exhibition named “Rainforest Keepers” in 2018. Her photo documentary "Rainforest Keepers" was published in Atlas Magazine. She takes people-oriented photographs in different cultures and geographies. She continues to produce photographs, focusing especially on human portraits and their relationships with their environments.

There are 41 active volcanoes in the Java region of Indonesia, which is home to incredible formations on the land due to its active volcanoes. One of them and the most important one is Kawah Ijen and it is known as the most toxic place in the world.

Ijen crater makes a serious contribution to the country economy with its sulfur mines. The mine near the volcano called Kawah Ijen on the Indonesian island of Java has been operating since 1968. Approximately 500 miners work in the mine where 14 tons of sulfur is produced per day. Miners travel 3.5 km of mountain road every day, descend the 800-meter bumpy slope to enter the volcano and carry out sulfur transport a maximum of 2 times a day provided they work at night. Every miner you see while climbing Ijen carries between 80 and 100 kilos of sulfur on his shoulders at a time. In return, they earn between $ 20 and $ 40 a day. The lifetime of miners working under these conditions is 50 years.

Human beings, who are in pursuit of sulfur in the close story of distant geographies, are traversing the fine line between death and life every day. The limited job opportunities of the people living in this region and almost no other job alternatives force them to walk towards this deadly line. While sulfur mines find buyers at good prices, especially in the foreign market, daily pricing is applied for the people living in that region. The search for raw materials with the developing technology of industrialized countries cause us to come across close stories that we are not far from and come across everywhere as a result of embargo and pressure on other countries. In fact, the story in this geography, which is far from our country, sheds light on and records the present age with the documentary aspect of photography.

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