Happy New Year Jenine By Raed Bawayah
“On New Year’s eve in Israel, the Palestinian coal miners dive in the earth’s belly to ensure the production of coal needed for the festivities. From this underground journey that only the living are able to brave, the photos tell us hardly anything. They show resting moments after the task is done. The traces left from the dusty and dark blight of the basement towards the surface of the earth remind of the trip undertaken by the miners.
Who are these men with their faces smeared with black powder? Guerillera members, exiled in a landscape on the fringe of cities, anonymous workers or illegal princes of a black diamond kingdom? Bags and piles of coal on which they sit or stand, are they valuable resources or sources of destruction?
The rest of the miners seems to be a season in itself, a territory that stretches in an almost idyllic tranquility of nature. The wounds and swelling of the earth are certainly there, but appear only as a relief which nucleus is hidden from our knowledge. Under the sweltering heat of white, the worried smiles and the intense enigma of the looks seduce by the suspicion of the hardship endured by those revenants. Thus it is certainly about the issue of the return, from depths of the invisible prisons dug into the earth to the daylight. In the uncomplaining slackening of the muscles, the yearning silence of these men stirs the cooled charcoal of consciences.”
— Raed Bawayah