For centuries, Bulqizë was no more than a small farming village in Albania, until chrome was discovered in the mountains in 1948.
In 1950 the mines were opened, thanks to financial support from the Soviet Union.
In 2007 they were closed.
A rabbit hole, two men pushing a rusted trolley into the tunnel.
We get a helmet with a light and join them.
Watch your head, stay close.
How deep is this tunnel going into the ground? + -500 to 700 meters.
Halfway through the tunnel, the tunnel has collapsed.
It was pitch-black all around us and the conditions were far from safe.
This is the reality of the Albanian men, women and children who work here for less than 4 € per day.
Only a few decades ago, in our region many people took the train from Galmaarden to “le pays noir” to work in the coal mines.
Miners with helmet and lamp, at risk of own life.
Present and past are sometimes very close together.