Juergen Sarge / Kohle
"Kohle is the german word for coal, but it is also a vernacular reference to ‘money’. Over the past two years I have been regularly visiting four villages: Manheim, Immerath, Morschenich, Lützerath and Hambacher forst, an adjacent ancient forest near my hometown cologne. I go there to photograph the state of their homes and buildings following evictions, their gradual demolition and the wholescale destruction of these villages.
At the same time I am taking photographs of the brown coal fields on their site. Despite the urgency of current debates over environmental pollution, bio-diversity and global climate change, germany’s second largest power company continues to succeed in gaining authorisation for maintain massive opencast brown coal mining plants in the area occupied by these villages and the ancient forest. As of today, 90% of the villages have already lost their homes due to eviction and have been relocated, the forest is temporarily safe-guarded due to a recent court decision.
Meanwhile, both debates and demolitions are on-going. The selection of photographs presented here represent an emotional dialog between myself and the situation/environment I am encountering."