Coal Mine, Land Mine and the Body of Mine

Stefaniia Bodnia

Internship: Spassky Fischer, Metahaven
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I remember the black snow covering my yard every year at night in Mariupol. A brittle crust of black patina that I always longed to break by making the first white footprints. The obscure black particles have no taste or smell, they tint the surface of the snow-covered landscape while remaining invisible. It settles into the human and non-human bodies, leaving an intangible presence expressed in its instantly unseen gradual transformation. The black snow is a metaphor for industrial emissions from metallurgical and chemical production and mining in the Donetsk and 
Luhansk regions of Ukraine, where flames currently descend from the sky onto the soil.

The multi faceted project provides insight into the post-industrial landscape of war-affected eastern Ukraine and illuminates the voices of the materials extracted from this region: coal, salt, gas, neon, and the human body. The story unfolds in several chapters, each dedicated to narration about a particular material. It traces the chain of extraction, starting with coal mining in the region, followed by black metallurgy, and with the production of neon as a by-product of the iron and steel industry.