« A LIFE LIKE MINE » is a multimedia dive into the heart of an ancestral activity, indicative of society’s development : the search for gold.
Gold fascinates. For some it is a barbarian relic of the past, for others a source of development. But this darling of the world’s markets provokes gold rushes that leave us questioning the future of our planet. Meanwhile other metals are following the same route.
100 million people and 90% of the world’s miners are breaking their backs trying to survive in what officials modestly call « small-scale mines » (source : CASM World Bank).
It is no longer about people searching for Eldorado, but about all those that various crises have left behind. Farmers whose land no longer feeds them. City dwellers fleeing large city slums. Refugees for whom exile is more and more difficult.
We must question the condition of these men, women and children who are often in the hands of unscrupulous mafia, guerillas or dealers.
Accidents, riots, mercury poisoning and piracy are rife, all shock waves of the world’s crises. The ever-increasing number of these miners, at a time when more and more land is being set aside for mining, is a sign of new humanitarian struggles in the 50 countries concerned.
You will have understood by now that whether you are interested in literature, journalism or photography, Zola, London or Salgado, the discovery of these sweat and blood-soaked mines is a powerful experience, as much for those covering the subject as those working in them.
Our documentary work in mining towns plagued by violence, promiscuity and illegal workers has already proved this to us. Our web documentary will tell the story.
This web series aims to draw public attention to the distribution of resources from the mine. Started four years ago, it is designed to be circulated in the press (as a one-off feature or a series), on television (documentary), as an exhibition or in book form.
How ? By allowing people to see and understand, through several places and stories, this activity at key moments in its evolution.
Rather than documenting the present by following one gold rush or sector , we want to retrace the life of one particular gold deposit from its genesis to its decay, resulting in raised awareness.
Loosely inspired by Zola’s « naturalist » body of work, this approach aims to make each subject a strata in THE mine, as we envisage it.
There are five chapters :
I/Subsistance through the ancestral activity of « gold gatherers » in Colombia. Their culture, bound up with slavery and the arrival of the conquistadors, enlightens us as to the connection men have with this resource.
II/Fortune which revists the myth of the Klondike and the fate of those putting their faith in pure luck to escape poverty through the gold rush in Rinconada (Peru).
III/Conflict looks at the power struggle surrounding this activity between the state, mining companies and the diggers themselves.
IV/Covetousness a story of mining piracy resulting from the destruction of a town, society and country : South Africa, after a century of mining.
V/Conscience through the quest of Peruvian miners’ who, after centuries of exploitation and pointless suffering, have decided to work in a cooperative structure.
Designed as a story, our web documentary will take the form of a multimedia graphic novel, combining varying content such as art work, photography, video and sound.
Our adventure will be the common thread between all the subjects, as in the world of a novel.
The artwork will put everything we have seen into perspective, situations, anecdotes, portraits all etched in our minds. It will be our main medium, to objectively portray everything that cannot be captured in a photo.
Each chapter will be interactive and the user can choose to go and see one person, or discover a place or document, depending on his or her search.