“You’re here thirty years too late”. That’s what a friend of mine told me. He is of Polish descent and perhaps he is right. On these vast tracts of deserted land that are found scatered over the region, thirty years ago would have stood countless pitheads tall and proud. Thirty years ago, the air would have been heavy with the smell of coal, laden with the deafening roar of machinery, mingling sometimes the singing of the workers and their families. “That’s all vanished now, so what are you here to photograph?” — Naoya Hatakeyama
Terrils is the result of Naoya Hatakeyama’s stay in the mining area of Nord-Pas de Calais in France where he was photographer in residence in 2009-2010. The work was exhibited by the Centre Historique Minier de Lewarde – France’s largest coal mining museum – as Les Voici, Colosses.