Project Detail: Charcoalman: a hard work


LuganoPhotoDays 2017




Jose Beut Duato



Project Info

Charcoalman: a hard work

Report made in May 2017 in central Romania, where you can still find people who are engaged in making charcoal.
It is a very hard work that requires that one or two people are standing pending and close to the pyre of logs that go into slow combustion, having to deal every two hours to remove the ashes and embers that produce the logs burned to prevent them from turning off .
This task is performed continuously during the day and night, cold or hot, rain or snow.
The conditions are very hard because in addition to the inclement weather, they have to make their work wrapped continuously by the smoke. The air, at times becomes unbreathable. The pillar of smoke is so dense that they sometimes disappear wrapped in smoke and on top of the pyre as they repeat over and over again their routine task.
When they finish removing the ashes in many occasions they begin to form a new pyre of heavy trunks that will begin to burn when they finish the previous one.
During their rest time they have only to wait in a small cabin with a semi-detached roulotte that serves them as house and bedroom. Within this small space the hours become endless waiting for the new turn to re-emerge and be enveloped in the dense smoke.
I had the opportunity to live 48 hours with these two men and I tried to show the routine and hardness of their work.