Bronze 2021 / Editorial / Environmental

The Human Cost of Coal

  • Photographer
    Costa Corbas
  • Agency / Studio
    Costa Corbas
  • Prizes
    Bronze in Editorial/Environmental

More than 70% of India’s electricity comes from coal, helping to satisfy the needs of a rapidly expanding middle class. Coal production is set to increase by more than 50% in the next 4 years. The expansion of open-pit mining has a devastating effect on the environment, health and the local communities living around the mines. As well as the official mines, there is an illegal parallel distribution system run by the coal mafia. Every day before sunrise women and children scavenge coal in hazardous conditions for distribution on the black market. For many, this is their only livelihood.

Costa Corbas is a British photographer living in Barcelona, Spain. After graduating in Chemistry from King's College in London, he worked as an executive in international businesses. During this time he became interested in photography and in developing economies and turned his attention to documenting the impact of economic growth on peoples lives.