About Silesia

Black coal mines of the postindustrial Upper Silesia

Coal mines are the reason of this how current world looks like. It may seems to  be a kinda pompous declaration, but if you think a moment longer about this… Extraction on a large scale of coal deposits gave humanity cheaper energy, which made possible to grow for industrial production, manufacture of tools, with them breeding and cultivation for crowds, traveling and building increasingly modern equipment and vehicles. Today we are able to draw energy from other sources, however this was also possible because of energy taken from the burning of coal.

Since the industrial revolution started, mining is an important section in daily existence of Silesia society. Characteristic elements of mining infrastructure shape landscape of the region.

Short historical view

Coal mines are probably the most characteristic element, which is associated to the Upper Silesia region. Mining of the coal appeared here in the second half of 18th century and its industrial meaning started rapidly grow. At the beginning of 19th century deposits of coal were the biggest natural wealth of Poland, after partition of the country between three conquerors, contact border of two annexations was located on Upper Silesia. Also the region of Silesia, called those days Galicia, was the tight top of coal mining locations of the world.

Ilustracja 'Silesia 1' autor: Kasia Haldas
Illustration inspired by the coal mine in Myslowice

Silesian landscape

Short railway routes have been locally associated together with industrial development during 19th, however these small investments allowed to develop current shape of railways net for Upper Silesia. Difference between other branches of mining, coal mining has had mass production character since the very beginning. From start the extraction process was highly mechanized and technological progress for this industrial field was very fast. Today we have many postindustrial buildings, constructions and other infrastructure, which shape landscape of Silesia.

From the very far you may see high chimneys and the shafts immersed between green trees. In the environment dominate yellow, grey and navy blue colors combined with different reds of bricks and blacks of tars and asphalts. I focused on this particular elements, as the inspiration for my first illustration.

About illustration

As the miniature signature I’ve chosen a hang-glider, because Silesia has many airfields and airports, also on the sport class, and air sports are popular here. The air is also best place to watch huge postindustrial areas from above, human perspective doesn’t give possibility to compere, how big are these spaces. Handmade watercolor painting, inspired by the Coal Mine in Myslowice. Painted by me during Spring 2017.

I’ll be pleased with your comments. If you are interested by this topic or have any suggestions, please share them with me. Read more about Silesia here. Thank you!

Thank you,
Kasia Haldas

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