Thursday, March 27, 2014
URBEX Desert Mining Towns
Some of the things I love about photographing mining towns is the way they go up and the way they go down. A mining town starts off with some makeshift buildings when there's promise, then when there's actual strike, it grows fast, population rushes in, and they all try to recreate the buildings from where they came from, mostly the East.
When the town spends its mines and the interest and money moves elsewhere, one is left with some shopkeepers, ministers, and others who have built roots there even if they didn't do mining. So, half the town shuts down, sometimes more, and the people who stubbornly remain eek out a quiet life and let the buildings for the past go by the wayside as a reminder of how big the town once was, like mannequins filling in for real people in a population of buildings that was once impressive and are now silent.
The desert's dry weather, unrelenting sunlight and soaring temperatures dry everything up, weaken structures, bleach wood, and crumble concrete. Eventually, parts of the mining towns look as raw and worked as the mined hillsides behind them.
When man leaves the land he has desecrated and the building he has abandoned, he leaves his mark and that remains, sometimes through millenium.