Painter’s book, 1998, 18 pp, 40 x 55 cm, 3 kg. 9 woodcuts on handwritten rice paper. Text in Spanish and English. Papier-mâché on burlap. Cover: Pasteboard covered with papier-mâché.

The woodcuts and poetry denounce the children’s exploitation as workers in the Coal mines in Colombia, and in many other parts of the world.

Low wages maintain the coalmine-workers in poverty. Their children do not attend school because they need to work along their parents to contribute to the family budget. This situation is perpetuated through generations.

Are these children buried alive? The book is black, rich in texture, resembling the interior of the coalmines. Children faces emerge from the mine darkness.

Carbonerito – Poem

beatriz mejía-krumebin

Little coal miner, oh my child
Tell me kid, where do you hide?
Why you do not go to school
Leaving your dreams behind?
At an early age in life
At dawn I rush to work
They wait for me in the mine
There is much coal to draw
Coldness pierces my body
My hands endure the pain
I dream to enjoy my life
And fill it with sunlight.
Like in a charcoal portrait
In my face I smear the coal
In agony I wear away
In a deep hole day by day.

The day turns into darkness
My eyes are deprived of light
My body hurts and declines
Carrying heavy loads of coal
Other children are playing
Happily outside and free
I hear them singing with joy
But I do not get what they mean.
My dreams are fading
In a dense dark void
Are they only out of sight?
Will they ever become alive?
I wish to attend school
To learn how to read and write
But the mine provides me the tool
For the food to eat tonight.

More Projects