Faces of coal
The largest source of CO2 emissions in Europe is just 1h30 drive from Brussels: the Hambach and Garzweiler coal mines, are near at the border with Belgium and the Netherlands, in Germany.
The entire region is being turned into a wasteland, by a single coal company. The entire landscape is being annihilated, it is a visual representation of the world coming to its end.
While the deadly landscape and the scope of the destruction are impossible to grasp, the responsibility of the men behind this chaos is clear: here are the faces behind coal mining in Germany today.
The drawings are made with an ink made of lignite, the most polluting fossil fuel on earth.
This Art project is an ongoing experiment on profits, power and accountability, tied to the destruction of the planet.
1- Markus Krebber – CEO of coal company RWE.
Each day, RWE is emitting 270,000 Tons of CO2.
Markus is poisoning the air
Markus is destroying villages
Markus is cutting forests
Markus is razing churches
Markus is turning the entire region into a wasteland.
2- Thomas Kufen – Mayor of the city of Essen.
Thomas was elected as Mayor of Essen, but he is working for coal company RWE.
Thomas is the representative of RWE’s shareholders.
Thomas has received 23,252 euros from RWE in 2021.
The city of Essen received 17,200,000 euros from RWE in 2021.
3- Herbert Reul – Interior minister of the NRW region
Reul admitted he had several meetings with coal company RWE prior to the brutal evictions.
The Hambach evictions he overlooked was ruled illegal by German court.
4- Police brutality
Unjustified police violence is used against activists to protect the coal business. The German police is working directly with RWE’s, using their resources and vehicles, to serve fossil fuel interests.
5- Andrew Anagnost – CEO of software company Autodesk.
Andrew is providing the software necessary to operate and maintain the coal excavators. He is working closely with fossil fuel companies to help increasing their emissions.
6- Jean-Laurent Bonnafé – CEO of BNP Paribas bank
Jean-Laurent is a major financial support of RWE.
8- Christian Sewing – CEO of Deutsche Bank
Christian is a major financial support of coal mining company RWE.
9- Larry Fink – CEO of Blackrock,
Larry is a major shareholder and investor of RWE and fossil fuels.
10- Coal is a national priority
An “expropriation law” from the Third Reich era.
Today, a law written in 1934 and 1937 is still being applied to expropriate people from their land, farms and villages, in order to extract the coal underneath.
The selection of people behind the coal industry is not exhaustive: the list was made from informal surveys and discussions with local villagers, activists, researchers, NGOs and journalists, over multiple visits of the region, between 2019 and 2023.
Thanks to Benjamin Jung from Blast for the photos and videos.