Valentin Sidorenko
26 photographies | 2020

It’s always light under the ground

I close my eyes and I see how my mother would tuck me in bed when father had came back from work. He froze in the doorway and his face was red from blood. Me and mom have started to cry, Dad brought some rocks from his work. They were nothing like the once I’ve seen before. Those rocks were shining in the sun with many colors.

My dad was working in the mine in our town which was built for the miners. My grandpas and grandmas were working there too. And everybody knew that the defences underground were barely standing. And the safety procedures weren’t followed properly due to the plans that needed to be fulfilled. It all was leading to standards, saving and fines.

It was a hot summer day. My father’s friend shouted me over the the fences “Valka, call your dad”. He, just like my father, was a miner, but they had different shifts. “Oh he is dead” — I’ve replied. Someone rushed from the house in the black headscarf.
After that there was a trial and long proceedings. When the mine was closed, the building were literally looted by the ex-miners. And I, everything walking by our street, were saying with pride “My papa was hit with this rock!”.

Many years have passed since I’ve lived through my “papa” when I’ve got an archive of photos of some V. Grunin. His relatives were selling undeveloped films, that had pictured from the mine my father used to work to. I don’t have many photos of him but I can see him in every miner on this negatives.

Father died not by his own death and I don’t know where is his soul. I imagine that the mine was never closed and the miners are still working there and live, but in the other world. And my dad is among them.