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Jakob Ehrensvärd | profile | all galleries >> Sicily >> Countryside mining tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Countryside mining

What makes most of these Sicilian mining remains so spectacular is the way they're often a completely integral part of their surroundings, more giving a sense of a local workshop than a mine, just like the local farmers worked there when there was little to do out in the fields. Somewhat, almost like topping with something like a greenhouse or a small sawmill as a supplement to your daily farming infrastructure. It really poses a contrast between the small scale and the grandness, between the ancient and the modern, between the bucolic countryside and an industrial site...

It is somewhat obvious that this structure was considering keeping the social fabric intact and preserving a long tradition of a living rural society rather than pure economics and industrial logic. It goes without saying that these small-scale operations must have been terribly inefficient and their long distance from ports must have added up considerable transportation- and logistics costs. With low wages, low expectations and import restrictions, this could prevail, but as the modern society continued to develop, things changed. These areas have probably seen the population shrink considerably since the 1960s, where the young move to the cities or mainland Italy for a more prosperous outcome than their parents.

Nevertheless, industrial ruins with a more spectacular backdrop than the Sicilian countryside is probably hard to find.
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