Andrew Querner is a photographer based in Canmore, Alberta. About his series ‘The Bread With Honey’ he writes: In former times, the Stan Terg mine located in Trepca, Kosovo was the jewel of a giant Yugoslavian mining conglomerate. Two thousand miners supplied factories and smelters throughout what is now independent Kosovo with lead, zinc, and gold, among many other metals. Power struggles in the 1990s which resulted in the break-up of Yugoslavia and culminated in Kosovo’s civil war of 1999, crippled the mining operation. Since the end of the war Stan Terg has little more than survived, the victim of fallout from tensions between Kosovo’s Serbian and Albanian population, political tensions between Kosovo and Serbia, and post-independence growing pains. Today, an anemic crew of aging Albanian miners ensures a modest production schedule. With little to no economic activity in the region, miners in their 50s and 60s bare the burden of providing for their extended families. As such, the idea of retirement and the collection of a meager pension worries many. What is more, a multi-million dollar private investment is required to bring the mine and its network of processing facilities in line with modern standards. Whether the current economic and political climate can be navigated by a would-be investor remains to be seen. Privately, workers still harbor concern over the wholesale sell-off of the mine to international interests, a move that could threaten the few remaining jobs as well as export the bulk of any future wealth out of the country. Through the lens of the miners, their children, and the tired town at the mine’s threshold, these pictures are my attempt to better understand the complexities of the Kosovar experience shaped, in large measure, by the challenge of new independence. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © Andrew Querner

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