Photojournalist and Documentary Photographer Zied Ben Romdhane is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From his project ‘West of Life‘. To see Zied’s stories click on any image.
In Gafsa, a phosphate mining region in the southwest of Tunisia, a state-controlled company called CPG extracts phosphate from the hills.
Mining, an important resource to the Tunisian economy, has been practiced since Roman times. The phosphate mining now accounts for nearly 4 percent of the GDP.
The local mining villages of Redayef, Mettlaoui, Oumm Laarayes, are rich in resources but marginalized by the government. They remain poor and polluted, a conduit for wealth. Meanwhile, coastal towns prosper.
During the French occupation workers lured from Libya, Morocco, Algeria and around Tunisia live on this nearly uninhabitable land. Ethnic divisions, exacerbated by life in a harsh landscape, have produced disharmony between the people and nature.
These incompatible parts remain in a state of constant flux and volatility.
This is my testimony of the harshness of the place, balanced I hope by the humor of the inhabitants and my affection for them.
By Zied Ben Romdhane