Travel and Documentary Photographer Markus Korenjak is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From the project ‘Shipbreaking Yard’. To see Markus’ body of work, click on any image.
Shipbreaking Yard – Alang, India
Since the beginning of the 1980s, roughly half of all ocean-going vessels have been scrapped in the Indian port city, Alang. At high tide, the ships are driven up on to the beach with full force to be dismantled at low tide by the thousands of laborers, most of whom come from the poorest regions of India and live directly on the beach where they work. It takes almost a year for a container ship to be completely scrapped, reduced to a carcass and its constituent parts. Those who scrap the ships work around 90 hours per week, but the wages they earn are hardly enough to live on. There are serious injuries almost every day, which are often fatal. The nearest hospital is far away: the laborers, isolated on the beach, dismantle the vessels of global industry.
Shipbreaking Yard – Chittagong, Bangladesh
In the absence of cranes and other mechanical aids, stranded container and cruise ships from all over the world are largely dismantled here by hand. Adequate protective equipment for the workers is an afterthought, as unimportant as the environmental protection of this coastal region. The ship-breaking industry is often portrayed as being environmentally friendly, since almost every component of the broken down ships are recycled. But the price that humans and nature pay is high. Since there are no dry docks for dismantling, oils, varnishes, heavy metal and asbestos come out untreated, considerably damaging people and the local environment, and countermeasures are rarely taken.
All images and text © Markus Korenjak
By Markus Korenjak
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