Lusatia is a region in the east of Germany, which has been heavily shaped by the coal industry. Over the course of one and a half centuries forests, meadows, heath and around 100 villages had to make way for open-pit mining. The result was a fundamentally altered landscape with craters, cliffs and barren soil.
German legislation has established that post-mining landscapes are to be re-cultivated and made re-usable. As a result, a large area of Lusatia is today once more under construction. The plan is ambitious: more than twenty exhausted former open-pit mines will be converted into lakes to create Europe’s largest man-made lake district. In the hope of transforming the mining region into a holiday destination, a new landscape is being manufactured through the creation of beaches, marinas, camping sites and canals. Along with many sporting activities like jet skiing, rafting, diving and skating, tourists can visit an active mine, a nuclear power station, or explore the mining landscape by jeep.
I am fascinated by the concept of changing the character of a whole region and employing its industrial past and present to create a »travel destination« image. In my photographs, I explore this landscape in the making and the slowly emerging tourism. I am capturing an area with a transitional identity in which industry, nature, and tourism exist closely next to each other, and at times, overlap and collide.