The work of “Smolarze “ (charcoal burners who produce tar from wood) it’s a way for many to earn few pennies in Bieszczady. In this region of Poland it’s extremely difficult to find a job. There is the highest unemployment rate and the lowest gross national product per capita.
Tar Kilns can be found in almost every valley of Bieszczady. I can take approximately 50 cubic meters of beech tree, which will then give around 10 cubic meters of high quality charcoal.
Burning charcoal 7 days a week can be very hard, extremely exhausting and ungrateful job. Average salary is only 1200-1500 PLN. ( approx. 300 EUR). In a region of Bieszczady there are around 150 people who are doing it as a trade.
This photos cycle shows everyday work of two brothers Janusz and Wiesiek – charcoal burners, living in the forest of Bieszczady near the Polish-Ukrainian border.