Opencast mining

Photographs by Jürgen Matschie

As part of the Görlitz photo festival “Schauplätze”, the exhibition is open to visitors from 06.10. – 01.11.20 in the gallery of the Fotomuseum, Löbauer Straße 7, Görlitz, Tue to Sun from 12:00-16:00.

Copyright Jürgen Matschie

Opencast mining

I use landscape photography to focus on man’s intervention in nature: the use of vast areas of land to get at the lignite. For digging up the earth’s masses to depths of over 300 metres, the loss of grown cultivated land with its people, flora and fauna is accepted. What remains is a desert that is sought to be recultivated, in other words “to be healed”. This will take decades and it will always be just a substitution with some remaining holes as lakes.


Born in Bautzen (1953), he studied engineering sciences, followed by photography at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig; since 1988 freelance photographer in Bautzen. Member of the Federal Association of Visual Artists, German Society for Photography.

Selected Publications:
1995 – DOMA – Photographs from Lusatia, Bautzen
2011 – BRUNICA – Living with coal, Bautzen
2017 – Photography from Saxony and Lusatia, in Silke Wagler, Kai Wenzel (eds.): Im Moment, Dresden
2019 – Artists of Upper Lusatia 1 + 2, Pulsnitz

Selected Works in art collections:
Brandenburg State Museum for Modern Art, Cottbus
Museum Bautzen
State Art Collections (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen), Dresden