AsiaStorySulphur Mining in Dangerously Beautiful Ijen Volcano By Gembong Nusantara

Enjoying a cup of well-roasted coffee in the morning once adding two spoons of finest crystal white sugar while in a workplace seems like a routine in most countries in the world. In the sugar refining process, factories use sulphur dioxide.

Enjoying a cup of well-roasted coffee in the morning once adding two spoons of finest crystal white sugar while in a workplace seems like a routine in most countries in the world.

In the sugar refining process, factories use sulphur dioxide. The finest crystal white sugar in your kitchen, the sulphur might be coming from this dangerous toxic mining manned by poorly paid workers in the heart of Ijen volcano, eastern tip of the island of Java, Indonesia.

Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice

Sacrificial Ritual.

It is mid-December.
Rainy. Foggy. And cold.
A typical weather of the tropical mountains.
Two sulphur miners appear from foggy path with a goat bound up at a bamboo bar like hunters bringing their game home. Deftly, near a miners’ cabin located 2214 metres above the sea level on a slope of Ijen volcano, a man digs a hole and put a wooden slab on it; he prepares the slaughtering spot. After a short prayer, a Muslim cleric, using a big knife slaughters the sacrificial goat. Such trained hands they skin the goat and make small slices of the flesh. They put the sacrificial goat’s head on a round bamboo-made tray with other offerings such as noodles, chickens’ head, boiled eggs, satay and four colored porridges; red, white, yellow and brown — wrapped up in banana leaves.

Women come later to cook satay and curry which will be distributed the next morning to the sulphur miners.

Before sunset, all the miners who stay at the cabin and some officials from factory hold a prayer service and make a wish for salvation, blessing and finding of sulphur. After the prayer, they have a banquet of the goat satay and curry. The rain hasn’t stopped yet. But the view is getting clearer and at the far-east is the Bali island across Java strait.

The next morning, around 6.30 a.m. two miners bring the offering to the heart of the crater. It takes a 30-minute walk up and around another 30 minutes walk down the steep slope of the center. Once at the sulphur mining area, a worker sprays water at the sulphur pipe to stop the flow. Later on, an elderly man climbs over the pipe and buries the sacrificial goat’s head and accomplishes the ritual.

Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice

Hostile Environment.

Lying on the center of the crater, about one kilometre across tosca green is the sulphur lake. Surrounding it is reddish and greenish stone cliffs. At a glimpse, it is such great scenery in the early morning sun. Yet this terrific view hides the real threat; the water is at the same acidic level with the car battery and it is harmful to metal. Moreover the acidic atmosphere forces the miners – and tourists – to risk their respiratory system. The sulphuric fumes result in coughing and retching. The fume is not just simply haze, but toxic sulphur. Thus it burns the throat and the eyes.

In 1976, there was an accident that killed four people and seventeen people passed out because of inhaling poisoning gas. Two years later, a miner claimed that he had had a dream-vision message to sacrifice a goat and bury the goat’s head in sulphur crater to get salvation and blessing. Since then every December, miners held a ritual of sacrifice. The mining activity itself was begun in 1968, the beginning of Soeharto’s regime.

Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice

The Sulphur Mining.

From Paltuding post that rises 1600 metres above the sea level, where a truck transports sulphur from Ijen to factory regularly, miners hike up the crater through a three-kilometre sandy path. After reaching the top they still have to continue walking down on risky steep rocky path. The hardest part is when miners with all the weight on their shoulder climb back up the steep rocky path.

Local miners have placed a canal of ceramics pipes from a series of vents where sulphuric gases escape from the verge of the crater down to lakeside where the gases sublimate to hot liquid sulphur and then condensed at the end of the pipes. Miners extract big and heavy chunks of pure sulphur using the most ancient methods. Miners start their working hours before dawn wearing simple outfits and gas mask to protect them from gases, carrying two pairs of bamboo basketa. They use a pair of twenty-inch diameter bamboo-made basket connected by one and a half meters carrying pole from bamboo to transport sulphur. Bamboo is well known as strong material but light.

In every month miners can bring off up to 450 ton of sulphur or 15 ton per diem. In a day, one miner can bring up to 100 kilos of sulphur in two trips, up and down the mountain. There is only one factory that buys the sulphur from miners. For each kilogram, they get paid 780 rupiah only (seven cents).

It is an exhausting job and poorly paid hard work. And perhaps one of the world’s most dangerous jobs. Since July 2013 all the miners get an insurance paid by the company’s headquarter in Surabaya, the second largest industrial city in Indonesia. “Few months ago I suffered from lung inflammation caused by frequent inhalation of toxic fumes. I can’t work as a miner anymore. And now I have become a tourist guide”.

Imam, a former miner and currently a tourist guide, says.

Medical tests show that most miners’ hearts and lungs are bigger in size than normal as a result of adaptation to their daily extreme activities. Continuous exposure to sulphuric gases cause premature aging and burst teeth; most miners ‘ appearance look ten years older than their real age.

All the sulphur is sent to the government-owned sugar factories for use in the process of sugar whitening – During Indonesia Revolution against Dutch colonization era, VOC Dutch company, set up Java island as sugar producer and build some sugar factories, some of which are still in use. In Indonesia there are only two sulphur mines. And Ijen crater is the biggest one. The other one only produces one fifth of Ijen production.

Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice

Tourism

The epic story of Ijen sulphur miners and the panoramic beauty of the crater especially the famous blue flames attracts tourists, domestic and foreign to come and witness first-hand, especially during the month from June to August. The chronicle of Ijen crater has spread worldwide. As tourism develops, some miners have side jobs as tourist guides. Some miners also make souvenirs of sulphur in various shapes. [Official Website]

Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice Bondowoso - East Java; Sulfur Miners Hold Annual Sacrifice

 

Gallery

SOLO EXHIBITION

EACH MONTH, THE MOST VALUED PROJECT WILL RECEIVE AN INDIVIDUAL EXHIBITION IN OUR GALLERY.

DEADLINE: SUNDAY, AUGUST 15, 2021

PHOTO: © ALAIN SCHROEDER
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

300x250

With ON1 Photo RAW you get the professional photo editing tools every photographer needs to get professional results while keeping your workflow.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/magazine_dodho_mostly_white_300x250.jpg

GuruShots is a platform for people who love taking photos. Get ready to push your creativity and enter your shots in the ‘Mostly White’ photo challenge!

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/banner-300.jpg

Call For Entries #18 | After 17 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

RELATED STORIES
You are burning our future by Monica Gorini

ConceptEuropeYou are burning our future by Monica Gorini

I realized this portfolio with the help of my two niece 8 and 10 years old with whom I share the deep love for our Mother Earth but also the concern for Her future.
Diana Cheren Nygren; The Persistence of Family

AmericaConceptDiana Cheren Nygren; The Persistence of Family

During the isolation resulting from the pandemic, family has taken on a new centrality. Our connections to our ancestors and our descendants often feel stronger than connections to those around us.
Walk like a Calcuttan by Anirban Mandal

AsiaCityWalk like a Calcuttan by Anirban Mandal

Calcutta (new name Kolkata) is a great city of India since late 17th century, enriched with history ,culture ,infrastructure  and cosmopolitan environment.
Makeshift by Paweł Starzec

ConceptEuropeMakeshift by Paweł Starzec

This common agreement takes shape of a narrative concerning both past and present times, serving as an explanation of the world and unifying the group around it.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/instagram.jpg
Pinhole Photography by Aurelio Bormioli

ConceptEuropePinhole Photography by Aurelio Bormioli

Aurelio Bormioli was born in Savona in 1969. Since he was a child, he was interested in photography thanks to his father who was an amateur photographer.
Superdogs by Jan Von Holleben

ConceptEuropeSuperdogs by Jan Von Holleben

I know! I know! Children and animals: No greater nightmares for a photographer! But if you work with the best of the best, then it is indeed mostly (!!) a pleasure!
TRENDING STORIES
We are here by Caroline Gavazzi

B&WEuropeShotWe are here by Caroline Gavazzi

"We are here" is a series of three-dimensional photographs by Caroline Gavazzi about the immigrants living in Riace (Italy) and their identities.
Luma Koklova ; There are types of beauty that eschew prettiness

ConceptEuropeLuma Koklova ; There are types of beauty that eschew prettiness

The stories of the street are mine,the Spanish voices laugh. The Cadillacs go creeping now through the night and the poison gas, and I lean from my window sill in this old hotel I chose,yes one hand on my suicide, one hand on the rose.
Interview with Alessandro Barteletti; Published in our print edition #05

DnaEuropeInterview with Alessandro Barteletti; Published in our print edition #05

The aspect I have mostly appreciated about Dodho Magazine is that it presents the work of photographers with no graphic tricks, respecting their inner personality and this enhances the value of the pictures.
Pulikali – a folk art of Kerala by Rishi Devarajan

AsiaStoryPulikali – a folk art of Kerala by Rishi Devarajan

It is also called 'Kaduvakali', the folk art form of Kerala which is performed by a trained artist. The origin of pulikali dates back to over 200 years
Scotland & The Environment by Gavin Smart

ConceptEuropeFeaturedScotland & The Environment by Gavin Smart

Scotland and the Environment is a conceptual series touching on a variety of contemporary issues facing Scotland today, such as plastic pollution, marine conservation, intensive agriculture and woodland protection.
My style of photography; The search for Beauty by Johannes Heuckeroth

CityEuropeMy style of photography; The search for Beauty by Johannes Heuckeroth

My biggest project until now is my work about Dubai. In 2012 I spent five days there and then worked for 5 month on a book and website about my images and my experience.
Hanoi Reflection by Wouter Vanhees

CityEuropeHanoi Reflection by Wouter Vanhees

When does one really know a place? Does it take one year? Or a few? Maybe a lifetime? Having lived in Hanoi for five years, I’m still trying to make sense of it
François Mitterrand by Diego Goldberg

AmericaB&WFeaturedStoryFrançois Mitterrand by Diego Goldberg

I lived in France from 1976 to 1980. While there I had been covering the Socialist Party and when François Mitterrand decided to be a candidate again for the presidential elections I wrote him a letter with a project to document his campaign from the inside, with total access to his private and political activities.
FEATURED STORIES
Under the sign of the rat; Roger the Rat by Roger Ballen

AmericaB&WConceptFeaturedUnder the sign of the rat; Roger the Rat by Roger Ballen

Surreal, refined, disturbing: Roger Ballen has made a name for himself with his special eye for what is usually considered minor or outside, yet is nevertheless profound and touching.
Intimate portraits of animals; Behind Glass by Anne Berry

B&WBioEuropeFeaturedIntimate portraits of animals; Behind Glass by Anne Berry

Behind Glass is a collection of photographs made in monkey houses of small zoos throughout Europe. Anne Berry is recognized for her ability to create lyrical, intimate portraits of animals.
Fictional narrative photography; Birth Undisturbed by Natalie Lennard

ConceptEuropeFeaturedFictional narrative photography; Birth Undisturbed by Natalie Lennard

Birth Undisturbed is a fictional narrative photography series by Natalie Lennard, that brings scenes of natural childbirth into cinematic fine-art tableaux.
Japanese Aquariums by George Nobechi

AsiaFeaturedStoryJapanese Aquariums by George Nobechi

Japanese Aquariums is a journey into some of my oldest, most treasured childhood memories. Whenever I visited my grandparents in the small, northern Japanese city of Otaru, my grandfather, a high school teacher and an enormous influence in my life, would take me to the aquarium.
Greenland; Stories from the Sea by Camille Michel

EuropeFeaturedStoryGreenland; Stories from the Sea by Camille Michel

Greenland became politically independent from Denmark in 1979 and is slowly getting on the path to economic independency. The ‘ice country’ is currently facing the consequences of climate change.
Intimate diary; Jazz Notes by Giuseppe Cardoni

B&WEuropeFeaturedShotIntimate diary; Jazz Notes by Giuseppe Cardoni

It is a declaration of love by Giuseppe Cardoni, but also by an Italian region, Umbria, which has always hosted the most important jazz festivals and where the author took most of his photographs.
Guatemala; Until the corn Grows Back by Lys Arango

EuropeFeaturedStoryGuatemala; Until the corn Grows Back by Lys Arango

Until the corn Grows Back; Lys Arango’s project was selected and published in our print edition 16. Criminal violence in Central America was something that happened very far away and that explained, according to the media, the gigantic caravans of migrants that from 2017 began to travel thousands of kilometres to reach the United States
Greatest jockeys; Fortza Paris by Marco Cheli

EuropeFeaturedStoryGreatest jockeys; Fortza Paris by Marco Cheli

Fortza Paris; Marco Cheli’s project was selected and published in our print edition 16. Over the years, until today there are many young Sardinians, specifically from Barbagia, who leave their island with the dream of becoming a jockey of the Palio di Siena.
Africa; River Blindness by Marcus Trappaud Bjørn

B&WEuropeFeaturedShotAfrica; River Blindness by Marcus Trappaud Bjørn

The project River blindness focuses on a neglected tropical disease, which is the second most common cause of infectious blindness worldwide.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/getty-images.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/black-eye.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Edelman-Gallery.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Medium.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Opiom.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Filter-Photo.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/head-on.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Photo-independent.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/lagos-photo.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/gtb.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/IPA.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/in-focus.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/image-rights.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/riga.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/BGD.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/ICP.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Mifa.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/miami.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/viewbug.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/OFF.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/KLPA.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/rotterdam.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Photo-Nola.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/clampart.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/dripbook.png
OTHER STORIES
X
stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Issue #14 | September 2020
Current Issue
Vicky Martin
Ryotaro Horiuchi
Susanne Mildeelberg
Diego Bardone
Nicky Hamilton
Alain Schroeder
Printed on 80# matte paper 22x28cm | 100 Pages
Showroom
September 7 to October 31, 2020
Julia Fullerton-Batten
LOOKING OUT FROM WITHIN
Get in touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the form, or contact hello@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Dodho Magazine is pleased to announce the new call for the photographers selection from all over the world that will be presented in an exceptional edition.
Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020
Photo by ©Ryotaro Horiuchi | Japan | Issue#14
Dodho Magazine is pleased to announce the new call for the photographers selection from all over the world that will be presented in an exceptional edition.
Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020
Photo by ©Ryotaro Horiuchi | Japan | Issue#14
CALL
FOR ENTRIES
Dodho Magazine is pleased to announce the new call for the photographers selection from all over the world that will be presented in an exceptional edition.
Are you ready?
Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
NEW!
FOLLOW US.
Subscribe now and get a free access to a curated list of resources.
Feel free to contact.
2017 (C) All rights reserved.
ghfd