A DUST BOWL OF GOUT AND CHARCOAL


URBAN EXPLORER, DUISBURG
PHOTO: WILLI NOTHERS


BACKSIDE FLIP, 02.13 P.M., SINTER WORK DUISBURG
PHOTO: WILLI NOTHERS
I always knew that the Ruhr valley was the former economic motor of the Republic of Germany. What I didn’t know was that around nearly every corner was a view that could serve as the backdrop for a post-apocalyptic science-fiction film. In the spirit of an urban explorer, I scaled the perimeter fence and found myself in a ghostly sinter work.

Creaking floors, a whistling wind, and squeaking works of rust were only some of the horror-effects that soured the atmosphere to the point that all I wanted to do was get out. Before I could get my pictures, the dust of decades long gone had to be cleared away. This was much harder than expected because it was practically everywhere. Back in the day, one would light fine ores on a sinter belt with the addition of flue dust and charcoal. This produced big chunks which were then heated in a blast furnace. The ball bearings on my board fought with the remains of this dust orgy. I, on the other hand, fought with myself.

This mostly had to do with the 15 foot drop to the cellar that separated the platform I was on from the one I was to jump to. Fortunately, the jump across the abyss of the German economic wonder years went without incident.

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