New Zealand Embassy & Mission to the European Union, Brussels, Belgium

OVERBURDEN - A photo-documentary by David Cook

OVERBURDEN is the first part of the trilogy NO MAN'S LAND, a photographic project about the impact of industrialisation on the human being and the environment.


In the photo-documentary OVERBURDEN, David Cook (NZ) focuses on Rotowaro, once a mining township on the Waikato coalfields west of Huntly in New Zealand's North Island. The opencast mine expanded in a short period of time leading to the extraction of millions of tonnes of coal and the introduction of new waterways. In the late 1980's about 400 miners and their families were forced to relocate so that the opencast mine can could continue expanding. As a result the township of Rotowaro was entirely removed; inhabitants lost their social landscape and even the evidence that anyone had ever been there was removed.


David Cook documented Rotowaro since 1984; before, during and after the dismantling of the township. He takes the role of visual ethnographer and through photography, oral history and artefacts, tells the complex and layered story of Rotowaro.


OVERBURDEN can be viewed from 16 October 2011 to 6 November 2011 at the COALFACE Gallery, Genk.


Vennestraat 127/2

3600 Genk




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