Video installation with a painting blackened with soil from Copşa Mică, Romania
The region around Copşa Mică is one of the most polluted areas in Eastern Europe.
Pollution and the attendant severe health problems of Copşa Mică‘s population were / are
almost entirely caused by two factories; CARBOSIN and SOMETRA.
CARBOSIN produced soot as black-pigment for dies and tires from 1936 until 1993.
„When CARBOSIN was running at full strength during the waning years of Ceausescu’s reign, the outdated
machinery would release seven tons of carbon soot per six-hour shift. Emissions from Carbosin left soot everywhere,and though it has been closed for a dozen years, and a large-scale decontamination effort has been made, its impacts are still visible in many places.“1
SOMETRA a metallurgical smelter produces non-ferrous metalls primarily lead and zinc. It is still operational,
but the production has been slashed. The emissions from SOMETRA are less visible but more harmful and
insidious than those of CARBOSIN. SOMETRA is largely responsible for the contamination of the area‘s soil
with lead, zinc and cadmium.
„Meantime there is a significant reduction in emissions as compared to 1989, mostly caused by cutbacks in
production; however, some of the reduction can be attributed to technology improvements and pollution reduction
1 Eric Udelhofen, excerpt from: „People and pollution in Copşa Mică“, www. fragileecologies.com