Oliver Merce – Crivina
“A political decision was taken in 1976 to build a power plant at Crivina – about 10 km from Anina – to be closer to the quarry. The power plant was to operate using bituminous shale,. There were many difficulties when the building started: the enormous excavation of 4.7 million cubic meters of rock, the water supply from 20 km distance, the power plant could not have a railroad, the bituminous shale had very poor quality and were very harsh, their grinding leading to frequent mills’ failure, the problems related to ash disposal. Finally the thermoelectric power plant was operational in 1984.
In the immediate vicinity of the power plant a colony of barracks was build for workers and specialists working here. There were three types of barracks: Comet – for workers, Diana – the foreman and Tomis – for engineers. In the ‘80s, there were a few hundreds of such barracks, several thousand people living in the colony. At that time, this area a paradise in Caras Severin County: the barracks had all the necessary utilities, the food – although was rationalized but plentiful, the empoyees paychecks were very high considering the rest of the population.
After an investment of about 7 billion lei and after 8000 hours of operational usage the thermoelectric power plant stopped operating in 1988. In 2002 the power plant was sold as metal scrap.
Nowadays Crivina is considered a district of Anina city. Inside the colony live about 50 people in 20-30 barracks as the rest of the barracks are very damaged and are uninhabitable. The people cultivate small areas of land around the barracks, breed animals or work at the few companies dealing with the exploitation/processing of wood around the area.
The photographs shown here are part of a larger ongoing project and are in strict corelation with the photographs taken in another district of the city Anina – “The New Town” district. They document part of the lives of people who remained in the colony, some of them moving forward with their lives in erratic leaps, others living difficult situation very hard to understand but with great dignity in the privacy of their homes – sometimes consisting of only one room in a barrack shared with other family members.” – Oliver Merce
This is the second part of a vast ongoing documentary project covering issues regarding Anina – Crivina zone. A first look on the project was featured here.
Oliver Merce is a freelance photographer covering documentary issues and street photography. He was featured several times in Oitzarisme Magazine and was included in the Romanian Photo Projects 2015 selection with the ongoing project “New Town” – first seen on Oitzarisme.ro. The project took 1st prize Category “Picture Story” at Premiile de fotografie “MIHAI VASILE”. The exhibition was shown to the public at 2015 “Sequences” Photography Festival, “Versus dar Impreuna” Festival and was also featured in numerous magazines.
Oliver Merce was born in 1977, has attended Faculty of Silviculture and Forest Engineering, he is a member of the photography group “PhotoTeam Romania” and he lives in Timisoara. His portfolio is located at http://olivermerce.ro/