Project Detail: Sanna´m. Childhood Lost in Burkina Faso Artisanal Gold Mines


Verzasca FOTO Festival Awards 2017


Verzasca Foto


Antonio Aragon Renuncio


Project Info

Sanna´m. Childhood Lost in Burkina Faso Artisanal Gold Mines

The hole.

Wandering of battered bodies out of necessity. Burly, sweaty, hungry. Men, women, children. Many children. Too many.

Frantic bodies moving in and out from the depths. Day and night. No rest. Endless. The sound of improvised mortar fills the air. Stones and more stones. Tons of red dirt coming out relentlessly from the bowels of the earth. Sun. Heat. Holes. Earth. Red. Like blood.

Sanna'm. "Gold" in Mòoré language from the Mossi tribe of Burkina Faso.

All for a handful of gold dust with which to feed the family. From hundreds of feet deep. Playing with death. Working into the abyss without fresh air. Without eating. Almost without drinking. Underworld. Only hitting the wall of the hole. Constant hammering. In search of precious gold. Sweat. Hunger. Perennial cough. Disease. Absence, pain. Death…



Somewhere beyond the harsh and inhospitable plains full of rocks…

…A great light at the end of the tunnel.