Touching the Sky: Chimney Sweepers in Tatjana Lind’s Series
How many generations can a dynasty of chimney sweepers have and how do the chimney sweepers see their job — Estonian photographer Tatjana Lind travels around the world and photographs ‘black brothers and sisters’.
Photographer, was born in Moscow, now lives in Tallinn. Graduated from a Photojournalism course at the Journalism Department at Lomonosov State Moscow University (Moscow, Russia). Works on documentary projects. She participated in various photo exhibitions, won several awards and nominations.
— While working on the project on chimney sweepers, I accompanied them almost everywhere — during their work in apartment buildings and private houses, at lunches, holidays and parades, meetings and training events. The work of a chimney sweeper is really hard, requiring special skills and proficiency, and sometimes it even happens to be harmful and dangerous.
The chimney sweeps call themselves ‘black brothers and sisters’, because when they work they are really black. However, I can say with certainty that chimney sweepers are ‘white’ inside: a chimney sweeper brings a lot of positivity, warmth, and joy to every home. As they themselves say — the chimney sweeper is the closest to God; climbing the roof they touch the sky. Therefore, there is a belief that if you rub a button of a chimney sweeper, your wish will come true.
It all began in 2011 when I met Estonian chimney sweepers, then my heroes became Latvian and Finnish chimney sweepers. I photographed German, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, and Italian chimney sweepers. They are in my collection photos of chimney sweepers from Japan and the USA.