A PHOTGRAPHIC documentary of the aftermath of coal mining has made its national debut.

Coalfield Stories opened at the DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery, at Aykley Heads, Durham City, on Saturday.

It features the work of ten photographers who have examined how former mining communities have coped with the demise of coal since the 1970s.

In 1998, four photographers associated with Newcastle's Side Gallery - Dean Chapman, Peter Fryer, Richard Grassick and Sirkka-Liisa Kontinnen - began exploring life in County Durham's former coalfield.

The gallery is run by Amber, the collective which produced the film Like Father.

Durham County Council helped raise funds to continue and expand the work and photographers Martin Figura, Chris Steele-Perkins and Sally-Ann Norman were invited to develop their own projects.

The exhibition also includes coalfield photographs from the Side's collection of photographs from the 1970s and 1980s, by Sirkka-Liisa Kontinnen, Bruce Rae, John Davies, Keith Pattinson, and Peter Fryer.

Two family workshops are also being held at the DLI by the Bearpark Artists Group, on June 22 and 23, entitled Where We Live.

And between July and September, a community touring exhibition will take the work back to the coalfield towns and villages which inspired it.

It will visit Spennymoor Library, Greenfield Community and Arts Centre, at Newton Aycliffe, and Consett library.

The work is supported by Northern Arts, the council's cultural services department, the Northern Rock Foundation and the Year of the Artist.

Coalfield Stories is at the DLI until Sunday, July 21, and is open daily. Admission is £2.50, concessions £1.25.