In October 2010, the small town of Ajka, Veszprém County, in western Hungary, witnessed an environmental disaster that is considered the worst in the country’s history. The bearing wall of a reservoir dam of the aluminium factory collapsed, freeing approximately one million cubic meters (35 million cubic feet) of toxic liquid sludge forming lakes of red mud. The mud was released as a 1–2 meters high (3–7 ft) wave, flooding several surrounding localities. Nine people died, and 122 people were injured in the accident.
Spanish photographer Palíndromo Mészáros documented the effects of the massive spill through this set of photographs entitled “The Line”. Where a thick line of red eats up the lower half of everything, trees, dirt, grass, and brands the bottom half of homes and buildings. Mészáros creates these images by only lining up the tip of the red stains with the horizon line in each photograph making the result so precise and vibrant, it looks as if someone had painted the town red on purpose.