I have created these images as part of the UNESCO World Heritage bid by the Asmara Heritage Project.
The contrast between the past and present highlights intriguing changes in the built environment, but more compelling is the strength of the human spirit in overcoming adversity. Eritrea's long struggle for self-determination began during Italian colonisation and is integrally linked to the rapid construction of Asmara by Mussolini's Fascist regime following Italy's invasion of neighbouring Ethiopia in 1935.
As many of the photos reveal, Eritreans were essential to the construction of this Modernist city - albeit for little or no pay and subject to appalling conditions and racial discrimination. Despite Eritrea's unique and brutal encounter with modernity, Eritreans all over the world possess a profound love for their capital, Asmara.
The present bid for UNESCO World Heritage listing is testament to this devotion and a commitment to safeguard Asmara's unique heritage and to encourage the city's long-term sustainable development.