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.
To watch a short video outlining the community's objections to the Royal Mail's proposal, please follow either of these links:
These 'before and after' images are intended to provide a representation of the scale and massing of the buildings proposed for the Royal Mail's Mount Pleasant development based on the proposals submitted by four architectural firms commissioned by Royal Mail. They are, as is reasonably possible at this stage, an honest and objective representation of the proposed development designed to illustrate to the public the likely impact of the development in terms of scale and massing.
The site, which bridges the boundary between Camden and Islington and the historic districts of Bloomsbury and Clerkenwell in central London, will be the largest private development in the UK. It is a housing led scheme with some commercial units. Approximately 750 residential units and 1,875 people will be accommodated on the site. No provision in the plan has been made for educational or medical services.
Information about the recent public exhibition can be found here: http://mount-pleasant.org.uk/
For anyone interested in social and urban decline in the USA, look no further than the northern suburbs of St Louis, north of Delmar Boulevard. For more analysis, go to these fascinating sites: