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Grand Hotel Beira, Mozambique
2011


In the city center of Beira in Mozambique, overlooking the ocean, the Grand Hotel is still standing even though only the structure remains. Reminiscent of colonial splendor, the luxury flagship of the 50's is now the shelter for a population of squatters, and poor families left behind. Built in 1952, the Grand Hotel Beira was to host Africa’s great fortunes and posh companies. Unfortunately, the customer has always been lacking and the activity collapsed in 1963. The building still opens for conferences and the pool was still used in the 60's until the civil war in Mozambique in 1977.

This is the beginning of a new life for the Grand Hotel Beira which becomes a refugee camp for those who had fled the countryside and who dared to return for fear of stepping on a landmine.

Today, they would be between 2000 and 3500 people trying to survive amid the ruins. All that had the slightest value was taken away a long time ago: from the marble to the bathtubs, through the ramp of the main staircase. The windows are also gone, leaving the hotel to the winds. The pool is still there. But no one is swimming anymore: it serves both as a collector of rain water, as a washing place or an urinal.

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