Incredible images and story captured by Ferry Verheij when he visited the abandoned yet thriving Grande Hotel in Mozambique. One of the worlds largest collective group of squatters.n
Something that once signified and opulence, now stands a complete contrast to its present reality.
The will of the people and how they have turned an abandoned hotel, into relative safety and shelter is the ultimate in resourcefulness.
I've seen many criticisms of squatters, laying blame for the reason the abandoned buildings appear the way they do in photographs, but I don't think people often stop to consider the reasons why a squatter end up in the places they do. Whether by choice or otherwise.
Imagine being faced with the prospect, that squatting in an abandoned building is the best option you have?. I can't imagine that it would be easy in itself.
A squatter wouldn't treat an abandoned building as anything other than their home. It isn't in their interests to destroy the place they live.
It's making something out of nothing and what makes it all the more important, is that it's not just something. It is a fully functioning community, and a home.
It may not be the safest home ever, but it is still a roof over their heads.
In the mid-20th century, says The Netherlands-based photographer Ferry Verheij, the Grande Hotel promised to bring wealth and prosperity to Beira, Mozambique, then under Portuguese control.
Its doors opened in 1955, catering to the richest of the rich—including Hollywood starlets Kim Novak— with more than 100 decadently furnished rooms, an impressive swimming pool, and fine cuisine.
The Grande Hotel, however, was too ambitious, too extravagant, and utterly unsustainable. It was abandoned less than a decade after opening.
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