Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Things I'll Miss About Angola: the Architecture

In talking with friends and family back home, I often use the analogy of Cuba to try and describe what Angola looks like. Like Cuba after the '59 revolution, Angola after independence in 1975 just sort of grinded to a halt in terms of construction. Many of the buidlings in Lobito were built in the 60s and 70s. As the war set in, obviously building maintenance and new construction became less and less of a priority.

There's a decaying elegance that the colonial-era buildings have. I really wish I could have seen Lobito in 1974- it must have been beautiful. Many of these buildings are occupied by squatters, which is starting to be a problem now that reconstruction is in full swing and owners are finally investing in their properties. For example, the house I talked about here now looks like this:
Not exactly an improvement, if you ask me. Luckily, there are people who are restoring original structures.

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