Since 2009 more than half the world’s population live in urban areas. The rapid growth of cities has been fuelled by rural migration and in many regions across the world once bustling villages and small towns now lie abandoned, the majority of the population having left in search of opportunities elsewhere. But those who leave their villages behind, also leave behind a sense of community. The pace of village life and the layout of village architecture are conducive to a sense of belonging and of identity which are almost impossible to replicate in large urban areas.
This project looks at ghost towns – villages and towns where the inhabitants have left, or are about to. What is at stake when a small community is gutted by mass migration? And what can be regained when former ghost towns are populated once again?
Uprooting human settlements causes pain and distress to the inhabitants as well as arousing interest about the possible human histories to future visitors. This project aims to show abandonment in three stages, highlighting different aspects of a very human process.