A Whisper from the Past : Kowloon Walled City

walled cityThe Kowloon Walled city was part of an interesting history of this mega-city. Also known as Hak Nam, this giant slum was a towering city - one narrow tower on the verge of slapping another one. They formed a potential dominos effect if they collapsed. These cheek-by-jowl buildings were inhabited by the city's “unwanted” citizens - those who were too poor, involved in criminal activities and the marginalized. Approximately 35,000 people lived in this squalor where rubbishes piled up high, clean water were scarce and stale air reeked.

Isolated and desolate in the 1980s, the government finally evicted its occupants and successfully demolished the entire city in 1994. Today, it is called the Kowloon Walled City Park. Before its demolition though, Greg Girard documented the remaining years of this labyrinth in the late 80s and early 90s. He collaborated with Ian Lambot and had a 5-year project, producing a photo-book, titled City of Darkness: Life in Kowloon Walled City. Inspiring and revolting, the project is a living testament of societies living in the fringes – those who were unable to keep up with the paces of modernity.
Hak Nam was such a testament until the government picked up the pieces and gave these residents different lives to lead.
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