Somalia in Transition: Photographs by Dominic Nahr

Dominic Nahr—Magnum for TIME
Dominic Nahr—Magnum for TIME
The following photos were taken in June 2012
Women enter a hospital in Mogadishu, which has become more active since Al-Shabaab was pushed out of the city.

Mogadishu is enjoying its longest sustained peace in 21 years of civil war. But don’t mistake that for a return to normality. As TIME contract photographer Dominic Nahr’s pictures reveal, when the tide of war rolled back off Somalia’s capital, it left behind one of the world’s strangest-looking cities. Every building shot-up, every road ruined—a tropical Dresden on the Horn of Africa standing testament to an extraordinary capacity for destruction. And yet, as the city recovers, that grey and dusty tableau of annihilation only accentuates the bright shoots of returning life: the red of a head scarf, the orange covers on a refugee shelter, the florescent turquoise of the sea.

No one knows what Mogadishu’s future will look like. No one even knows whether its peace will last. But already there is a lesson: even in the most ruined city in the world’s most failed state, life and color—and hope—endures.

Dominic Nahr, a TIME contract photographer, is represented by Magnum.

Alex Perry is TIME’s Africa bureau chief.

Related Topics: , , , , , , , , ,

Latest Posts

Michael Brown Sr. yells out as his son's casket is lowered into the ground at St. Peter's Cemetery in St. Louis

Pictures of the Week: Aug. 22 – Aug.29

From Michael Brown's funeral and a cease fire in Gaza, to swarms of locusts in Madagascar and the US Open Tennis Championships, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

Read More
Josh Raab for TIME

#LightboxFF: Experience a Night at the Museum

A group of people takes a picture of themselves from the Victoria Peak Lookout with the Hong Kong skyline as a backdrop on May 25, 2014, in Hong Kong.

How the Selfie Stick Is Killing the Selfie

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,749 other followers