The incredible afterlife of an abandoned luxury hotel

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The Grand Hotel in Beira, Mozambique has had an extraordinary life: opened in 1954, it was a luxury destination with an Olympic-sized swimming pool and cinema. Closed in 1963 and taken over for political purposes during the country’s war of independence, it now houses a few thousand squatters – some of whom are the third generation living there.

Mozambique photographer Amilton Neves Cuna documented the space, and the people living there, in his fascinating project Grand Hotel. In this video, he talks about what drew him to the building, and what its history can tell us about the impact of colonialism. “Photography should focus on… building a narrative, telling the unknown – trying to bring new stories to the world,” he says.

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