The abandoned dance floor, Hotel Continental, Liberia, 2009

DSC_0209 copyThe scars of civil war and chaos, a view in the shattered remains of the old Intercontinental Hotel, Monrovia, Liberia. To access the ruins of the old hotel one walks up a narrow path past the empty swimming pool where a collection of children play and enter a short entertaining process of heckling the Nigerian peacekeepers who protect the building. They lounge around in the rotting old lobby their equipment spread about them as though they themselves are newly arrived guests. After the usual talk and introductions they wave us through the protective cordon and we are free to wander about the vast crumbling emptiness. The war has left its mark. Before, in the flourishing period of the mid 1960’s the wealthy and the famous came here, from the Onasis’ to the Queen of England, all had visited and had at one time or another taken in the view from the top floor restaurant and dance floor. No one ever comes here anymore. The restaurant is smashed and broken, there are still a few shining tiles not removed from the concrete flooring, which preserves the original place where dancers once swayed in front of the band stand. Everything is gutted, pulled from its sockets, broken and smashed in a turmoil of anarchy hard to comprehend now as one gazes across the city, watching the hawks and eagles lazily drift amid the thermals thrown up by the Atlantic.


Author: timlewis77

Working as a sound recordist, camera operator, video editor, photographer, production manager and writer, Tim Lewis produces documentary films for a wide range of international charities, government agencies and the arts sector. His experience as a freelancer also includes broadcast and corporate pieces, ranging from glossy celebrity portraits, small art promos and channel idents, to feature length documentaries for clients such as the BBC, Nat Geo, Discovery and Sky. His work has taken him to many difficult and challenging locations. Filming semi nomadic communities in the rainforests of Borneo, interviewing refugees on the Thai-Burma border, following civil rights campaigners through war torn Liberia and the Congo or climbing volcanoes and glaciers in Iceland. He is a co-director at Handcrafted Films Ltd. blog -

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