What is it about the cracking paint, the crumbling brick and the ominous silence of deserted buildings that intrigues us so? They become more complex and interesting as the natural processes of decay take over and as layered debris tells more and more stories as the years go by. Different kinds of structures are forsaken for various reasons – sometimes disaster strikes and there is no funding to rebuild or in other cases a building’s use simply expires. The Thu Thiem area (pictured) in District 2 across the river from downtown Saigon has an array of barely standing houses mostly on the streets of Luong Dinh Cua and Tran Nao. On the following pages, some are fortunate enough to get a second life like the one in Daegu, South Korea – a burnt apartment block in the city center turned into a makeshift art space by local youth, and sometimes as a home for squatters.
From climate change protests to democratic uprisings against biased and violent authorities, it is clear that 2019 has been a pivotal year for citizens all over the world. It’s in this context that mobile app Agora launched its first#Photojournalism photo competition, with the objective to give photographers a way to shed light on specific issues.