Documenting the Fading Image of Mogadishu’s Brutal War

A shaded passageway in a hotel. As many people return home, the hospitality industry in Mogadishu has boomed. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

A shaded passageway in a hotel. As many people return home, the hospitality industry in Mogadishu has boomed. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

On Thursday, SAHAN published an article about the fading face of war in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. Despite the existence of danger in the capital, our journalist Abdi Latif Dahir wrote that “a certain gall of positivity has overtaken Mogadishu, as the city unravels itself as a new destination of choice in the Horn of Africa.”

South African photographer Mark Lewis traveled to Mogadishu to document the relative calm enveloping the city, and what this means for the country’s future. Over the past 12 years, Mark, who has extensively documented the paradox of life across the African continent,  traveled to Mogadishu over four times. The images published below reflect the changes he experienced in Mogadishu on his last trip there in November 2013.

A billboard showcases apartments for sale in Mogadishu - a vote of optimism for the city. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

A billboard showcases apartments for sale in Mogadishu – a vote of optimism for the city. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

 

Mogadishu residents enjoy the Jazira Beach. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

Mogadishu residents ejoy the Jazira Beach. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

 

The run-down parliament building becomes a symbol of the destruction that bedeviled Somalia for over two decades. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

The run-down parliament building becomes a symbol of the destruction that bedeviled Somalia for over two decades. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

 

The barista at The Village restaurant prepares an espresso. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

The barista at The Village restaurant prepares an espresso. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

 

somalia-mogadishu-fishermen

A fisherman returns with his catch in the old city quarters of Mogadishu. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

 

A security guard stands to attention at Jazira Beach, a pristine beach located over 20 kilometers outside Mogadishu. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

A security guard stands to attention at Jazira Beach, a pristine beach located over 20 kilometers outside Mogadishu. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

 

Weekend revelers at Jazira Beach have their photo taken while a security guard looks on. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

Weekend revelers at Jazira Beach have their photo taken while a security guard looks on. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

 

Few buildings and roads in the Indian Ocean port city have escaped the destruction caused by mortars and bullets. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

Few buildings and roads in the Indian Ocean port city have escaped the destruction caused by mortars and bullets. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

 

Fitness centers, laundromats, banks and flower shops are just some of the new businesses opening up across the city. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

Fitness centers, laundromats, banks and flower shops are just some of the new businesses opening up across the city. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

 

Family members enjoy Lido Beach. Over the last few years, the once-deserted beach in Mogadishu is now filled with new restaurants filled to the brim till late hours at night. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

Family members enjoy Lido Beach. Over the last few years, the once-deserted beach in Mogadishu is now filled with new restaurants filled to the brim till late hours at night. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

 

Ahmed Jama buys fish for his restaurant, The Village, which has a few branches across Mogadishu. On Fridays, residents of the capital make the journey out of town to have lunch at one of Jama’s restaurant, swim and relax.

Ahmed Jama buys fish for his restaurant, The Village, which has a few branches across Mogadishu. On Fridays, residents of the capital make the journey out of town to have lunch at one of Jama’s restaurant, swim and relax. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

 

The Somali flag proudly flutter outside a shop. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

The Somali flag proudly flutter outside a shop. (Photo: Mark Lewis / Sahan Journal)

Follow Mark Lewis’s photography at: http://www.marklewisphotography.com

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