I always thought there was something so fascinating about abandoned places. Partly because I love photography and they make for the most extraordinary motifs, but mostly because of their haunting, inherent sadness – they once carried such great potential, they were the objects of expectations, hopes and desires to achieve something unique. Now, they might look like nothing to the bypasser. They might look like dirt and trash, unworthy of our attention. But I would like to argue that there is rare beauty in the sadness they bear, and there is always a concealed story of hope, often unknown to the world around.
There is one such place in Kigali, Rwanda. In the middle of the city, there is a small lake surrounded by an array of green vegetation, and somewhere in there, you can find an abandoned amusement park. The story goes – as recollected from various sources and rumours – that a woman brought over the rides and statues from China approximately 10 years ago, but was then unable to get the park approved and opened. The result is a wonderfully bizarre and unique abandoned place in the very heart of Kigali. You can literally walk past it on the street, not knowing that what hides behind the greenery a few meters below in the valley.
If you ever come here, I will show you were it is. In the meantime, please do enjoy these photos. I hope you find them weird, ugly, beautiful, sad, mysterious, bizarre, random, terrible, fun, intriguing, unnerving – anything but nothing.