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Patrice Lumumba was the first elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo following its independence from Belgium in June 1960. His government was deposed in a coup, and he was assassinated in January 1961. Taken in various African states, Tillim’s photographs of modernist structures, now in a state of decay, can be seen as reflection on the legacy of the idealistic nationalism associated with Lumumba. Two images show apartment buildings in Beira, Mozambique. The buildings are worn and grimy and, whilst clearly still in use, belong to another moment in time charged with promise and possibility. The central image shows the Grande Hotel in Beira, Mozambique, where the ambitions of the architects and builders are still evident despite the dilapidation.

June 2011