Baku, the wind-beaten city

Azerbaijan´s economy is rapidly growing. The country undergoes its second oil boom. The Persian name of this Caspian metropolis isn´t only referring to its strong winds but also to its architectonical history. Its changes in the current century however are especially grave: land prices rocket high and alone between the years 2000 an 2008 about 800 new high-rise buildings have been built. Though Azerbaijan´s rich in architectonical heritage: Wilhelminian styled buildings, Boulevards and great promenades form the cityscape award Baku a European flair although its core is even oriental. The new apartments are often vacant, not seldom they are bought only as an investment. In the course of this rapid change a lot of Azerbaijanian cultural heritage from the times around 1900 is about to be replaced.
The exhibition as well as the book want to focus the recipient onto Azerbaijan´s architectonical heritage, representative for the globalized development of many former Eastern Bloc states. Not only in the western world but also in Baku it aims to sensibilise an audience for the responsibility in this development and increase more awareness in global interdepencies.

This project was done in the context of my diploma work. The book is enriched by an article of the architect Oriana Kraemer.

The photographs arose during a internship in the context of the ASA Programs, a partially financed program to which in February 2008 Oriana Kraemer, at that time BA Architecture student at Bauhaus-Uni in Weimar and me as a photography diplomate at theUniversity of Arts Bremen were chosen. From August untill November 2008 we worked alone and together on the common topic “describing urban changes” and our elaborate can be seen and ordered here. Whereas the book as 61 photographs in the online exhibition there are only the 28 original exhibition motivs to be seen.
A little reading of Orianas text can be found in the book section, too.