Baku - Crude Gentrification In The Caucasus© Tim Franco
Dominated by the flame towers, the city of Baku seems to pride itself in its successful oil history. Once known as the black city, the abundance of oil inland and on the caspian sea has seen this fairly new country (Azerbaijan) rise from the ground. Located between two big power of the Region (Russia and Iran) and still involved in an ethnic conflict on its west border with Armenia, the country has been looking for ways to build up a national pride around its successful oil profits.
From organizing international events (European Games, Formula one amongst others), the country has invested a lot into impressive infrastructure and working together with big names in architecture to gentrify and modernise its capital city . Oil money has even sometimes ignited dreams of giant projects such as the Kazar island, a Dubai-like housing project with the highest scryscraper in the world surrounded by luxury residences that has seen a brutal stop. Other original projects involve the white city located in what was once the center of the oil industry in downtown Baku, based on Haussmanian / Parisian architecture. With the fluctuation of oil prices, the economy of Azerbaijan is at risk.
From war migrant camps to futuristic architecture, this photo series portrays the capital city of a the land of fire !
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