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Book cover of New Capital: Building Cities From Scratch, with a construction worker mixing cement, with stone columns behind. Published by Lannoo Publishers.

New Capital

Building Cities From Scratch

By (author) Nick Hannes
By (author) Dorina Pojani


  • New capitals worldwide through the lens of Magnum Photography Award and World Press Photo laureate Nick Hannes
  • With images of six new capitals in Egypt, Korea, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Indonesia and Brazil
  • A critical look at unbridled urban development and its social and ecological consequences
  • ‘Gifted with a sharp eye for urban planning detail, Nick Hannes has travelled around the globe to document these cities as they stand in the early 2020s. His is a bottom-up perspective, juxtaposing starchitecture with the lives of those struggling to make a life in new capital cities.’ — Dorina Pojani in the book introduction
Full Description

“Award-winning Belgian photojournalist Nick Hannes casts a critical eye on six newly built capital cities around the world, from Korea to Kazakhstan, and questions whether they are really serving the people who live in them.” — Elle Decoration UK

What does the ideal capital look like? Photographer Nick Hannes traveled to six countries – Egypt, Korea, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Indonesia and Brazil – that have recently built a new capital or are in the process of doing so. Each and every one of them is a typical example of what Rem Koolhaas calls the Generic City: a planned city without historical layers, local identity, or its own character. As a visual sociologist with a sharp eye for detail, Hannes searches for the human dimension in a setting full of spectacular architecture and pompous prestige projects. New Capital is a critical reflection on unbridled neoliberal urban development and its social and ecological consequences, but is also peppered with subtle humor and surprising coincidences. Meandering between pride and sadness, New Capital shows how utopia and dystopia are sometimes surprisingly close.

About the Author

Nick Hannes is a photojournalist and documentary photographer from Belgium, specialized in globalization, urbanization and migration. He is represented by the Panos Pictures agency in London. Hannes won the Magnum Photography Award – Documentary – for the series Dubai. Bread and circuses and this year also the World Press Photo Award in the Series Africa category. At Lannoo he published the book Red Journey in 2009. Dorina Pojani is Associate Professor in Urban Planning at the University of Queensland. She is the author of Trophy Cities: A Feminist Perspective on New Capitals (Edward Elgar, 2021).

Lannoo Publishers
9th May 2024
USA & Canada
9.06 in x 11.02 in
208 Pages
180 color
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