PARADISE LOST  In August 2013 I embarked on a research expedition to the abandoned island of Kandhulhoodu, a remote and barely-documented speck of land lying in the North of the Maldives, the lowest lying country on Earth. Kandhulhoodu was once home to 3000 people but has now been abandoned, deemed officially unhabitable due to water intrusion. The old island town now lies deserted in ruins - barely documented, overgrown and increasingly inundated by water.  The islanders have over the past ten years been gradually relocated to a nearby, previously uninhabited island in a combined charity-and-government-led project. This development of a new town from scratch provided an sadly missed opportunity to build in tempo with the distinctive local water behaviour and tidal land shifts. Unfortunately, the project was controlled by foreign forces and did not take into account local knowledge, building techniques or an appreciation of the moving landscape nor changing seascape.  The new island, Dhuvaafaru, is in high danger of submergence as one of the lowest in the atoll, and due to the building process the natural protective vegetation and protective encircling coral wall was completely destroyed, and the ground level has now been levelled and lowered further still. The new island town sits even more perilously close to sea level than the former, the defensive coral wall around it dying, and the tidal sands constantly reshaping its borders. The community now faces a future just as precarious as their past.  This is a place where man is in continual battle with the sea, and people move futilely from place to place, caught in a cycle of resistance and abandonment.
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