Rebuilding Mosul

28/05/2020 Mosul, Iraq

After more than two years of ISIS occupation of the Northern Iraqi city of Mosul, Iraqi, Kurdish, American and French forces launched a joint offensive to recapture the city on 16 October 2016. The battle of Mosul raged for months, and Iraqi forces regained full control or the city in July 2017.

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A destroyed bridge over the river Tigris, close to the former medical complex.

In the course of the campaign, a humanitarian catastrophe unfolded, as IS fighters used civilians as human shields against the attack. The old town was bombed to rubbles, about a million people fled the city. Upon the return of many who had fled, basic social infrastructure and especially health care was missing.

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Nine months later in April 2018 I was commissioned by GIZ to document the rebuilding of schools and hospitals, and by Spiegel Online with an overview reportage (which unfortunately remained unpublished for internal reasons between Spiegel and Spiegel online).

In order to convey an even more vivid impression of the location, we decided to try a short 360-degree reportage from a site where a new container school was planned by German development cooperation.

Above: 360 degree mini reportage from Mosul

The destruction and suffering have touched me deeply. I will not become a war photographer, and I hope that the entire Middle East may find more peace over the coming years.