This past week, my friend and I went on a little photography adventure to an abandoned hospital in Kuwait City called the Ameeri [hospital].
The first thing you’ll notice [visually], is the amount of rotten trash and garbage at the entrance… and then this foul stench will just hit you. I spent the first part of this trip breathing from my mouth, and after a while, you’ll get used to it. It also helps that the trash is situated at the entrance, the farther you walk in, the better your breathing will get. Inside, the walls are rotting, the ground has thick layers of dust and sand and the courtyard is being taken over by wild shrub, bushes, the pigeons are perched along the sides of the building and the windows are all cracked and broken.
Now, this hospital wasn’t huge, only two floors, but it has a lot of space and rooms. I should confess that I didn’t go into every room because it was too dark, or just too creepy. I’m not a huge believer of ghosts, but this place had a strange vibe to it. It didn’t help that there was old medical equipment thrown around, it felt eerily like that hospital level in Silent Hill. It also reminded me of a National Geographic documentary I watched about the world after humans, nature takes over and starts to reclaim its territory, buildings slowly collapse.
The place is filled with strange scenes. There’s one room that had a strange splatter on the wall, and it looked like old blood [photo]. In another room there was an old coffin on the ground and the world HELP painted on the side [photo]. Obviously this place has had many visitors who decide to add to the ambiance, and maybe the coffin was put there… but who would go through the hassle of carrying it? It was also pretty rotten, so I’m pretty sure that coffin has been there for a while. Another item that makes the place even stranger was pairs of old shoes [photo 1] [photo 2], why would anyone keep them there? Why were they left? The whole place was just weird. The views of the ‘new’ Kuwait City around the hospital makes it even stranger [photo 1], its like the place was forgotten by the government and everything is being built around it [photo 2]. It felt like a part taken out of the Time Machine, as though I was frozen in time in this place and everything on the outside was moving into the future. [photo 3]
There’s one thing the Ameeri Hospital doesn’t lack in is shadows and light. I think that’s why its so interesting to photograph. It can also be negative part of shooting there, sometimes you just feel overwhelmed with the amount of things you can shoot, so many details and so many interesting scenes, so you need to take a deep breath, compose yourself and think of ways to compose your photographs so that you can get the details you want. I’ll be visiting it again, this time with a tripod to shoot in the darker places in the hospital and hopefully catch some details I missed.
When I was walking around the hospital, it felt as if it was taken out of a video game or some post-apocalyptic movie. I was reminded of the Fallout or Silent Hill games and movies like the Road and 28 Days Later. That’s how I wanted to compose my images, as if you were playing the game, or living the movie, showing a strange sense of reality, an abandoned place that doesn’t really change because much of it is undisturbed by people.