The Abandoned Dreams (and Buildings) of the World’s Fairs

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The Abandoned Dreams (and Buildings) of the World’s Fairs

Monday August 14, 2017 Written by Garry

World’s Fairs (or Expos, as they’ve been better known as since Brisbane ’88) used to be incredible events: grandiose international exhibitions that brought worldwide technology together with local culture, all with significant global fanfare. 

You could be forgiven for thinking these are a thing of the past. Though, surprisingly, they’re not. (There’s one taking place in Kazakhstan this year.) Still, there’s no denying the fact that the popularity of Fairs and Expos has waned in recent years (decades, really). Making matters worse: many of the sites that hosted these festivals have since fallen into disrepair.

Takes Seville for example, where the site of the ’92 expo now sits largely unused; an area for urban explorers to wander through on occasion rather than the bustling tourist sites it once was.

It’s not the only one, as these photos from Lost Utopias, a new book by photographer Jade Doskow prove. Doskow became fascinated with World’s Fairs after visiting her most local (and perhaps the most famous) site in New York. That experience sparked a globe-trotting photography sojourn that saw her visiting Chicago, Vienna, Shangai, Montreal and more. 

Interestingly, Lost Utopias doesn’t fall into the usual abandon-porn trap, with Doskow on many occasions finding imagery a little less grim, showing that some of these sites have life in them still, even if the glamour has faded.