In 2006 I visited a friend in Lamnu on Sumatra, who was doing reconstruction work for the as an architect. Two years after the devastating tsunami, the island began to recover from the disaster. Traces of the trauma can be found everywhere – in the landscapes as well as in the features of those who survived the flood wave.
Here, on the western edge of the Indonesian archipelago, civil war prevailed until 2005. Instead of swarms of tourists like in Thailand, Indonesian armed forces and separatist rebels besieged the coast. After , the armed independence movement, signed a peace agreement with the Indonesian government in Helsinki in 2005, the country began to look optimistically into the future. The first free elections in these days set a sign for a normal life after this terrible catastrophe.
“Rebuilding Aceh” is looking towards hope, which is slowly replacing despair.