A photo project by Paul Virilio. Part of his reflection on the work:

My activities often led me into teeming ports, and what most surprised and intrigued me there was finding once again in the middle of courtyards and gardens my concrete shelters; their blind, low mass and rounded profile were out of tune with the urban environment. As I concentrated on these forms in the middle of apartment buildings, in courtyards, and in public squares, I felt as though a subterranean civilization had sprung up from the ground. This architecture’s modernness was countered by its abandoned, decrepit appearance. These objects had been left behind, and were colorless; their gray cement relief was silent witness to a warlike climate. Like in certain works of fictiona spacecraft parked in the middle of an avenue announcing the war of the worlds, the confrontation with inhuman speciesthese solid masses in the hollows of urban spaces, next to the local schoolhouse or bar, shed new light on what “contemporary” has come to mean.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.