Quito, Ecuador

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Old window with stencil

On a typical Hanoi wall, crisscrossing layers of plaster, paint and mildew, you will see a multitude of stenciled advertisements, all with similar fonts and a string of numbers beginning with 09, and all including the letters KCBT. It’s an abbreviation for khoan cắt bê tông – concrete cutting and drilling. These are illegal adverts for demolition services, and they tattoo the walls of the city, as if to say, “See this building? It could be gone tomorrow.” This practice no longer exists.