An Austria-based art historian and photographer has in the last five years traveled across Africa in search of royalty.
Alfred Weidinger started a photography project titled “The Last Kings of Africa”, which is his attempt to capture the beauty and mystique of Africa’s most powerful sovereigns.
He has also given himself a deadline, which is the end of next year. Weidinger also explains that the focus of the project is not on the number of kings he can photograph, rather, on the number of countries who will have representation in the project.
Weidinger has plans to visit countries in Africa twice this year and six times in 2016. Prioritized on his list of countries to visit are Swaziland and the Southern part of Sudan.
Weidinger’s photographic interests and endeavors in Africa began in 1979 but as a result of the burdensome photography equipment of that era, he had to renege.
30 years after, however, the cumbersome equipment typical to that era quickly deterred the photographer. Fast forward 30 years,and a chance commission for a photographic exhibition sparked a long-term project where the lavish culture of Africa’s dynasties became the focus.
Speaking about how he has been able to locate the kings so far, Weidinger explains that there is no definitive guide to help him locate the royalties of Africa. In his words, “There is no list, there is nothing! So you just have to go there. The most important thing is to find one king — when I have one, he will guide me to the others.”
photo credit: www.creativeroots.org