La végétation afroalpine du Rwenzori
A compelling photographic look at one of the few remaining areas on earth unaffected by human presence in ethereal, sometmes haunting, images.
The first sighting of the Rwenzori Mountain Range by non-Africans was made by Sir Henry Morton Stanley in 1876. Previous to his well-documented report, there were only rumours about these mountains on the border of present Uganda and the Congo, which feed the waters of the Nile. The Greek astronomer Ptolemy referred to them as Mountains of the Moon, a name still used today.
The Rwenzori are well known for their extravagant plants. Most stunning are the giant heathers, senecios, and lobelias.Though the flora is similar to that of other higher African mountain ranges, it is much more luxuriant, and is characterized by usually giant plants. This environment has an aesthetic and almost mystical effect on those who dare to intrude. In this book, photographer Sebastian Schutyser focuses on the aesthetic qualities of the Rwenzori Mountains in general, and of the Afroalpine vegetation in particular. By doing so, he also explores the boundaries of documentary photography. The use of infrared photography creates an unusual, pictorial result, enhancing the pristine beauty of these landscapes. The book also includes illustrations of the major plants of the area and maps of the region.
Sebastian Schutyser was born in Bruges in 1968 and spent his childhood in the Congo, which was then Zaire. After obtaining a master’s degree in political science at the University of Ghent, he studied photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts at Ghent. He has had solo exhibitions at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie of Paris (2002) and the Deutsche Architektur Museum of Frankfurt (2003). His photographic series of adobe mosques was published in the book Banco.Adobe Mosques of the Inner Nigeria Delta (5 Continents Editions, 2003).