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Photos: The Last Kings of Africa

Monique Todd | CNN   in  ·
October 28, 2014

(CNN) — For the past five years, Austria-based art historian and photographer Alfred Weidinger has traveled across Africa in search of royalty. His photography project, The Last Kings of Africa, is his attempt to capture the beauty and mystique of the region’s most powerful sovereigns. So far he has photographed 220 tribal kings and leaders, with many more to go.

“I have a sort of deadline for myself — which is the end of next year. It’s not a question of the amount of kings or tribal leaders, it’s just a question of countries,” says Weidinger, who plans to visit Africa twice this year and six times in 2015.

“There are still countries I definitely want to visit, for example Swaziland and the southern part of Sudan.”

Weidinger’s photographic endeavors in Africa started in 1979 but 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.

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