The last King of America 2014

PhotographerSusana Giron
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

The only existing monarchy in the entire American continent survives on the Bolivian Andes. This is the amazing story of Don Julio Pinedo, Afro-Bolivian king. He is a direct descendant of the former Congolese King, Uchicho, who come to America by error among the many slaves brought from Africa by the Spaniards in the colonial era, it was 1882. Crowned as a monarch by the Afro-Bolivian community, the Royal tradition survives until today. In 1992, its institutional figure is recognized by the Bolivian Constitution and the United Nations. Those old haciendas houses and slavery coca fields, today give home to 16,000 Afro-Bolivians in coexistence with the Aymara. They are descendants of those first black slaves, they respect the figure of their King while they struggle by continue to maintain their cultural identity. Don Julio Pinedo is married with Angelica Larrea, the Queen. They are just farmers and work every day on the coca fields and selling some basic supplies on the little village of Mururata, on the hearth of Yungas province. Their son, Rolando Prince, dreams with to be the next King on next future. Today, Don Julio Pinedo is 72 years old, he never wanted to be King, in fact he doesn´t feel as a King, he is just a farmer.

About Photographer

Freelance doocumentary photographer based in Spain. Founder member of Bluephoto collective. Degree in photography and visual arts by Miguel Hernandez University. Her work is featured on international media like: CNN, GEO, Days Japan, El Mundo, La Nacion, Le Figaro, Ojo de Pez, Terra Mater, Interviu,... Her work has been exhibited in Portugal, Spain, Finland, France, Israel, Italy, Argentina... Among her most remarkable awards, she won the National Photo journalism Prize Donana in 2013, Shortlisted at Sony WPO 2012 as well as Kolga and VISA Prix de la ANI awards 2014. 3 Honorable mention at IPA awards and winner of Fototraballo International grant 2011.