Real-life architectural fantasies from the world’s highest city.
“El Alto” is German photographer Peter Granser’s photographic document of the splendor and liveliness of Bolivion architect Freddy Mamani Silvestre’s buildings in the town of El Alto.
Since 2005, Mamani, an architectural autodidact, has completed over 60 projects in his hometown of El Alto, the highest-altitude city in the world. His style is inspired by the indigenous Aymara culture as well as pre-Incan architecture – a style Mamani labeled “new Andean Architecture”. Granser’s photos focus (with one exception) entirely on the buildings, in conscious portrait-like close-ups that almost reshape Mamani’s eclectic buildings to two-dimensional illustrations.
“Most likely, Mamani’s buildings in El Alto can be found on a map. Nevertheless, like all true building and places, they exist in more than that one place and extend into a range of physical and virtual realities.” — from El Alto’s afterword, written by Winston Hampel