For a fascinating ongoing series entitled Colosses, French photographer Fabrice Fouillet is traveling the world to photograph the world’s largest, most awesomely imposing monuments. These aren’t photos of the momuments themselves, they’re photos of where the monuments stand and how those places are impacted by the presence of giants, towering over absolutely everything as far as the eye can see.

“Statues are often idealized works of art. They are ideological, political or religious representations and attempt to turn their subjects into fascinating, eternal figures. Even when erected to keep alive the memory of a single person, a statue that lasts many generations will eventually establish itself as a symbol for the community.

Statues are even more influential when they are monumental. An edifice can be said to be monumental when it is unusual, extraordinary and physically imposing. It has to be abnormal — as exceptional as the political or religious power itself — and also inseparable from its symbolic aspects.”

Fouillet’s stunning photos help convey the surreal enormity of these monuments, making the everyday life going on around them somehow seem strange and disorienting.

“I was first intrigued by the human need or desire to built gigantic declarations,” said Fouillet. “I was not especially looking for the ‘spectacular’ in the series—even if the dimensions of the statues are—but I wanted to explore how such huge monuments fit in the landscape despite their traditional social, political, or religious functions.”

In order to accomplish this Fouillet specifically frames the monuments he photographs outside of their formal surroundings. Removed from their immediate touristic and/or religious setting, their place the the larger, more mundae landscape becomes clear.

Head over to Wired to additional photos and to learn more about this thought-provoking project by Fabrice Fouillet.


William Hodges (engraved by B.T.Pouncy); Resolution Bay in the Marquesas, Monuments of Easter Island, Christmas Sound, Tierra Del Fuego, Family at Dusky Bay, New Zeland, Otaheite Fleet Assembled at Oparee, Landing, Middleburgh; Published by William Strahan in New Street, Shoe Lane & Thos. Cadell in the Strand, London, England, 1777.

Nepal Seeks UNESCO's Help to Assess Damage to Monuments

Apart from the colossal loss of life, over 200 historical monuments have also been badly damaged in the Nepal earthquake, including some world heritage structures in the capital, forcing the country to approach UNESCO to assess the overall destruction to the buildings.

While designs for most of these structures are available with the Department of Archaeology, its chief Bhesh Narayan Dahal has said that it will take at least 5-7 years to salvage and restore the damaged structures.

Declared as a world heritage site in 1979 by the UNESCO, the Kathmandu valley as a whole has seven such areas — the Hanuman Doka, which is known as the palace area, Patan Darbar, Bhaktapur darbar square, Swayambhoonath, Boudhanath, Changunarayan and Pashupatinath temples. Read more.