Rhenus Encyclopedia

The Rhine. A Biography of a European River

The Rhine is one of the world’s busiest waterways. It is a frontier and nexus in equal measure, carrying people, resources and ideas along its fast flowing water for thousands of years. From Switzerland to the Netherlands, this mighty river is flanked by cities, cathedrals, industry and homes.

Human intervention has dramatically changed the nature of this river. Over the course of history, the Rhine has been occupied, fought over, regulated and polluted. This majestic waterway has slowly been tamed to guard against flooding and groomed to facilitate trade.

This ongoing project is an ode to Europe’s water lifeline: a river that begins as a quiet trickle in the serenity of the Swiss Alps and ends by emptying itself into Europe’s largest port. Following the course of the Rhine from source to mouth, this body of work explores how local civilizations survive, adapt and exploit this river terrain in unorthodox and surprising ways.

Rhenus Encyclopedia travels through across the Rhine’s waters, highlighting the human ingenuity required to live alongside this beautiful but deadly force of nature. The collection is broadly divided into chapter with each chapter focusing on a major section of the Rhine river. The collection does not only focus on the river itself, instead, each section of the river is represented by curated images that capture the geospatial essence of the riverscape. Roads, factories and houses blend with mountains, valleys and flatlands, intertwining the natural and built environment to form layered and textured landscapes.

In a time where we possess such a fragile relationship with nature, this collection forces us to reflect on the impact and consequences of our attempted dominion over the natural world.

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