'Each poetic adventure is distinct, and each poet has sown a different plant in the miraculous forest of speaking trees.' Octavio Paz Latitude Zero is the culmination of a 25,000-mile odyssey that begins at the mouth of the Amazon River, moving in a westward direction, documenting the precious pact between humanity and nature within one degree rth and south of latitude zero through Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of Nauru, Indonesia, the Maldives, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Gabon, and Sao Tome e Principe. No itinerary or agenda was necessary. The purpose of Latitude Zero was to be as visually playful and uninhibited as possible, to simply be authentic and document life with a capital L. Any point within the equatorial zone was fair game, unless geography (Manaus) or politics (Mogadishu) dictated otherwise. And imagine a meal of beans and rice deep in southern Colombia's rainforest with the FARC guerrillas, or eating turtles laced with honey with the Congolese pygmies, or dining in a loud testosterone-driven petrol platform cafeteria off Gabon's Atlantic coast!
Monique Stauder is of Swiss-American descent, and is a photojournalist. She has been published in Time, The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, GEO, and Mother Jones, among others. She has traveled from the camps of Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka to the island nation of East Timor, and from the Balkans to the Nuba Mountains in Sudan on behalf of international humanitarian NGOS and countless editorial publications. Stauder has a master's degree in International Relations and History. Stauder's photographs will be accompanied by two forewords from acclaimed American novelist and travel writer, Paul Theroux. A prolific author, Theroux is best known for his travel books, The Great Railway Bazaar, and Riding the Iron Rooster, and his novel The Mosquito Coast, which was made into a film by the same name.