In Pictures

In pictures: The cyclists of Burundi

Woman balanced on the back of a bicycle in Burundi Image copyright Stephan Wurth

In 2013 photographer Stephan Wurth was in Burundi and became fascinated by the bicycles that are used to transport people and all manner of goods around the country.

Using an iPhone, Wurth set out to capture as many of them as he could. It was a whirlwind project, shot in just two days as he passed through the interior, recording a side of Burundi rarely seen.

The work has just been published in a book titled Ikinga, after the phrase "Uwunguruza abantu n'ikinga," which means "bike taxi-man".

Burundi is one of the world's poorest nations. It went through a 12-year long ethnic-based civil war that ended in 2005.

Last year it was plunged into a new crisis when Pierre Nkurunziza's successful bid for re-election to a third term sparked protests by opposition supporters who said the move was unconstitutional.

During the civil war, the bicycle was often used by civilians as a fast and quiet means of escape, though at one point the government accused the bicycle taxi riders of transporting rebels.

The book of the project includes a foreword by writer Joseph Akel, who says: "Wurth's photographs document Burundi's bicycle culture without casting judgement on their role in the nation's political and cultural history."

Here is a small selection of pictures from the project.

Image copyright Stephan Wurth
Image copyright Stephan Wurth
Image copyright Stephan Wurth
Image copyright Stephan Wurth

All images courtesy Ikinga by Stephan Wurth, published by Damiani.