I’m half stoked, half scared shitless. This afternoon, me and my little brother Andrew are finally returning to Liberia. It’s a commercial actors 2015 trip I’ve been thinking about for 30 years.
We lived in Liberia from 1976-79. My dad worked for Exchem, a company that manufactured explosives for mining, and shotgun shells. (More on that later…) As kids, Liberia was paradise – endless beaches,
thick jungle, giant insects. We had a chimp.
During that time, my dad also made a lot of photographs. An amazing collection of images I know played an crucial role in shaping who I am. (Maybe even more so than the experience itself…) For years after, I proudly showed anyone/everyone this battered manilla envelope of dad’s b&w prints – photos that told a story of this almost mythical childhood.
Our family left Liberia just months before President Tolbert was killed in a public execution. Two horrific civil wars would soon follow, devastating a country and its people.
This afternoon at 5PM, I’m going back. We’re gonna make new photographs. We’re gonna make a film. I’m don’t know exactly what I’m looking for, and I sure don’t know what I’m going to find.
MAY 1, 2010