Liberia77

Photography is connection.
Photography is history.
Photography is life.

Produced byStranger Productions

Project Updates

News and information about the Liberia ‘77 project.

Meet the Prez

Things seem to happen here. Meet a guy in the Bamboo Bar, the next day he calls and says he’s finally got an interview with the President, but doesn’t have a camera – could you guys help? So we put on our best semi-clean shirts, smooth the secret service guys Beejay and Joel, and suddenly we’re in a blue-carpeted room with Madam Sirleaf. Charles was allowed two prepared questions regarding Unification Day, he wasn’t sure we would get a chance to speak. As she was taking off her microphone, we took a chance and presented her with this photo of Broad St in Monrovia, c 1977. Just downstairs from where I am writing this on the roof of the Palm Hotel.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the connection between photographs and self-identity, especially concerning my dad’s images and my childhood, but I’m finding that it also applies to this country. In the past week we’ve talked to many people whose photos were lost during the war. If the rebels saw pictures of you – photos, ID cards – looking healthy, happy or wealthy, they assumed you were part of the government. You were killed. People destroyed their photos to save lives. They were burned or buried – along with any record of a peaceful past.

Ma Ellen looked at the image and said, “We need photos like this to show what this country once was. I urge you to send all your images to us…” I said I’ll send a package. “I’m serious,” she said. “So am I.” Dad, I hope it’s ok that I just agreed to donate all your photos to the National Museum…