Door, By Morris: This photo is touching to me because where I live before it was not like this. The house where I lived the room door was zinc. We laid the zinc on the stick and made our door. Then I don’t have floor mat, I don’t have sling, mosquito net, shoes, shoe rack, bucket. My windows–no good windows. So yesterday my heart went there. Where I’m living now I thank God. I have everything. That’s the door.
Girl with a Big Smile, By Akoi: You know I love joy, everywhere I go I love to see joy. This girl she is my classmate, so when in met her in the market I took this photo unknown to her. So the second one I take her and Lassana together. I show this one, she said I should not carry it in the class because people laugh at her. She said I could take the next one. I said I would give her these photos. She said, “Any day you can come to take my photo.”
Morris Drumming, By Akoi: This was in the night. Andre told me, “How can you see spirits or God?” So I said I’d like to take a photo at night so I could see for myself. The spots are spirits. They come from the drumming. Morris was a Muslim from the time I met him. Throughout the war he and I was together. I saved his life. He taught me to pray. I took that light flash on his face to show he has come from the dark into the light. If I show this picture to my pastor he would say the spots are angels. Every day the Holy Spirit working through you.
Young Girl Carrying Rice in Winnowing Basket, By Esther: The girl with basket. I know her very well. She was coming from across the road. I call her and I say, “Hey, Fatou! Can I take your picture?” And she agree and I show her the picture and she was very happy and said we should give it back to her.
Woman Cultivating her Garden, By Esther: She was in movement when she was hooking. I love the cassava garden so much. When I look at the photo of the palm leaves I love the palm so much and I love the color of green.
Man in Red Shirt Carrying Lumber, By Lassana: I love the movement that the man is in and the color of the shirt he in it have a beautiful color like red on him. The wood on his head he got it from the bush. Sometimes we Liberians go into the bush and cut the wood and sell it. And we cook with it. And also the background was very green and that encouraged me to take this photo.
Young Woman with Greens in the Market, By Ezekiel: Lady slashing potato greens to cook. I like this because the slashing of the green and the orange tub and the color she was wearing are the same and also she is not focusing on me that much. The lapa she is wearing match her bracelet. The lapa is what any African woman can tie on their waist. Her hair was just plaited. She said she just got through plaiting her hair and she was preparing the food.
Three Grasshoppers, By Mohammed: Yesterday I was walking to town and I saw this and took this because the grasshopper is green and yellow and black and I love the position they are in. It is like, “Everyone come to the forum!” Two are there and another is coming. Maybe these two are leaving because the meeting was at 8 o’clock and the other came at 10 o’clock and they say, “Hey man where you been? The meeting was at 8 o’clock!”
Woman with Brightly Colored Plastic Tubs, By Mohammed: This woman has beautiful dishes. She is thinking that ‘Anyone who has money, don’t eat everything, come and buy! When you cook your food you can put them in, when you have dirty dishes you can wash them in, when you have water to carry you can put it in!’
Ezekiel Washing Clothes, By Lassana
Morris Bent Over, Head in Hands, By Varlee: We were having a dream circle. Maybe he was thinking about the day, what he wanted to do, wash clothes or go in town or photograph. This is beautiful when you see someone bending like that. He is thinking or really sad and that’s what makes it beautiful for me.
Kids in Tree, By Varlee
Lassana on how he feels with the camera: When I wake up in the morning from bed I say thank you almighty God for the start of the day. I am also happy in myself because I am very strong, not sick. And the photography make me feel the emotion of the person, the beauty of the flower, and the specific color of the insects. And I love going around to take the photo because I will meet person I did not know before and the person will ask me and say, “Wow! Do you take the photo like this in front of me?” And I will come down to that person to say, “My dear friends, I take this photo to know you better so I remember what you was doing before.” And that will encourage the person that he or she may tell some of their story to me and I will get a sheet of paper and understand the story in the proper way. And I will get some of my friend ex-combatants’ story how they feel in the past and how they feel today and also some people in the community.
Mohammed on working with cameras: When Andre came on the first trip he gave me a camera to take a photo. I was afraid because I was not used to it and if I held it too hard it would break. So I said, ‘No.’ Now I got used to the camera so today no fear is in me. I needed a little bit of teaching so I know some parts of the camera. And I’m willing to do it any time he’s ready for me.
What I Love About Children, By Esther: I love so many things about children. Some are: the ways children play together, the ways they talk or sometimes the way they approach ideas. Some children are good while some are very bad. Children are people who are quick to learn from one another and quick to forgive one another. Children are the future leaders of our land and we need to pay special attention to their activities and show concern about them and they will become proud of themselves and do more good things. Finally I love children because they are gifts from God.