Richard was 14 years old when rebels fighting the government entered his school and took him away to fight. Oladela was a year younger that day, but it took a few years before the war reached his home. When it did, he joined a small militia to protect his community against the advancing rebels. Alhassan, who has lived on the streets of the capital since he too was 14, managed to evade bearing arms all together.
Today, 10 years after the formal end of the conflict, they share the same streets and ghettos of central Freetown in search of their ‘daily bread’. They were shaped by, and sometimes shapers of, a conflict that raged for a decade when they were children. They came of age during and often because of the war.
As they approach the next stage in their lives, the shift from youth to adulthood, they find themselves trapped. The opportunities for social advancement: a job, a home, the money to get married or the chance to emigrate: are out of reach. Like being trapped in a recurring dream they remain afloat between crisis and renewal.
I am interested in diverse means of storytelling and am committed to long-term involvement in my projects. In particular, whilst periodically living and working in Sierra Leone since the end of the war I have explored the lives of marginalized youths and former fighters. Other work focuses on peace building, marginalised communities and human rights.
Recently I co-wrote and produced the film 'Talking Borders', a fictional adaptation of long-term field research by UK-based Conciliation Resources on tension in the Mano River border region of West Africa. It is presently being screened as an integral part of facilitated community discussions in border communities.
Click on any of the thumbnail images to launch the viewer. You can then navigate forward and backward within the portfolio by clicking the left or right side of the enlarged image. Click the add to collection checkbox to automatically add an image to your collection. Image tags or search engine keywords appear below the collections' checkbox and each word or phrase is a link to potentially more image matches.