The Liberian Civil War, which lasted from 1989 to 2003, had a devastating impact on the country and its people. During my 2-month trip, I had the opportunity to witness firsthand the atrocities committed during the war, including the recruitment of child soldiers, the displacement of families, and the emergence of refugee camps.
One image that will forever be etched in my memory is that of a young child soldier. He was no more than 10 years old, yet he was already at the front line, carrying a weapon that was far too big for him. His eyes were glassy and distant, a result of the opium that was often given to child soldiers to numb them to the violence around them. He told me that he missed his mother and wanted to go home, but he had no home to go to.
The use of child soldiers was a common tactic used by all sides during the war. These young boys and girls were taken from their families and forced to fight on the front lines, often without any training or understanding of what was happening. Many were subjected to brutal treatment and were forced to commit atrocities.
The war also caused widespread displacement, with families forced to flee their homes to escape the violence. I visited several refugee camps, where people were living in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. The refugees were struggling to survive, with limited access to food, water, and medical care.
Despite the end of the war, the impact of the conflict can still be seen in Liberia today. Many families are still struggling to rebuild their lives and communities, and the country is still recovering from the trauma of the war.
This project aims to bring attention to the human cost of the Liberian Civil War and the ongoing struggles that people face in its aftermath. Through my photographs, I hope to shed light on the plight of child soldiers, the desperate conditions in refugee camps, and the resilience of the Liberian people in the face of unimaginable hardship.