Liberia '77

Over two decades ago, my mom was at a point in her life that I'm sure even she didn't fully grasp the lifetime implications of the events that were happening. Both my sister and I were already safely in the U.S. and the time had come for her to leave Liberia as well. War was fully upon our country, and the time of helping others (she's a doctor) had turned into a time to get out and save oneself. Leaving behind a full life, my mom made sure to pack all her "important papers" and as many pictures as she could stuff into her suitcase. As a kid I didn't grasp the importance of those images, yet as time has marched on, my memories of those "good" years in Liberia have grown sketchy, and those images grow more and more important to fill in the blanks of my childhood.

When I read the story of Jeff and Andrew Topham, two Canadians who spent four years of their childhood in Liberia, I was beyond moved.  They had also been greatly effected not only be their time in Liberia but also by the photographs taken by their parents during that period. Thirty years later, the brothers found their way back to Liberia to see the country of their past.

In all my time recollecting my history through photographs, laughing and bickering with my sister and mom about what to do with the pictures (some are magnetized to my fridge right now), it just never occurred to me that there are thousands of Liberian without pictures to recall their loved ones or their country during a time of peace. That is precisely why the Liberia '77 project by the Topham brothers is just the coolest thing ever!
Liberia '77 aims to reach out to other Liberians who have pictures of peaceful times and get digital scans of those images. The pictures will eventually make it into a National Museum in Liberia where citizens can potentially discover lost ones in the images of others.

If you happen to either be a Liberian or know of Liberians with photographs of the past, please consider sharing them with Liberia '77. Even if you aren't Liberian, you can still support the project though a contribution of your choice here.

{Photos: Liberia '77 and Lightbox}


kelly jo said...

this is totally moving and inspiring. i will be contributing for sure!

Muse Origins said...

I just love this post. The nostalgia is so touching

Muse Origins