Sunday, 30 November 2008

War Child: An Art Exhibition...

Last Saturday, 22nd November, I joined a few fellow-Mercy Shippers and we went to see a gallery of Liberian art in the National Museum of Liberia. The exhibit, "War Child", was organised by a freelance journalist friend of ours, Christina Holder, and was held in conjunction with the Liberian Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.

All of the art was done by people who grew up during Liberia's brutal civil war (1989 - 2003). Some of the artists were even soldiers. It was a great exhibit as it portayed the changing dynamics of Liberia, from the brutality of the war to the post-war revival.

There were three sections to the exhibit. The first was entitled "The War Street" and through the paintings one was able to experience the horror and destruction of war. However, this was shortlived as one came to the section "From Ruins To Reconciliation". Here the focus was on the changing situation, as initially ECOMIL (Economic Community of West African States Mission In Liberia) and then UNMIL (United Nations Mission In Liberia) came and brought stability. Here the process was on disarmament, reintegration of soldiers (and child soldiers), the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the establishment of free and fair presidential elections in 2005. The final chapter was "New Hope, New Land", which looked forward to a brighter, hopeful future for this beautiful nation.

It was a privilege to be taken on a journey of revival and reconciliation through the artist's paintbrush. It was a wonderful exhibit and there are definitely some talented artists here in Liberia.

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