There are a lot of articles about surfing in Liberia. But, this one by William Powers, who lived in Liberia during times of war and times of peace, made me ready to be reachin’ back.
I’m thrilled to have my photo of a stormy morning at the beach in Robertsport accompany it.
The next day, an old buddy from “Taylor time” picked me up in his dented Toyota. Harris Johnson, a computer technician in a Yankees cap, grinned as he gunned his car downtown, Monrovia’s fire-scarred skyline looking like something out of Mad Max. We passed over the bridge to Bushrod Island, a hardscrabble industrial section of town, and I spotted the ruins of a pre-war movie theater and remembered the exquisite little groundnut-soup shop that had been tucked behind it. Harris pulled over. Throughout the war, the place had always been half empty, but we found it buzzing with a lunchtime crowd. We were shown to the only seats left and heard from the kitchen the rhythmic sounds of cooks pounding the cassava-yam dough called “dumboy.” A pair of goats bleated from a room to our left as we savored each spoonful of peanut-flavored soup.
Lately, I’ve been more and more interested in portraiture. But, I can never seem to get one photo that I feel captures something about who the subject is. Maybe that’s because I’m not a good enough portrait photographer yet, or maybe it’s because there’s no one person who can be explained in one image.