Over the course of two years, Paris-based documentary photographer Elliott Verdier photographed throughout Liberia, making large format analog photographs—portraits of resilience, trauma, and the invisible scars left behind by years of colonization inflicted by the United States government followed by the brutality of the Liberian civil war. The resulting project, “Reaching for Dawn,” includes both photographic and sound work, and will soon be published as a photobook by Dunes Editions. Verdier elaborates:
“Of the bloody civil war (1989-2003) that decimated Liberia, its population does not speak. No proper memorial has been built, no day is dedicated to commemoration. The country, still held by several protagonists of the carnage, refuses to condemn its perpetrators. This deafening silence, that resonates internationally, denies any possibility of social recognition or collective memory of the massacres, condemning Liberia to an endless feeling of abandonment and drowsy resignation. The trauma carved into the population’s flesh is crystallized in the society’s weak foundations, still imbued with an unsound Americanism, and bleeds onto a new generation with an uncertain future.”
See more from “Reaching for Dawn” below.