Dasia: God was good

“God was good to us, you know? When the killing was on, it was dry. When it stopped, the rainy season would start to wash all the blood away.”


>> more

Peanut Butter – I will play a movie

In the  ‘loyalist’ area (across the river from Al- pha Mike) with Commander Peanut Butter, the last general fighting for President Charles Taylor – with child soldiers too. “They’re not real children. These types have seen their family killed before their eyes and the ones who killed them didn’t even bother to take them away. Sometimes I can only think that I’m going to lose my mind. Why do I have to be here?”

“This guy showed up here in September, at a meeting we’d set up with LURD. I thought it was a meeting of Africans, and this huge white man shows up.

Excuse me? What are Americans doing here? It’s not tourism, I guarantee you.”


>> more


Logging in forest sanctuaries to fund the war: The prospector finally indicates the trunk he identified in a previous survey. His job ends there. The tree’s life – 20, 50, 100 years old, some even older – comes to an end as well. Two men approach the tree. The tree seems to hesitate for a second.

Then, the nerves of the wood make a breaching sound and the large tree leans and falls, falls, falls, first with a storm of leaves and then with a guttural noise of a whale splashing the surface of the sea.


>> more

Morie – Prince of the Dead

Morie was the only survivor of an all-day- long massacre of his entire village (1200 people). We traced the boy down in the swamps of Pujehun in 2003 and later we visited his teenager persona: the trauma lives on and came of age…

Morie remembers this absurd detail of the massacre: «In the middle of the people, chickens, dogs, goats, all dead…»”


>> more

Birds of pray

A group of women “tired of war, tired of having no voice,” has held weekly ecumenical demonstrations for peace at the airport.

“What we want?” “Peace!!!” “When?” “Now!!!”

One woman, apart from the group, falls to her knees and lies prostrate on the ground, trembling in a quiet, dry weeping. She murmurs names, and the names drive her to despair.


>> more

No shame!

Teene, former child soldier, aka Nasty: “At first I didn’t know anything about weapons. They forced me to fight, to join them. Then I decided to be worse than the others…” She has a baby in her arms.


>> more

My dream was

In the Bombuna Mountains, in a remote ghetto for amputees. Balá Cissé knows how to drink water as dogs do,“just with my mouth.” He learned how to do that when they cut off his hands and left him in the forest, fighting for life for seven days. His six friends were killed on the spot, immediately.

Cissé was shoved against a fence, where they extended his arms on top of the wood. When he saw the saber rise, Cissé screamed “Oh, God!!” They mocked him: “You have a god?” And the saber came down twice.


>> more

City of Rest

An evangelical institution for drug addicts in Freetown. Gospel exorcizes the addiction by force… “We have everything here, man.There are rastas, druggies, hippies, junkies, dreads, soldiers, rebels, thieves, murderers–”

Wyclin stops to assess the group around him.“You know, I don’t think I’m the worst of them.” And who is the worst? Wyclin glances at a man with an absorbed gaze, sitting in a chair, immobile in the middle of the courtyard.

“Well, man… It might be the devil…”


>> more

No Monkey

“Bendu Sando metamorphosis was rapid and happened a short time ago: in June of this year, the rebels entered Bendu’s town and an armed man approached her and said, ‘I wanna fuck the girl. The girl was she.”


>> more

Dasia: The right bloodshed

“The only hope for Liberia is for those gentlemen to be eliminated. Nothing else. My friends complain and lament that this here is a bloodbath.

And I say: yes, it is–the wrong bloodbath. Because there are so many correct bloodbaths. If the blood of one man prevents the blood of a thousand, that’s the right bloodbath.”

I want blood for blood. I don’t want justice.”


>> more

One night in Florida

One long analysis on reporting violence and finding words for horror, when night falls back in “hotel” Florida –the ruins of a brothel, filthy with rats and roaches, run by an old Lebanese-, in the frontline of Monrovia.

On how to pierce out the thorns of the day, to retain only the elusive flowers – and keep on working next morning.“I did not, I did not…”


>> more