Overview participating exhibitions
An Ocean of Possibilities
During the civil wars in Sierra Leone (1989-1996 and 1999-2003) and Liberia (1991-2002) Charles Taylor brought suffering beyond human reckoning – not only in Sierra Leone and Liberia, but also in Guinea-Bissau and Ivory Coast. Hundreds of thousands got killed, often in massacres, and millions of refugees and displaced.
During ten years portuguese journalist Pedro Rosa Mendes and german photographer Wolf Böwig traveled the region to document these West African wars. Their work has been recognized and published in newspapers and publications around the world, leading to a Pulitzer Nomination in 2007.
Their reportages are often snapshots of incomprehensible horror from all fronts of these wars, while at the same time a sensitive approach to the plight of traumatized victims and perpetrators alike. During their many years of collaboration, Mendes and Böwig kept asking themselves the same question over and over again how to present the incomprehensible, the unspeakable, the unimaginable through word and image. Is it even possible to document the breakdown of what we consider human and at the same time restore some of the victims dignity?
Under the label “The Charles Taylor Wars”, an international lineup of illustrators and artists create a crossover version of the reports, merging illustration, photography and written word. Through the collaboration of artists, photographer, authorc as well as local eyewitnesses, Black.Light Project creates the fragments for fifteen different stories in a series of workshops. The work will be presented in galleries and public venues in Europe, Africa and the United States and later on be published in a book.
Black.Light Project aims at creating synergies and a transcontinental dialogue that goes far beyond of what traditional war correspondence can achieve. Photography, journalistic reports, graphics and popular comicbook style merge into one homogeneous non-linear storytelling, creating a new publishing medium of its own.