Imgur user 5FrogMargin has documented Liberia’s second civil war, using nothing but his camera and the street signs and posters still standing in the conflict’s aftermath.
5FrogMargin began taking photos of the devastated country while carrying out relief work when the civil war ended. The “crazy” signs and posters became a particular fascination and now give a remarkable insight into events that occurred during the conflict and how Liberia managed to pull itself back into peace. The photographer’s captions are quoted below.
Trying to get a photo of this ‘painting’, but the kid wanted to be in the picture. I took one to placate him, and realized how good it was with him in it when i got home. It reads: “No Arms is Allowed up in Here.” “Peace is Our concern Here” “Motto; Peace together As One”. Went back in 2007 and this door had been painted over. A good thing!
The sign you see was up during the Civil War, and has its fair share of bullet holes, due to its location right next to ‘New Bridge’ which connected downtown (Charles Taylor-controlled) with Bushrod Island, where the main rebel group (LURD) was. Most of the fighting in 2003 was done right here and if you watch the footage you can probably see this sign. The long Civil War ended not long after.
Here you see some LURD (Liberians United for Reconciliation & Democracy) graffiti, the main rebel group during the last days of the Liberian Civil War. See the LURD march to the capital here.
‘Forgive All Child Soldiers, send them back to school’. There was a big push to get all of the Child Soldiers into some sort of education and employment. Last thing you wanted was a bunch of ex-child soldiers with no money and too much time on their hands.
A reminder that soldiers should obey the rule of law and not exploit the people, nor rape the women.
UN posters of some of the many, many, many missing children who became orphans during the war. I saw quite a few of these up in some of the refugee camps.
Returning refugees being assisted and protected by soldiers, as opposed to soldiers exploiting them.
Quran ‘bible verse’ reminding you to make peace.
[After the war] there was little in the way of a proper police force, and mob violence ruled. While I was there, a ‘rogue’ (thief) was chased down and killed not 100 meters down from where we were… the body sat there for three days- all through Christmas, no less.
One of the things the UN did was give away a bag of rice for every rifle, grenade, or mortar confiscated. This drastically reduced the number of weapons in the country.
An important call to move forward.
Just after the election of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in 2005. She was the first woman elected president in Africa and ran against Liberia’s most famous export, footballer George Weah.