The Inquirer (Monrovia)

21 November 2012

Liberia: 'Liberia Before 1990' Photo Exhibition Opens in National Museum Tomorrow

Pictures always capture a time in life when we were young, old, getting married or celebrating. They remind us of our past and what we were yearning for; so most of all pictures give us a glimpse of how we were.Tomorrow, a family of photographers who lived in Liberia in the late 70's and took many pictures in Liberia in 2010 returned to the country to do a documentary on Liberia and how it has changed in 30 years.

John Topham worked in Liberia in the late 1970's at an explosive company called Exchem and due to his love for pictures, he encouraged his two boys, Jeff and Andrew to also appreciate the history, beauty and stories one single picture can tell.

However, according to Jeff Topham (one of John's sons) it was the Liberian leader's influence when the family showed her family pictures they had taken before 1990 in Liberia. Topham said that the President said that she wished that all Liberians could see pictures of Liberia before the civil conflict.

When the family returned to their native land of Canada they started a website called Liberia77.com and called on people from across the world to also send pictures of Liberia before 1990 and they received over 2,000 pictures.

The pictures which were taken from many locations in Liberia show how many things in Liberia have changed and have not changed, but the exhibition will show that Liberia is a beautiful place; clean and not crowded.

A picture says a thousand words and starting tomorrow Liberians are asked to stop by the National Museum on Broad Street to see how the country looked before 1990.

The organizers of the exhibition are also calling on the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to come and view some of the pictures.

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