Benjamin Somah walked into Monrovia’s Peace Cafe, where our freshly arrived team sat with a few local contacts, enjoying some coffee and Internet time. Our friends knew this local craftsman, so we checked out his artwork.
We already knew that Liberia’s fourteen-year civil war had deeply wounded the nation, affecting every area of life. Among the general population, the PTSD rate is estimated at 70 percent. When Benjamin showed us the fistful of empty rifle shells he pulled from his pocket, I wondered just how emotionally scarred he might be.
But then he opened his backpack to show us what he does with these shells. Traditional Liberian figures, crosses, Nativity pieces, and even a chess set–Benjamin had redeemed the grim reminders of war, turning them into artistic symbols of peace.
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