The fall of 2018 took me to the Motherland and gifted me with unimaginable personal insight, human connection and field experience that leaves me forever changed and more inspired than ever.

This was my first visit to Africa and I vow, by any means necessary, to not allow it to be my last.

I felt as nervous as I was excited upon touching down in the wee hours at Lungi airport in Sierra Leone.  Only passengers not continuing on were allowed off the plane so I waited patiently and stared wide-eyed out of the window of the giant KLM airliner until we were again in the air and on route to our final destination of Monrovia, Liberia.  In the case you don’t know the sorted and direct relationship that the United States shares with LIberia here’s an article to give you a little background on our “sister-nation” and our unique relationship.  Just recently our illustrious forty fifth President Mr. Donald Trump made a play to do away with some special considerations for immigrants to the USA from Liberia since the end of a 20-plus year civil war that leaves behind it tales of child-soldiers, rape, dismemberment, terror and dismantled families and a dismantled nation.  A civil war that can be traced back directly to American influence.  Here’s another article for more on that.

The country of Liberia is visually awe-inspiring.  I was constantly bombarded, embraced and engulfed by brilliant colors, texture and contrast.  So much contrast, so much texture, so much magic.  At one point I was walking behind a line of people as we moved equipment from one location to the next and I think I received a glimpse of the power that attracts so many to this land and seduces them to a point of desire that then morphs into lust and greed.  Africa is a photographers paradise.  The land itself struck me immediately as a palate of RGB.  The Red dirt, Green land and bright Blue sky is reminiscent of our own great state of Mississippi.  Another key land  in the great Afro-American narrative.

This was my first venture with the production and I am thoroughly moved and inspired to be a part of a series that contains so much potential.  Potential to entertain, to illuminate, to inspire and to inform. At the time of writing this post the material is still waist-deep in post-production as the story and episode structure is still being determined and refined.  But I am optimistic about where this series can go and where it can take everyone involved and everyone who views it.

My tools were always at the ready during the 2.5 weeks on the ground in Liberia.  We shot the series at UHD resolution on Sony Fs7 Super 35 digital cinema cameras and a single Panasonic GH5 package courtesy of Eastside Camera Services (Los Angeles) and (Tennessee); and I enlisted my trusty Canon 5DMkIII to capture stills along the way.  The concert of digital imaging tools was a perfect combo for my small crew which included two local additions that offered great teaching and learning opportunities for both us and them.  The 5D images became the ingredients to what turned out to be my first ever full color photo book.  I’m super excited to share the photo book and the images with my inner circle, the cast and crew who were with us in Liberia and my extended circle within the film/tv community back here at home.

(L-R) David Bowsky, Sharon Turay, Jabu Msomi, Yudawhere Jacobs, Charles Little II

The greatest gift in life is to be alive in concert with other living beings.  Human beings, animals and plants of all sorts; all connected through our beloved mother earth.  I am excited to share this full color photo book entitled Awakening Liberia* to grace your coffee table, office foyer, creative space or personal collection.

purchase this photo book*

*All books are made to order.  Please allow 15 days for delivery to US and Canada (UK, Africa, Australia or other locations may incur longer shipping times).

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