Tuesday, December 30, 2008

indroducing leon

a personification of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone (aka, Leon) is a slim yet muscular fisherman with ebony skin and a knack for keeping a beat. After years of pulling in his family’s wooden fishing boat and massive net, he naturally positions himself in such a way that he is standing at a slight tilt. The most obvious place this can be seen is when he is pulling in his boat each night; but, if one looks closely enough one will notice that it can also be seen in other places. It can be seen when Leon is standing near a wall at a street corner hustling to sell his caught fish and it can be seen at a local club where he is flirting with Amadu, his childhood sweetheart. It can also be seen in his bed where he sleeps at an angle across his mattress dreaming of one of three things: crashing waves, far off lands he has only seen in books or the above referenced girl of his dreams. One peak at the coastline of Sierra Leone will give you many examples of the groups of people it takes to accomplish the task of bringing in small fishing boats on this West African coastline. In each snapshot a group of individuals will be captured slowing moving backwards at an identical lean dancing with the ocean and its endless give and take momentum.

Now, even though Leon knows little else than his duty to send his boat off in the morning and bring it back at night and he endures moments where he longs for something more, he does not regret his position in life and has learned that if he lives his life completely and with happiness, good things will come his way. He misses his parents, both lost to him during the war, but he has found safety and love in his aunties home and with time many of his experienced emotional wounds from the war have healed to a tolerable point. His parents would be proud to learn that Leon is well respected by his friends and appreciated by his team. In addition to taking pride in his ability to mend strong nets he can also create the most enchanting of beats in which his team collectively moves to in order to get the job done. It’s a unique blend of sounds, one of words, clicks and whistles, and yet it seems to be the perfect sound for the task at hand. A sound that was likely created centuries ago, on the day man decided to dance with the waves; a sound that was handed to him on the day he rightfully earned it.

1 comment:

Erica said...

Beautiful Gwen.



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