MTPR

Mike Lee's Silhouette of Liberia

Jun 5, 2018

A Silhouette of Liberia
Credit Mike Lee

A Silhouette of Liberia is a collection of photographs Lee took in the mid-1970s in Liberia where he served with the Peace Corps. Lee’s soulful and haunting photographs reveal the conditions under which Liberians lived. Lee surrounds these photographs with stories of his experiences. By joining this narrative to his photographs, Lee will stir your imagination and transport you back to a time when Liberians lived in relative peace, though omens of Liberia’s violent future are subtext to many of his photographs. 

About the Author & Book:

Michael Lee’s life began in 1949 on his folks’ homestead in Soldotna, the Territory of Alaska. After graduating from high school he served in the U.S. Navy, returning home to Billings, Montana, in 1970. With a B.A. in hand from Eastern Montana College (EMC), Lee volunteered in 1973 to serve with the Peace Corps in Liberia. Lee next worked with the New York Blood Center’s virus research laboratory in the Marshall Territory of Liberia. Lee’s interest in documentary photography emerged during his 1969 Vietnam tour. He pursued his interest working as a photographer in the early 1970s for EMC’s newspaper, The Retort. During his years in West Africa he documented the people and the environments where he lived and journeyed. A Silhouette of Liberia is Lee’s second book of documentary photographs about Liberia. In 1977, he co-authored Rock of the Ancestors with William Siegmann and Cynthia Schmidt. Lee has exhibited his photographs of Liberia at the University of Montana, in Helena and with Liberia’s National Museum.  Lee worked as an energy research economist at the University of Montana (1980 – 1982) and then as a regulatory economist (1982 – 2010).

Mike Lee
Credit Mike Lee

A Silhouette of Liberia is a collection of photographs Lee took in the mid-1970s in Liberia where he served with the Peace Corps. Lee’s soulful and haunting photographs reveal the conditions under which Liberians lived. Lee surrounds these photographs with stories of his experiences. By joining this narrative to his photographs, Lee will stir your imagination and transport you back to a time when Liberians lived in relative peace, though omens of Liberia’s violent future are subtext to many of his photographs. Lee enriches this story with uncommon photographs of secret society activities and of architecture. Due to Liberia’s two decades of anarchy and civil war, Lee’s photographs serve to historically preserve that time and place.