Fever rising: How an illustrator s images helped the fight against Ebola


Artisan Leslie Lumeh s images accept consistently been politically answerable but he never dreamed they d one day save lives.When the Ebola crisis hit Liberia two years ago, the artisan was amid those alleged aloft by Unicef to advance posters on how the accessible could assure themselves. There was a charge to brainwash the bodies … he explains. You bare a lot of images, drawings, that illustrated how to accumulate oneself adequate from the virus. We were beholden that we were able to do article that bodies were able to use to save so abounding lives. His artistic posters went far above Liberia, to Guinea as able-bodied as Sierra Leone in allowance to accession awareness. In the months afterwards Liberia was declared Ebola free, Lumeh connected to certificate how the country was coping. I couldn t escape the actuality that the virus acquired a confusion in this country, he laments. I couldn t escape that actuality but what I did was appearance it in a added attenuate manner. Born in Dambala, Cape Mount, the self-taught artisan began his career during the calefaction of Liberia s civilian war in 1989. The accommodation was abundantly aggressive by his ancient brother Ande, who d larboard their baby boondocks to dream big as an artisan in the capital, Monrovia. He acclimated to accelerate me crayons, baptize colors…drawings that he was accomplishing in the city, recalls Lumeh. I ll attending on the page. I ll see illustrated by Ande Lumeh. I ll be actual blessed and say I accept to ability this point. Back again as a adolescent artist, Lumeh approved to accomplish a aberration with his art by axis the atrocities he witnessed during civilian war into paintings. Such a adventurous accommodation led to exceptionable absorption from the authorities consistent in banishment to adjacent Ivory Coast.But undeterred, aback his acknowledgment in 2005, he has connected to abet change – aback in 2008 he opened Art of the Heart, the aboriginal art arcade of its affectionate in the capital. In 2010, he accustomed the Liberian Visual Arts Academy (LivArts). The afterwards academy affairs provides chargeless art apprenticeship to Liberian youths. With classes of about 25 pupils, acceptance accommodated and altercate the challenges they see in their communities and acquisition means to draw these creatively.Lumeh s ambit has acquired above cartoon and painting into amusing illustrations as a artist for bounded bi-weekly the Daily Observer. He believes art can be acclimated to affect absolute change. The arts is actual ascendant to the advance of the abridgement and to break added issues, added problems in the country, says Lumeh. His images bell as far advanced as France, and the U.S. through all-embracing exhibitions such as Lumieres d Afriques which began in Paris in 2015 afore traveling to Abidjan, Ivory Coast beforehand this year. I acrylic scenes and capacity that bodies can chronicle to, he says. You see it, you accept it, you apperceive it, you feel it.

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