Reaching for Dawn

@ Verdier, Elliott



.One last copy (not signed).

Presentation by Dunes Editions:

" Of the bloody civil war (1989-2003) that decimated Liberia, its population does not speak. No proper memorial has been built, no day is dedicated to commemoration. The country, still held by several protagonists of the carnage, refuses to condemn its perpetrators. This deafening silence, that resonates internationally, denies any possibility of social recognition or collective memory of the massacres, condemning Liberia to an endless feeling of abandonment and drowsy resignation. The trauma carved into the population's flesh is crystallized in the society's weak foundations, still imbued with an unsound Americanism, and bleeds onto a new generation with an uncertain future.

lliott Verdier's photographic and sound work was spread over a two year period. The images were made over the entire country, from the diamond mines of Gbarpolu to the fishing harbors of Harper and through the immense slum of Westpoint. The analog photographs, made with a large format camera, offer two interweaved narratives, one in black & white and the other in color. In parallel to the photographs, recordings of men and women's voices are added, be they victims or perpetrators, to recount their damaged fate.

The dark and enigmatic monochromes are contextual images that establish the setting for the color portraits. These black & white images are a reference to the night that so often appears  in witness accounts, a moment in time where the trauma becomes palpable. They distill a heavy atmosphere that spreads the suffocating silence over the country. From this silence, words emerge, transcribed onto fragile paper, to haunt the Liberian night with inaudible whispers. "

Texts by Gaël Faye (Rwandan-French singer / rapper and writer / songwriter) and by Leymah Gbowee (Liberian activist and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize laureate), in French and English. Illustrations by Sacha Von Villard. Swiss binding, three types of paper, several pages printed in silver.

Our last copy (not signed).

This book is sold out by the publisher.

152 pages - Hardcover, Swiss binding

Dunes Editions, 2021 (750 copies)

Format : 24 x 31 cm

New - Mint condition

This book is no longer in stock


Verdier, Elliott

Elliott Verdier is a French documentary photographer. In 2021, he creates the publishing house Dunes Editions with Margaux Beaughon to publish his first photobook "Reaching for Dawn". The imprint's website indicates [translation L'Ascenseur Végétal] : « Interested in the themes of memory, transmission through generations and resilience, Elliott Verdier travels extensively through territories and photographs people he meets with dignity and a form of closeness he manages to create. » In 2017, he work on "A Shaded Path", his first long-term project, in Kirghizistan; then he started in 2019 his second large project, "Reaching for Dawn", shot with a large-format camera in Liberia. Elliott Verdier also works for the newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times and M le Magazine from French newspaper Le Monde. © Portrait taken from the artist's Instagram page