By B.D. Colen
In January 2014, professional photographer B.D. Colen travelled to Liberia with CODE expert-volunteer and International Book Bank Executive Director Wendy Saul. Dr. Saul was in the country to provide prospective children's authors, illustrators and photographers with training on how to write high-quality children's literature. This is in preparation for the next round of Reading Liberia books. So far, 31 locally-produced books for young readers from Grades 1 to 6 have been published as part of the Reading Liberia/Reading Sierra Leone collection (pdf). He wrote the following post for the MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing blog. To view the original post with a slideshow including many more of the pictures he took on his trip, go to: cmsw.mit.edu/teaching-exploring-photography-liberia/
Teaching, and exploring, photography in Liberia
I spent the second week photographing in urban and rural schools, documenting, where possible, the work of CODE, IBB, and the We-Care Foundation. The photos you see here should provide a sense, if nothing else, of how privileged we in this country are. I have returned from Liberia thinking, as I returned from Somalia two decades ago, that we in America do not even know what poverty and true deprivation are. And I returned ready to do more of this work anywhere it is offered to me.
B. D. Colen is a writer and photographer who during 27 years at The Washington Post and Newsday shared a Pulitzer Prize and covered medicine and health care for 17 years. He pioneered the coverage of bioethics in the mainstream media, and created and served as the editor of Newsday's weekly science section, and wrote a nationally syndicated column on the intersection of health care, policy, and politics. Since 1999, Colen has been teaching science journalism and news writing courses at MIT.