You’ve got to appreciate an artiste that can invoke deep thoughts through her work with little or no effort. One of such gifted people is the very talented photographer – TY Bello.
Asides taking pictures that made our hearts melt, her ability to narrate the not so happy aspects of living deserve to be applauded too.
The celebrated photographer was in Borno this past week on a portrait tour of the terrorist-ravaged state. According to her, she got a first hand experience of the unparalleled destruction wrought upon Nigeria and its people by Boko Haram. During her tour, she got to spend time with soldiers and volunteers who risk their lives on a daily basis to the peace of others.
TY also made portraits of children loving in the IDP camps. Asides sharing some of these amazing portraits with tear-jerking captions, she shared her encounter with an injured soldier who had an anti aircraft bullet lodged in his throat but for some miraculous reason survived.
She also wrote another piece on her inability to sleep well following her tour and how she kept seeing faces of the little children at the IDP camps. Interestingly, she even began to see the face of one of the girls she photographed in one of her twin boys.
SOLDIER X:While I made portraits of our wounded soldiers at the military hospital in Maiduguri, one of the soldiers made a statement that I haven’t been able to shake off, “ one way you know a soldier has been hit is that they suddenly start shouting out names of family members.”This statement kept playing over and again in my mind, especially when I got the most colourful welcome from my family, barely a week away on this journey.Many soldiers, play this long overdue welcome party in their heads daily, and the sad thing is that for some, it may never happen. I had long conversations with soldiers about how they got wounded in battle.They told me how grateful they were to be alive, some of their colleagues weren’t as lucky. I also got to speak with medical personnel, on the uniqueness of their work in a war against terror. I’ll share all their stories here and start by introducing Soldier X, who I never met, but made a photograph of his Xray .An anti aircraft bullet, big and strong enough to tear through the titanium body of an airplane, was lodged in his throat, and for some reason, it didn’t blow his head off, this soldier lived through his surgery and got to take the removed bullet home as a reminder. This is a wicked wicked war!Why would anyone chose weapons made to attack war planes and use it on a fellow human … At close range ..Even in war there should be rules . Lieutenant Ologodo told me something really important, that if you don’t believe in God, working here will make a convert out of you, the frequency of witnessing the darkest of evil deeds, along side what can only be miraculous, will open your heart somehow.This is such a brutally wicked war !#tybellophotography #portrait #unknown soldier #Nigerianarmy #bokoharam #woundedsoldier #borno #war #waronterror
I woke up at 3am and for some reason I started to stare at one of my sons .I changed my angle a little and in the dark ,it seemed his face had morphed into that of little Ba’aye ,the first girl I photographed at one of the camps .I don’t know if it’s because Ive found it difficult to get good sleep since I started making these images or simply because they both have rounded foreheads but It’s amazing how children look alike . But then it came to me .. That look on her face .. I’d never seen on anyone her age ..this little girl had seen things she shouldn’t have !! Visions of her kept me awake ..she just stared harder and harder at that corner . When asked if she remembered anything about how she left her home in Bama she strongly affirmed ..”I don’t want to go back home “. When asked why , she replied ..”It’s not a good place”.No matter how different children’s personalities are.. They really are just big babies .. the 2 to 4year old living through this crisis isn’t blessed with ‘special ‘powers to ‘handle it’. I tried to put my sons in the context of everything that has happened in Borno and it became even clearer to me how broken and terrified she and countless others must be . Children are children and War is Wrong.Whats more wrong is having a narrative about the situation that leaves them out …We must remember the children .They need us to . #tybellophotography #portrait #internallydisplacedpersons #Nigeria
A photo posted by TY Bello (@tybello) on
Written by OlufunkeEdidi
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