EMPOWERMENT – Social change through building

EMPOWERMENT – Social change through building

Empowerment is Orkidstudio’s exhibition at the Lighthouse in Glasgow.  Orkid commissioned me to take a series of portraits during their build of a new school for the Swawou School Foundation in Kenema, Sierra Leone.  I photographed and interviewed a whole cross section of people who were affected by the build, from pupils at the school, workers on site and architecture student volunteers  there to help with the build and exchange skills with the local tradesmen.  Some of the resulting portraits and also my documentation of the build form part of Orkid’s new exhibition “Empowerment – Social change through building” at the Lighthouse in Glasgow along side many of Orkidstudios other projects.

I took 47 portraits in total, all of them can be viewed at the front of my website with the invaluable help from Musa Konneh, one of the kindest gentlemen you could find.

4 days after we left the 4 bodies of people who had sadly died of Ebola, where bought in to Kenema hospital and the pandemic exploded.  It closed all the schools in the country and halted the build for the school, which is now looking slightly overgrown, but Orkid will get back there and finish the job off.  My thoughts are with all these people who are suffering great hardship under the threat of Ebola.

Swawou School provide free quality education in a child-friendly learning environment to disadvantaged girls from the Swawou community of Kenema town, eastern Sierra Leone.

Orkidstudio is dedicated to exploring and developing the connection between architecture and humanitarian aid.

Musa Jaward