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Namati Photo Exhibition Opens in London

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Photographer Aubrey Wade travelled to Sierra Leone in 2013 on assignment for Namati. From that project has come Turning Toward Justice, an exhibition of his photographs exploring the different ways people access justice in a country with a vibrant traditional justice system and few lawyers. It opened this week at the Overseas Development Institute in London.

In post-war Sierra Leone, ‘justice’ is a journey. Turning Toward Justice explores that journey and the ways in which people access justice in Sierra Leone, from traditional “Mamie Queens” making judgements in a marketplace, to the courts of the Paramount Chiefs and the law courts in Freetown. Walking with more and more people on that journey are community paralegals, trained by Namati and its partners, and providing low-cost justice in a country with only about 100 qualified lawyers.

Community-members trained as paralegals now provide basic justice in around 40 per cent of Sierra Leone. During 2013, these paralegals took on almost 5,800 cases, ranging from abuse of power by local authorities, to accident compensation and unpaid wages. Thanks to this project, Sierra Leone now recognises paralegals in law as providers of justice services.

The exhibition, of 28 photographs, is accompanied by  excerpts from interviews conducted with grassroots advocates and paralegal organisations in Sierra Leone. The images  formed the backdrop to a book launch at the Overseas Development Institute about Justice Sector Reform in Sierra Leone. The photographs have been hung in pairs and will remain in place for the next six months. Here is a sample of the images:

LEFT: Case files and reference books lay on the magistrate's desk during a recess at the magistrate's court in Makeni, Sierra Leone. RIGHT: The laws of the town written on the wall of Pa Kapr Wanda's house, the ceremonial chief of Masethele, Bombali District, Sierra Leone. © 2013 Aubrey Wade. All rights reserved.

LEFT: Case files and reference books lay on the magistrate’s desk during a recess at the magistrate’s court in Makeni, Sierra Leone. RIGHT: The laws of the town written on the wall of Pa Kapr Wanda’s house, the ceremonial chief of Masethele, Bombali District, Sierra Leone. © 2013 Aubrey Wade. All rights reserved.

 

LEFT: Mrs Yalmamie Sesay, the 'Mamie Queen' of Kissy Brook in the east end of Freetown, sits beneath portraits of her late husband in the living room of the apartment he built. RIGHT: A 'local court', which hears matters of customary law, sits in Makeni, Sierra Leone. © 2013 Aubrey Wade. All rights reserved.

LEFT: Mrs Yalmamie Sesay, the ‘Mamie Queen’ of Kissy Brook in the east end of Freetown, sits beneath portraits of her late husband in the living room of the apartment he built. RIGHT: A ‘local court’, which hears matters of customary law, sits in Makeni, Sierra Leone. © 2013 Aubrey Wade. All rights reserved.

 

LEFT: Women police officers gathered at the divisional headquarters and central police station in Makeni, Sierra Leone. RIGHT: The police post in Tokeh, Western Area, Sierra Leone. On its wall a notice reads: 'The penalty for urinating here is Le5000' © 2013 Aubrey Wade. All rights reserved.

LEFT: Women police officers gathered at the divisional headquarters and central police station in Makeni, Sierra Leone. RIGHT: The police post in Tokeh, Western Area, Sierra Leone. On its wall a notice reads: ‘The penalty for urinating here is Le5000’ © 2013 Aubrey Wade. All rights reserved.

 


January 23, 2014 | Namati


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