faces of Africa
Laura Archer was kidnapped on March 12th, 2009 in Darfur. Early,
unconfirmed reports indicate that her abductors are interested
in her purse and not the young and attractive person.
March 14th. Medecins Sans Frontieres announced
Laura Archer was freed at noon, unharmed and in good health.
No ransom was paid.
Archer is a nurse in Africa, working with Médecins Sans
Frontières. At present, and at considerable risk, she
is overseeing malnutrition projects in North Darfur. Prior to
that, she did a nine month stint in the bush in the Central
African Republic where she helped set up an emergency measles
vaccination clinic. On her first trip back to Montreal from
Africa, she brought back many photographs and portraits of some
of her patients, whose plight she felt compelled to share.
in the heart of Africa’s horrors, which included deprivation
and gender specific violence on a scale reason cannot account
for, Laura, with only the minimum of formal training, suddenly
found herself with a paint brush in hand, and soon after a gallery
of paintings created consequent to her bearing witness.
“When I came
home, my friends would just ask questions like: ‘Did you
see people die?’ ‘I hear it’s hot over there.’
‘What did you eat?’ But after seeing the paintings,
they would ask, ‘What’s this person’s story?’
and that’s when I could really explain what it was like.”
Laura's paintings, go to her website at