Bosembele, Ombella-M'Poko prefecture, Central African Republic
Table in Amina's home with mangoes, ground nuts, cola nuts, a ground nut grinder and a 'waraga' talisman. The talisman belongs to Amina's husband who was the only person allowed to touch it. He is the village motorcycle taxi driver. The talisman protects him from bullets and motorbike accidents. Mother of four Amina (28) lost her brother in the conflict and her parents fled to Cameroon. She is part of a seed group which receives seeds, tools and technical assistance at a Concern (UK NGO) distribution in Boali. Amina said that after the crisis 'getting food became very hard. Our life is difficult. We eat twice a day if we have food. If not, we only eat once – that might happen twice a week. Most of the time we eat squash leaves and amaranth. But if we can't find anything, we cook okra powder and peanut paste. Sometimes I go to bed hungry – I do without so that my children can eat. That can happen three of four times a month.' In each home he visited Chris asked the owners to select items of food and other possessions which were important to them, to create the centre piece for a still life. Each tableau tells their owner's story. Chris de Bode was continually struck by how few possessions there were in each home. This is one of a series of still lifes telling the story of this post-conflict region in CAR.