Bosembele, Ombella-M'Poko prefecture, Central African Republic
Table in Natalie's home with a machete, radio, chicken foot talisman, box of matches, hanging squash leaves and ground nuts in a bag. Mother of seven Natalie (35) and her husband Beni (39) received seeds, tools and training from Concern (UK NGO) to help rebuilding their lives after they fled their village during the conflict. They have harvested groundnuts and squash leaves from their seeds they were given. Natalie says, 'I was also given two machetes and a hoe as part of the programme. It has made a big difference. Things have changed. The seeds have grown, and we sold part of the harvest and kept the rest for the family. I'm hopeful for the future.' The radio is one of their prized possessions. They are an important part of rural life for communities with no access to TV or the internet but they are only able to use them intermittently when they are able to buy batteries. 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.