How De Body? by Teun Voeten
One Man's Terrifying Journey Through an African War

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Synopsis

In 1998, Acclaimed Photo Journalist Teun Voeten headed to Sierra Leone for what he thought would be a standard assignment on the child soldiers there. But the cease-fire ended just as he arrived, and the clash between the military junta and the West African peacekeeping troops forced him to hide in the bush from rebels who were intent on killing him. How de Body? ("How are you?" in Sierra Leone's creole English) is a dramatic account of the conflict that has been raging in the country for nearly a decade -- and how Voeten nearly became a casualty. Accessible and conversational, it's a look into the dangerous diamond trade that fuels the conflict, the legacy of war practices such as forced amputations, the tragic use of child soldiers, and more. The book is also a tribute to the people who never make the headlines: Eddie Smith, a BBC correspondent who eventually helps Voeten escape; Alfred Kanu, a school principal who risks his life to keep his students and teachers going amid the bullets and raids; and Padre Victor, who runs a safe haven for former child soldiers; among others. Featuring Voeten's stunning black-and-white photos from his multiple trips to the conflict area, How de Body? is a crucial testament to a relatively unknown tragedy.
 

About Teun Voeten

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Teun Voeten studied cultural anthropology in the Netherlands, after which he started to cover the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Rwanda, Chechnya, Sierra Leone, Haiti, and Columbia. His work has been published in Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, National Geographic, and Granta, and has been used by organizations such as the United Nations, the International Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and Human Right Watch. He divides his time between New York and Brussels.
 
Published January 1, 2002 by Thomas Dunne Books. 288 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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A common greeting in the street is “How de body?” It’s a local version of “How are you?” but it has acquired a nasty resonance in Sierra Leone, where many people have had one or more limbs chopped off.

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Publishers Weekly

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The title of this harrowing journey through war-torn Sierra Leone means "how are you?" in pidgin English; as photojournalist Voeten shows in his dramatic but incomplete work of war reportag

May 06 2002 | Read Full Review of How De Body?: One Man's Terri...

Publishers Weekly

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as photojournalist Voeten shows in his dramatic but incomplete work of war reportage, Sierra Leone isn't doing well—and neither is he, after a 1998 trip there.

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