Francois Beaurain








Monrovia animated

Liberia, 2014

From January to May 2014, Francois Beaurain wandered the streets of Monrovia and created surprising animated images of the people and places he visited. This first-of-its-kind travel diary gives a fresh and poetic look at the country with one of the worst's reputation on earth.

"My goal was to find a new medium to depict a place that is always associated with negative images. This problem is recurrent to Africa in general but even more relevant in Liberia. The war is over from than ten years now but most of the stories featuring this country are still linked to the child soldiers as if the country was still a war zone. I wanted to show the routine, the daily life of normal people, to show the exact opposite of the images usually associated with Liberia. Because gifs can be repeated endlessly, they're the ideal medium to describe this routine.”

The series include 53 gifs in total, all available up to 1920 pixels (full HD) and as a 7'30'' full HD video. Monrovia animated has been exhibited worldwide and is currently part of Making Africa exhibition by Vitra Design Museum and Gugenheim Bilbao.




Monrovia animated #030 - at Ikea

Ikea has no stores yet in Liberia. Furnitures are locally made with discrete shapes and colors.

monrovia, liberia, gif, africa, ikea, furniture, orange


Monrovia animated #102 -chop my money

In a dollarized economy where US and Liberian dollar cohabit, money changer is one of most common "small business" in Liberia."Chop My Money" is a song by Nigerian R&B duo P-Square and is an extremely popular song in Liberia.



Monrovia animated #098 -rickshaw

A few weeks after the pen-pen (taxi motorbikes) ban, the first rickshaws appeared in the streets of Monrovia.




Monrovia animated #091 -Liberian Emitting Diode (LED) display

Ducor Hotel had once a tennis court that is now mostly used by kids from the community that developped around the hotel to play football.



Monrovia animated #077 -child soldier

"child soldier" is the most prominent cliché about Liberia. The fact that ten years after the end of the conflict this cliché is still present in international medias inspired this gif. Today in Monrovia the only guns the kids play with are made of plastic.


Monrovia animated #068 -Monrovia Falls

Ducor Hotel is built on a hill that was once surrounded with forests. This hill has been since chaotically urbanised and suffers from severe erosion. Heavy rains turn the streets into torrents and cascades erroding the foundation of houses.