The 42 project

portrait photo of a woman holding a child

"For the last three decades Freetown has been twinned with my birthplace Kingston upon Hull in the UK to foster cultural understanding and friendships. In 2007 when I began to document the lives of the women of Sierra Leone, life expectancy for women was around 42. A year into the project I too turned 42. My life expectancy, as a white woman living in the West, is almost double at 83. I became angry at what is a violation of human rights.

42 aims to show the beauty, spirit, hope and the value to society of women not just in Sierra Leone, but women everywhere, who wake each morning with the belief that one day, life really will get better." Lee Karen Stow

Since February 2007, Lee Karen Stow has been working on an independent, evolving and long-term documentary photography and written study of women in Sierra Leone. The project is in collaboration with the women of Sierra Leone themselves.

Lee facilitates photography training for the women under her other project called 'Women with Cameras' (formerly Wilberforce Women). She also raises funds for the women to visit the UK for further skills' training and for their photography and computer equipment.

See Lee Karen Stow's website for further information and images.