Experience West Africa Through the Eyes of Blogger Archel Bernard
It’s no secret that Liberia is a third world country working to enhance its image. With the recent conviction of its former president Charles Taylor, it’s time to “experience West Africa in a whole new way through the fun, fresh, and exciting lens of blogger and designer Archel Bernard at itsarchel.com.”
Liberia, comprised of a lush rain forest that blankets the southernmost part of West Africa, boasts of being under the leadership of Africa’s first female president, H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Harvard-trained economist. Africa’s first democratically elected female head of state took office in 2006 and was inaugurated to her second term in January 2012. Recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Sirleaf was commended for her leadership in promoting economic and social development, peace and women’s rights in Africa.
Here, blogger Archel Bernard discusses how you can experience Liberia through the eyes of a twenty-something culture maker. Born and raised in the U. S., after college Archel packed her bags and moved to Liberia, the country her parents fled because of war. The experience has been one amazing adventure after another and Archel helps to shed light on this beautiful land of inspiration and creativity. As a designer and blogger, Archel paints a unique picture of appreciation for the region. –yvette caslin
Why is important to share your country with the rest of the world?
It’s important to have the website because it really gives an inside look into the designing process, which shows facets of working in a third world country that is rebuilding after war. The site really personalizes the experience and brings deeper meaning to the clothes and other goods available in the shop. Not only is Liberia recovering from war, but we are also trying to create a space for ourselves in industries like fashion and digital media. It’s also where multi-millionaire and BET founder, Robert Johnson, established a four-star hotel a few years ago because of the importance he saw in the link between Liberians and African Americans. It’s called RLJ Kendeja Resort and Suites.
Now, with tribal prints becoming so popular with European designers, it’s important that people know that Africans design very stylish wardrobes, and have been doing so on their own for years. Whether you’re looking for the latest in culture, fashion, or development, ItsArchel.com provides a unique insider perspective on what’s happening in the western corner of Africa.
Why should Americans be made aware of Liberia’s culture?
African Americans especially should know about Liberia because Liberians have the closest direct link to them. After slavery ended, the resettlement effort led by Marcus Garvey led thousands of African American slaves to settle in Liberia and established the country as an independent African nation.
What are some of the changes in Liberia that you’ve witnessed since you’ve become an adult?
At one point in time, Liberia was the most advanced African nation, proving that colonialism wasn’t necessary for African countries. War has moved Liberia backwards in many ways, but through the ashes may come a new, stylish, and [conscientious] class of citizens willing to find new ways to impact the fashion and digital media industries.