Evocative photographic display opens tonight in Stoke Newington.

Photos of Zambia and Sierra Leone on display for “In Light In Shadow” - with percussion and reggae performances tonight

Evocative photos capturing every-day moments of courage, joy and beauty in war-torn Sierra Leone and of orphans from AIDS-stricken Zambia are on display in Stoke Newington.

Namvula Rennie, whose work has been published by the New York Times and the BBC, spent a year in Sierra Leone in 2005, three years after the 11-year war ended.

“It was an interesting time to be there in terms of people’s expectations and the amount of destruction that had been wrought on the country,” she said.

One of the images in her exhibition In Light In Shadow – currently on show in Open The Gate in Stoke Newington Road - captures Sierra Leonean war amputee Ibrahim training on Freetown beach.

Rebel soldiers had a policy of amputating civilians’ limbs during their campaign, and amputees have now set up football teams.

Namvula, who is half-Zambian, half-Scottish, said: “I spent time with child soldiers, and their experiences make you sick and angry - but my point is these are just people, and even though they’ve lived through these horrific experiences - where street children get raped - they are human beings.

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“I want to humanise and de-dramatise the way you view these people’s experiences.”

The free exhibition opens tonight and runs until Wednesday April 6.

A private view tonight (Thursday) at 6.30pm includes a performance by percussionist Adriano Adewale and reggae band Jah Club. Entry costs �5 or �3 for concessions.