UK photographer to visit university Nov. 9-11

stow1Lee Karen Stow, photographer from Hull, England, will visit Shippensburg University Nov. 9 to 11 in conjunction with the display of her award-winning photographic exhibition, “Women of Sierra Leone, 42,” in Ezra Lehman Memorial Library gallery Nov. 1 to 29.

The series of events is sponsored by the communication/journalism department, Lehman Library, the Women’s and Gender Studies Minor and aided by a grant from the Commission on Human Understanding.

Two the public events will take place on campus during her visit.

At 7 p.m. Nov. 10 in Old Main Chapel, Stow will give a presentation and discussion of her work. An artist reception will be in Lehman Library gallery from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 11. Both of these events are free and open to the public.

Stow began her work in Sierra Leone in 2007. She chose that country because Freetown, that nation’s capitol city is twin (or sister) city to her hometown of Hull. Also, when she began her project, the average life span of a woman in this extremely poor country was 42. Stow turned 42 a year into the project.

The photographs involve women and children survivors of the recent civil war in Sierra Leone. Stow’s photographs and speaking engagstow2ements focus raising awareness of the fact that the life expectancy in Sierra Leone is about half of that of people living in western Industrialized countries.

In addition to photographing and staying among the people in Freetown and its surrounding villages, she taught many of the women photographic and media skills as a means of empowerment and so they can tell their own stories, advocate for positive change and earn an income from their skills.

Stow will also visit with students in various classes during her three-day stay.

A preview of her work is available at