Diamond Boys

Two veteran miners in western Liberia’s poorest county converse about the highs and lows of a lifetime spent searching for diamonds. Together, they reflect on the impact that civil war and post-war transition have had on their prospects.

Runtime: 17:09 mins

Main Credits

Director/Producer                 Jaremey McMullin

Camera                                  Matthew Hyndman

Editor                                     Jamie Loggie

Research Assistance              Kennedy K. Berrian



How do the veteran miners describe the impact of the Liberian conflict on the mining sector? To what extent do these impacts map onto academic and policy narratives about the relationship between natural resources and conflict?

How do the miners articulate their own development needs and the development needs of the artisanal mining sector in the film? What do their narratives say about how sustainability, development, and post-war reconstruction are understood?

How do the miners recount their life history in the sector? Which themes and events do they focus on? What is the emotional impact on the viewer of the miners’ story-telling?



Gavin Hilson (2019) ‘Why Is There a Large-scale Mining ‘Bias’ in Sub-Saharan Africa?’ Land Use Policy, 81, 852-861.

Silas Kpanan Ayoung Siakor and Ismaail Quiyim (2014) Liberia: Poverty in the Midst of Plenty: How Post-war Iron Ore Mining Is Failing to Meet Local People’s Expectations (Monrovia: Sustainable Development Institute).

Steven Van Bockstael (2014) ‘The Persistence of Informality? Perspectives on the Future of Artisanal Mining in Liberia,’ Futures, 62:A, 10-20.

Jaremey R. McMullin (2013) Ex-combatants and the Post-conflict State: Challenges of Reintegration (New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan). [Chapter 6 ‘Liberia: Reintegration 2.0?’ pp.197-232.]

Mariam Persson (2012) ‘Demobilized or Remobilized? Lingering Rebel Structures in Post-war Liberia,’ pp.101-110 in Mats Utas (ed) African Conflicts and Informal Power: Big Men and Networks (London: Zed Books).



Sustainable Development Institute (Liberia)