Cover shot ©Jason Florio for FD Persoonlijk Magazine

Editorial Cover shot © Jason Florio for FD Persoonlijk Magazine 'Environment & Climate - the resurrection of Han Stiphout'
Cover shot © Jason Florio for FD Persoonlijk Magazine ‘Environment & Climate – the resurrection of Han Stiphout’

Ten years ago Han Stiphout (64) had two castles in Limberg and a bid for his company of more €20 million. Just before the sale, he went bankrupt. Now he is picking up again and building recycling plants in The Gambia and Senegal words by Hella Hueck / FD Persoonlijk Magazine – all images © Jason Florio

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April 2019 – Currently working in The Gambia on:

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime

#Portraits4PositiveChange

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Jason Florio – Finalist Portrait Awards 2019 LensCulture ‘The Gambia: Victims and Resisters’

Finalist Portrait Awards 2019 LensCulture ‘The Gambia: Victims and Resisters’ – Portraits © Jason Florio

The Gambia: Victims and Resisters

JASON FLORIO

Finalist 
Portrait Awards 2019 – LensCulture

Great news – my ongoing project in collaboration with Helen Jones-Florio , victims and resisters of the former Gambian regime under Yahya Jammeh, made the Finalists in the LensCulture Portrait Awards 2019. Big congratulations to all the other Winners, Jurors’ Picks, Finalists and thanks to LensCulture and the esteemed jurors.

Jason Florio – making #Portraits4PositiveChange, the Gambia – image, Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio
Jason Florio meets Mustapha, who was shot in the back during peaceful student protests, in the Gambia, April 2000 – making #Portraits4PositiveChange, the Gambia – image © Helen Jones-Florio

The Gambia, West Africa is a popular winter-sun holiday destination for Europeans. But, most tourists know very little about the dark and shattered underbelly of ‘The Smiling Coast of Africa,’ as the Gambia is fondly called. From 1994 to 2017, President Yahya Jammeh ruled the Gambia as his own fiefdom, crushing dissent and opposition with brutality… read more/LensCulture.

24-year-old, Amie, a kindergarten teacher was part of a peaceful protest in 2016 when she was picked up by members of the former Gambian president, Yahya Jammeh’s, security forces. She was held incommunicado for 10 days at one of their detention sites. She was subjected to beatings with steel pipes and regularly doused in freezing water. One of her fellow protestors was subjected not only to the beatings but to gang rape by three masked police officers…

#Portraits4PositiveChange

Amie Bayo - portrait, The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio 'Gambia - Victims and Resisters of a Regime',
Amie Bayo – portrait © Jason Florio ‘Gambia – Victims and Resisters of a Regime


See more from this on-going series on Florio’s website

Watch the short documentary, about Gambia’s human rights defenders, made for Amnesty International, ‘We Never Gave Up – stories of courage in Gambia’

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April 2019 – Currently working in The Gambia on:

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime

#Portraits4PositiveChangefloriophoto.com

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River Gambia Expedition – featured in Safari254

SAFARI254 - The source of the River Gambia, Fouta Djallon Highlands, Guinea-Conakry ©Jason Florio
SAFARI254 – The source of the River Gambia, Fouta Djallon Highlands, Guinea-Conakry ©Jason Florio

My wife, Helen Jones-Florio, and I co-led the first recorded source-to-sea expedition along the length of River Gambia, from its humble source in the remote highlands of Guinea, through Senegal and into The Gambia where it widens to nearly 14km and exits into the Atlantic Ocean. We teamed up with two old Gambian friends, Abdou Ndong a fisherman and Ebou Jarju a school teacher, as our river guide and translator… Jason Florio / Safari254.com

Generator transport A team punt a raft carrying a water pump that will be used to irrigate banana plantations that flank the river banks in Senegal
SAFARI254 – A team punt a raft carrying a water pump that will be used to irrigate banana plantations that flank the river banks in Senegal © Jason Florio

The expedition took two months to cover the 1044km from source-to-sea…

The River Gambia – source to sea map ©Jason Florio

Read the full feature – see more images – at Safari254.com

We made it! The River Gambia Expedition team reach the Atlantic Ocean (on Jason's birthday!), The Gambia, West Africa, Jan 21st 2013
We made it! The River Gambia Expedition team reach the Atlantic Ocean (on Jason’s birthday!), The Gambia, West Africa, Jan 21st 2013

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March-April 2019 – Currently working on

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime‘ in The Gambia, West Africa

#Portraits4PositiveChange

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Victims of Jammeh – portraits by Jason Florio

13 year old Bintu looking at a picture on her phone of Lamin Tunkara, the father she never met© Jason Florio

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters of a regime’

Bintu – the 13-year-old daughter of Adama Conteh and Lamin Tunkara. Adama was 7 Months pregnant with Bintu and married less than a year when Lamin was murdered in July 2005. He was part of a group of more than 50 Ghanaians and other West African migrants bound for Europe killed by Gambian security forces, known as the Junglers, who accused the migrants  of being mercenaries who wanted to overthrow President Yahya Jammeh.


“The West African migrants weren’t murdered by rogue elements, but by a paramilitary death squad taking orders from Gambia’s President Jammeh,” said Reed Brody, counsel at Human Rights Watch. “Jammeh’s subordinates then destroyed key evidence to prevent international investigators from learning the truth.” HRW.


Shortly before his murder, Lamin was arrested and moved from one police station to another. At each of the two stations, his wife was allowed, each day, to take him food. However, around a week into his detention, Lamin suddenly disappeared from the second police station.  A heavily pregnant Adama went to every police station, and prison in the Gambia, looking for him –  ‘no one knows him here’, she was repeatedly told. “I did not eat or wash for one week…my family was worried (for the health of her unborn child)”. She searched for Lamin for over a year – “he loved me, he took care of me…I could not believe the rumors that he was dead”. She even went to the feared National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters and was warned off  – ‘go home if you do not want any trouble…stay and you will have trouble’.

#Portraits4PositiveChange

Thirteen years later, Ghanaian, Martin Kyere, the sole known survivor of the 2005 massacre, returned to the Gambia for the first time since the killings to tell Adama what had happened to her husband, Lamin. It was only then that she, and Lamin’s father, fully accepted that Lamin was dead.

Words by Helen Jones-Florio

Jason Florio photographs Adama Conteh and her daughter, Bintu, the Gambia, West Africa ©Helen Jones-Florio

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March 2019 – Currently working on

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime‘ in The Gambia, West Africa

#Portraits4PositiveChange

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