photojournalism

Portraits of Victims and Resisters, The Gambia © Jason Florio

 

Gambia – Victims and Resisters of a Regime

#Portraits4PositiveChange Gambia

Portraits for Positive Change Gambia – Dodou Sanyang in the room of his recently deceased mother. She was one of over a thousand elderly people abducted on the order of the former president, Yahya Jammeh in 2009. Groups of Jammeh’s paramilitary troops along with his youth brigade, The Green Boys and ‘magicians’ from Guinea went from village to village as part of a nationwide hunt for witches.

The alleged witches were held for up to five days in secret locations and made to drink ‘Kubehjaro’, a hallucinogenic substance, and then forced to confess to witchcraft. Some were also severely beaten and robbed by their captors. Some died at the detention sites, and others like Sanyang’s mother suffered years of illness before dying. Many in Sanyang’s village believe the elderly there were not targeted for witchcraft, but because the village had been an opposition stronghold –  Essau, Northbank Division, The Gambia.

Portraits for Positive Change Gambia - Gambia Victims and Resisters of a Regime - Portraits4PositiveChange portraits ©Jason Florio, the Gambia

Gambia Victims and Resisters of a Regime – #Portraits4PositiveChange ©Helen Jones-Florio, the Gambia

Along with making the portraits, we have been filming testimonies with each of the victims, and resisters. Here we are with our Gambian fixer and translator, in Essau, Madi. Here’s how you can help make a change.

#Portraits4PositiveChange Gambia

From 1994 -2017 President Yahya Jammeh ruled the Gambia, West Africa, as his own personal fiefdom, crushing dissent, and opposition, with brutality.

“I will rule for a billion years if Allah wills it” Yahya Jammeh

His personal hit squad and intelligence agency carried out tortures, and assassinations with impunity – journalists were gunned down and disappeared, ministers were jailed, students shot in cold blood, and even his own brother and sister were murdered on his orders.

Yusupha Mbye - student shot during peaceful protest - Gambia Victims and Resisters of a Regime - Portraits4PositiveChange Portraits ©Jason Florio, the Gambia

Gambia Victims and Resisters of a Regime – Portraits4PositiveChange – Yusupha Mbye was shot by security forces whilst attending a student peaceful protest in 2000 when he was 18 years old. He was left paralyzed ©Jason Florio

With Jammeh’s 2016 election defeat, he went into exile after a standoff with regional forces, and the victims of his regime started to come forward.

 in Equatorial Guinea Deposed President Jammeh waves goodbye to followers who came to see him off from Banjul International Airport as he leaves for exile in Equatorial Guinea. Jammeh ruled the Gambia for 22 years ©Jason Florio, January 2017

Deposed President Yahya Jammeh waves goodbye to followers who came to see him off from Banjul International Airport as he leaves for exile in Equatorial Guinea, January 2017 © Jason Florio 

Gambia Has Decided
Ex-President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, Roots Homecoming Festival © Jason Florio

Then President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, Roots Homecoming Festival, 2014 © Jason Florio / Getty Images.

#Portraits4PositiveChange Gambia

To view more of the portraits and read the testimonies – florio@floriophoto.com

More updates, from the Gambia, coming soon

Jason Florio

 

Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

@jasonflorio / @floriotravels – Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio/Photojournalist – FB

‘Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime’ – Portraits by Jason Florio

 

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Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime

 

Gambia Victims and Resisters – Joy Conker Sonko was targeted by a Yahya Jammeh supporting policewoman when she was 14 years old because her family was supporters of the government opposition UDP party. She was dragged from her family home, beaten, and her head smashed against a car and then detained in a cell, without arrest, for 4 days… see more of this work-in-progress at floriophoto.com.

#Portraits4PositiveChange

From 1994 -2017 President Yahya Jammeh ruled the Gambia, West Africa, as his own personal fiefdom, crushing dissent, and opposition, with brutality.

His personal hit squad and intelligence agency carried out tortures, and assassinations with impunity – journalists were gunned down and disappeared, ministers were jailed, students shot in cold blood, and even his own brother and sister were murdered on his orders.

With Jammeh’s 2016 election defeat, he went into exile after a standoff with regional forces, and the victims of his regime started to come forward.

GambiaHasDecided

So far, over 1000 victims and their families have registered with the Gambia Centre for Human Rights Violations to share their stories and help build international support to bring Jammeh to justice

This is a work in progress in collaboration with the GCHRV.

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Gambia Victims and Resisters – Sankung Bilajo was one of over a thousand elders abducted on the orders of the former Gambian president, Yahya Jammeh in 2009. Groups of Jammeh’s paramilitary troops along with his youth brigade, The Green Boys and ‘magicians’ from Guinea went from village to village as part of a nationwide hunt for witches. The alleged witches were held for up to five days in secret locations and made to drink ‘Kubehjaro’, a hallucinogenic substance, and then forced to confess to witchcraft. Some were also severely beaten and robbed by their captors… see more at:

Portraits Gambia Victims Jason Florio

 

Please check out my GoFundMe page to see more about this series and how you can help to be part of #Portraits4PositiveChange. 

Wishing you all a happy and peaceful 2019

Jason Florio

Available for assignments – Contact here

@jasonflorio / @floriotravels – Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio/Photojournalist – FB

The Gambia – Photographer/filmmaker, Jason Florio, making #Portraits4PositiveChange

Portraits for Positive Change Gambia Jason Florio – Florio with victim of Jammeh. Yusupha Mbye image © Helen Jones-Florio

Jason Florio with Yusupha Mbye – making #Portraits4PositiveChange, the Gambia – image © Helen Jones-Florio

‘Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime’
#Portraits4PositiveChange

Portraits for Positive Change Gambia Jason Florio – on location, in The Gambia: Yesterday Florio photographed Yusepha, who was shot in the back by the Yahya Jammeh regime’s security forces, during a peaceful student protest in April 2000. He is paralyzed from the neck down. He was just 18 years old.

‘The APRIL 2000 GAMBIAN STUDENT MASSACRE was the killing of 14 people (and one accidental death) by Gambian police officers and soldiers on the 10 April 2000 at a student protest in Banjul, the Gambia.’

Please check out our GoFundMe page for more info on this project, or to donate/share.

Portraits for Positive Change Gambia Jason Florio : Jugana Susso, was arrested and detained during a peaceful demonstration by President Jammeh’s feared security services ©Jason Florio

Jugana Susso was arrested and detained during a peaceful demonstration by President Jammeh’s feared security services ©Jason Florio.

In a global political climate where authoritarian rule is on the rise – where autocratic leaders crush dissent, and opposition, with brutality and little or no regard for human rights – it is essential to keep telling the stories of those who suffered, and those who bravely resisted – who were often one and the same.

Your support – #Portraits4PositiveChange – will enable us to continue our work, to create an extensive body of portraits of the victims and resisters of the 22-year brutal dictatorship of the Yahya Jammeh’s regime, as a tool for positive change and advocacy… please read on to find out why this is so important… read more.

Mr Manneh holding a photo of his son, Chief Ebrima Manneh, a journalist, meeting President Jammeh,  who was murdered by his men. Image ©Jason Florio

Mr. Manneh holding a photo of his son, Chief Ebrima Manneh, a journalist, meeting President Yahya Jammeh, who was later murdered by Jammeh’s henchmen. Image ©Jason Florio

See more from this ongoing series of portraits at floriophoto.com.

 

 Dec 2018 – Jan 2019, I’ll be in The Gambia

To carry on ‘Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime

#Portraits4PositiveChange.

Please check out my GoFundMe page.

Available for assignments – Contact here

@jasonflorio / @floriotravels – Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio/Photojournalist – FB

Cast your vote for ‘A Blossom Pink World’, Guyana, in UK Charity Film Awards

A film by Jason Florio & Zane Dedlow for The International HIV/AIDS Alliance

Please cast your vote ‘A Blossom Pink World’, Guyana, in UK Charity Film Awards here.

The International HIV/AIDS Alliance has entered the UK Charity Film awards with a powerful film: ‘A Blossom Pink World’. The film highlights efforts to challenge laws in Guyana that criminalize transgender people and limit their access to effective HIV services.

 

Vote ‘A Blossom Pink World’, film, Guyana - Lorraine receives support from Guyana Trans United on legal and health issues © Jason Florio for the Alliance, Guyana transgender

Lorraine receives support from Guyana Trans United on legal and health issues © Jason Florio for the Alliance.

Update: Since shooting the film in Guyana

Guyana transgender law victory paves way for greater reform

A cross-dressing law used to criminalize transgender people in Guyana has been overturned by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in a judgment that could pave the way for local campaigners to challenge other discriminatory laws… read more on the Alliance website.

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 Heading back to West Africa,

late November 2018

To carry on ‘Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime‘ #Portraits4PositiveChange. Please check out my GoFundMe page.

Available for assignments

@jasonflorio / @floriotravels – Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio/Photojournalist – FB