Tag Archives: human rights

Gambia Photography Exhibition opening night: ‘Portraits to Remember’ -victims, and resisters

Dr. Baba Galleh Jallow – executive secretary of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), The Gambia. Image © Jason Florio


March 5th, 2019 – opening night of ‘Portraits to Remember’ at the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations, the Gambia.

Jason Florio’s portraits, featured in the exhibition, are part of an on-going body of work which began over two years ago when he photographed Gambians who had exiled themselves, in fear of their lives, from the brutal regime of former Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh.

Victim of rape and beatings by Gambian security forces, The Gambia - portrait by Jason Florio
Bintu was detained for five days, beaten and raped by three masked security officers at the Gambia Police Intervention Unit (PIU) HQ, after being arrested during a May 9th 2016 rally to demand the release of illegally detained protesters from previous rallies held on April 15th/16th, 2016. When asked if she would prefer that we keep her identity anonymous her adamant reply was “No, this was done to me, and I want justice…these men should be punished” From the series ‘Gambia – Victims and Resisters of a Regime‘ ©Jason Florio

’Gambia – Victims and Resisters of a Regime’

Oumie Jagne  was shot twice in the arm by Gambian security forces during a peacful protests by students on April 10th 2000, who were demanding justice after a soldier raped a young student. She was a shop keeper working near by when the shooting happened and rushed to help her sister, a student who had been shot in the foot. Now she relies on her husband Lamin to cook and wash as she has no strength in her arm portrait © Jason Florio
Oumie Jagne – portrait © Jason Florio

Oumie Jagne was shot twice in the arm by former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh’s security forces after she was caught up in student protests in April 10/11 2000. She was at her small shop when the shooting of unarmed students began and attempted to help a young girl who had been shot in the foot. While pulling the girl to safety, Oumie was fired upon and suffered life-changing injuries, almost severing her left arm. She is one of hundreds
of victims registered at the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations.

#Portraits4PositiveChange

Opening night photography exhibition – portraits by Jason Florio. Image ©Jason Florio
Kafo Bayo (pictured below, at the exhibition opening night, seated below his portrait) was part of the April 14th, 2016 peaceful protest lead by Solo Sandeng for electoral reform. Bayo along with a number of other demonstrators was held for eight months subjected to torture and abuse by President Jammeh’s security forces, including being bound face down on a table and beaten by masked men Former seaman, masoner and political activist Kafo Bayo was arrested, tortured and jailed at Mile 2 prison after being arrested during the April 14th 2016 protests for electoral reform in the Gambia. From the series ‘Gambia – Victims and Resisters of a Regime‘  © Jason Florio

 ‘Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime’

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. 

Journalist wearing a t-shirt with the face of assassinated journalist and co-founder of The Point newspaper Deyda Hydara. Hydara was an advocate of press freedom and a fierce critic of the government of President Yahya Jammeh, who was openly hostile to Gambian journalists and the media. Hydara was gunned down by assailants in his car as he was returning from work in 2004. From the series ‘Gambia – Victims and Resisters of a Regime‘  ©Jason Florio
Helen Jones-Florio talks with representatives of TRIAL International at the exhibition opening night, about her work on the portrait project with Jason. Image © 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.

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

Opening night photography exhibition: Three of the subjects of – Jason Florio’s portraits. Image ©Jason Florio

For three days I did not know who I was…where I was. My clothes, they looked like, you know, like a butchers… (covered in blood) Kafo Bayo

Left: Photographer, Jason Florio, with some of the victims and resister who are portrayed in his photography on exhibit. Image © Helen Jones-Florio.
Ya Mammie Ceesay stands next to Jason Florio’s portrait of her. Image © Jason Florio.

Ya Mammie Ceesay, mother of disappeared Gambian-American businessman Alhaji Mamut Ceesay. Alhaji returned to the Gambia in 2013 with his friend Ebou Jobe to set up a business, but they were allegedly robbed of their money by National Intelligence Agency heads, who later told President Jammeh the businessmen were in the Gambia to overthrow his regime. The two were then allegedly murdered on Jammeh’s command

Sharon Wardle, the British High Commissioner to The Gambia, with Ayeshah Jammeh (also one of the subjects of Jason Florio’s portraits of victims and resisters of a regime), one of the founder of the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations. Image ©Jason Florio.


They say a picture is worth a thousand words – compelling images & personal accounts at the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations – “Portraits to Remember” exhibition. Sharon Wardle, British High Commissioner to The Gambia

To see more from Jason Florio’s series, please visit the website ‘Gambia – Victims and Resisters of a Regime‘, a work-in-progress with Helen Jones-Florio.





Jason Florio’s work is towards under-reported stories about people living on the margins of society and human rights. His work has been recognised with a number of awards, including The Magnum Photography Award 2017 for his work on migration. He was the first recipient of the Aperture Foundation grant to produce Aperture’s first ever assigned story, ‘This is Libya’. His work is held in a number of public and private collections and has been presented in solo and joint exhibitions in USA, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

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2019 – Currently working on

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime

#Portraits4PositiveChange

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Helen Jones-Florio & Jason Florio, standing in front of the banner for the exhibition, outside the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations, the Gambia. Image by Buba Bah.

Jan 19, 2017- The new president of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, inauguration, Senegal, West Africa

President Adama Barrow’s inauguration day Image © Jason Florio, Bakau, The Gambia, 2017

19th January 2017: Wally Sanyang and his friends watching the inauguration on T.V. of their new president, Adama Barrow, who is in the Gambian Embassy in Dakar, Senegal. Meanwhile, ex-president, Yahya Jammeh, refuses to cede power and remains in the State House in the Gambian capital of Banjul. ECOWAS troops, from neighboring West African countries, enter the country to help prevent a coup by Gambian troops loyal to Jammeh

GambiaHasDecided

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A Red Cross coordinator, two days after dictator, Yahya Jammeh, fled into exile, holding The Daily Observer, showing the front page depicting the news of Adama Barrow’s inauguration – which took place at the Gambian Embassy in Dakar, in neighbouring Senegal, because the authorities felt the country was not secure enough for Barrow to return.

February 18th, 2017: President Adama Barrow’s arrival to the Independence Stadium, Bakau, for his inauguration, The Gambia ©Helen Jones-Florio

An incredible day in the history of The Gambia, West Africa – February 18th, 2017. A rapturous welcome, and a time of hope – after the 22-year dictatorial rule of Yayha Jammeh –  as tens of thousands of Gambians, welcome home their new president, Adama Barrow who, when the ousted Jammeh refused to step down, for his own safety exiled himself to neighbouring Senegal.

Happy Independence Day to The Gambia, and the Gambians!

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Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

2019 – Currently working on

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime

#Portraits4PositiveChange

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Jason Florio – Vimeo

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Gambia Portraits of Victims and Resisters of a Regime © Jason Florio

 

Gambia Portraits © Jason Florio - Ebrima Jabang, Tujering, The Gambia - In april 2016 Jabang was tortured by Yahya Jammeh's dictatorial regime

Gambia Portraits © Jason Florio – Ebrima Jabang, Tujering, The Gambia, West Africa

 

Gambia portraits – Ebrima Jabang, age 64, was arrested along with the opposition activist, Solo Sandeng, during the April 14th 2016 peaceful protest for electoral reform. He was taken to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters, tied face down on a table and tortured by Yahya Jammeh’s personal hit squad, the Junglers, permanently losing the sight in is right eye among other internal injuries. Jabang said that he could hear the screams of Solo Sandeng, who was being tortured in another room. Sandeng died on the same day, as a result of being tortured.

Gambia Portraits - Fatoumatta Sandeng, daughter of murdered activist, Solo Sandeng, whilst she was in exile in Dakar Senegal © Jason Florio

Gambia Portraits – Fatoumatta Sandeng, daughter of murdered activist, Solo Sandeng, whilst she was in exile in Senegal © Jason Florio.

Gambia – Victims and Resisters of a Regime

A Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) began in January 2019, in The Gambia, to investigate ex-president, Yahya Jammeh’s, 22-year authoritarian rule whereby mass human rights violations took place. A momentous, and historical, time for the Gambia, and Gambians to be able to speak so freely once again. For the past two years, we have had the privilege of being able to photograph and film the testimonies of victims, and resisters of the Jammeh regime

#GambiaHasDecided

If you would like to be part of #Portraits4PositiveChange, please check out our GoFundMe page.

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Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

2019 – Currently working on

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime

#Portraits4PositiveChange

floriophoto.com

@jasonflorio / @floriotravels – Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

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January 26, 2017 – The new president of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, arrives home. Images © Jason Florio

 

January 26, 2017

Welcome home, Mr. President!

A new era for The Gambia, West Africa

President Adama Barrow returns, Gambia - arrives back into the country after his self-imposed exile in Senegal © jason_florio-9706

President Adama Barrow of The Republic of The Gambia © Jason Florio .

President Adama Barrow returns, Gambia

‘A new era for The Gambia – President Adama Barrow arrives home from a brief exile in Senegal. Tens of thousands lined the road from the airport – it took 4 hours to make a journey that normally would take only a quarter of an hour… it was worth every minute.’ Jason Florio

#GambiaHasDecided

President Adama Barrow returns, Gambia - 100's of 1000's of people welcome back their new President, Adama Barrow, of the Republic of The Gambia © Jason Florio

Hundreds of thousands of people welcome back their new President, Adama Barrow, of the Republic of The Gambia © Jason Florio.

On Dec 1st, 2016 the Gambian people voted out their autocratic President Yahya Jammeh, after 22 years in power, and elected Adama Barrow as their new president. Jammeh conceded defeat, but a week later announced that he was annulling the election results and would not step down. A grassroots movement #GambiaHasDecided emerged in reaction.

Shortly after Gambia's new President, Adama Barrow was sworn into office in the Gambian Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, supporters gathered at West Field Junction in the Gambian commercial hub of Serrekunda. The ex-president, Yahya Jammeh, is just a few kilometers away in the island capital of Banjul refusing to step down. Image © Jason Florio

17th January 2017 – Shortly after Gambia’s new President, Adama Barrow was sworn into office in the Gambian Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, supporters gathered at West Field Junction in the Gambian commercial hub of Serrekunda. The ex-president, Yahya Jammeh, is just a few kilometers away in the island capital of Banjul refusing to step down. Image © Jason Florio.

 

Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

2019 – Currently working on

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime#Portraits4PositiveChange

floriophoto.com

@jasonflorio / @floriotravels – Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio/Photojournalist – FB