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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

Jason Florio Open Society Foundation – Instagram Takeover

Jason Florio Open Society Foundation Instagram Takeover - 'Gambia - Victims and Resisters of a Regime

Open Society Foundation Instagram Takeover – images ©Jason Florio 

Open Society Foundation Jason Florio – Instagram Takeover

 

Gambia – Victims and Resisters of a Regime’ #Portraits4PositiveChange.

 

‘Jason Florio shares his images from his ongoing series on citizens of the Gambia who were tortured under the regime of former President Yahya Jammeh, and who are now stepping forward and demanding justice.’  Open Society Foundation.

 

To read more about why we are doing this project – GoFundMe. And, see more from this ongoing series at floriophoto.com.

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

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

Available for assignments – Contact here

@jasonflorio / @floriotravels – Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio/Photojournalist – FB

Jason Florio – Photographer & Filmmaker

Jason Florio photographer and filmmaker website opnener

 

floriophoto.com

Jason Florio, photographer and filmmaker, originally from London, based from NYC for 18 years before relocating to The Gambia, West Africa, in 2013. Currently, living in Malta.

His focus has been 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.

Bangladeshi and Pakistani migrants wait to be evacuated from the fetid hold of a smuggler’s boat off the coast of Libya. © Jason Florio/MOAS. Photojournalism Series Winner, Magnum Photography Awards 2017.

Bangladeshi and Pakistani migrants wait to be evacuated from the fetid hold of a smuggler’s boat off the coast of Libya. © Jason Florio/MOAS. Photojournalism Series Winner, Magnum Photography Awards 2017.

He has produced images and documentaries for clients including The New York Times, Smithsonian, IRIN News, The New Yorker, Men’s, Journal, Outside, Bloomberg, Geographical, MIT Technology Review, PepsiCo, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International HIV/Aids Alliance, United Purpose, and the World Bank. He is a contributing editor for the Virginia Quarterly Review. – See more in ‘About‘ & ‘Press‘ on Florio’s website.

Currently, Florio is working on a long-term portrait project – The Gambia – Torture, Abuse, and Dissent

'Victims of Jammeh' The Gambia, West Africa - portraits by Jason Florio

‘Victims of Jammeh’ The Gambia, West Africa – portraits by Jason Florio

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November 2018

Available for assignments, worldwide

@jasonflorio / @floriotravels – Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio/Photojournalist – FB