On assignment: Photographer and filmmaker, Jason Florio, photographs a young returnee in her small shop in Bakoteh, The Gambia, West Africa. Image ©Helen Jones-Florio

On Assignment: The Gambia, West Africa – Jason Florio

February, 2021: Photographer & filmmaker, Jason Florio – On assignment in The Gambia. My current project is based around returnees, who left by ‘the backway’ to Libya but who have since returned to home. Documenting them – through film and photography – as they begin to rebuild their lives, with the support of the organisation, Catholic Relief Services.

President Adama Barrow of The Gambia arriving back to home crowds of well wishes estimated in the hundreds of thousands.© Jason Florio

On this day: Jan 26, 2017 – President Adama Barrow returns home to The Gambia, West Africa

Jan 26th, 2017: A triumphant, and momentous day for The Gambia, West Africa. Ten’s of thousands of euphoric Gambians lined the streets for miles – and miles! (an estimated over 100,000 Gambians flocked the main road) – to welcome home their new president, Adama Barrow. Due to potential security risks, Barrow had briefly exiled himself to neighbouring Senegal, where he was inaugurated at the Gambian Embassy, Dakar.

Female APRC party Supporters of the ex-president Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia wait at Banjul airport to say goodbye him as he leaves Gambia for exile in Guinee. He lost the election to Adama Barrow on December 2nd 2016 but refused to step down until today. Image ©Jason Florio

Jan 21st 2017: Gambia Has Decided. The day the ex-President, Yahya Jammeh, finally left.

On December 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.