Jason Florio

The Gambia – All eyes are on the TRRC Live TV

Gambians watch the Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission, live on TV © Jason Florio, The Gambia, West Africa
Gambians watch the Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission, live on TV. Image © Jason Florio, The Gambia, West Africa

The Gambia – everywhere you go, all eyes are on the TRRC live TV

The TRRC is an independent Gambian institution mandated to conduct research and investigations into human rights violations committed under the presidency of Yahya Jammeh. The Commission further aims to prevent a repetition of the violations and abuses suffered under the past regime by making recommendations to government and citizens aimed at ensuring the crimes of the past never recur in The Gambia. TRRC

Gambians watch the Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission, live on TV © Jason Florio, The Gambia, West Africa
All over the Gambia, Gambians watch the Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission, live on TV. Image © Jason Florio, The Gambia, West Africa

#NeverAgainGambia

Gambians watch the Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission, live on TV © Jason Florio, The Gambia, West Africa
Gambians watch the Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission, live on TV. Image © Jason Florio, The Gambia, West Africa

The TRRC is currently hearing the testimonies of the victims of the 2009 witch hunts when over 1000 elders were abducted on the orders of then-President Yahya Jammeh. Paramilitary troops accompanied by ‘magicians’ from Guinea went from village to village as part of a nationwide hunt for witches. The alleged witches were made to drink ‘Kubehjaro’, a hallucinogenic substance, and then forced to confess to witchcraft. A number of people died during the ordeal, due to drinking the liquid and as a result of severe beatings, and several deaths followed due to health complications, such as kidney failure.

Portrait of Sankung Balajo - victims of President Yahya Jammeh's witch hunts, The Gambia, in 2009 © Jason Florio
Sankung Balajo, Essau – victims of President Yahya Jammeh’s witch hunts, The Gambia. Image© Jason Florio

“I was kept for five days. When they forced me to take the medicine (‘Kubehjaro’ a hallucinogenic substance), I could no longer stand up… I fell down on the ground… ” excerpt from Sankung Balajo’s interview with Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio: ‘Gambia – victims, and resisters

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’
#Portraits4PositiveChange

Photographer and filmmaker, Jason Florio, films victims of 2009 witch hunts, which took place in The Gambia, West Africa
Photographer and filmmaker, Jason Florio, films a victim of 2009 witch hunts (in the village of Essau) which took place in The Gambia, West Africa. Image ©Helen Jones-Florio #Portraits4PositiveChange

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Podcast Jason Florio – ‘9/11 To African Stories’

Podcast Jason Florio – ‘9/11 To African Stories’ – listen to the interview with Neale James/Breathe Pictures

I met with Jason Florio in The Gambia in 2018 along with his creative, business and actual life partner, Helen Jones-Florio. It was a serendipitous meeting, well for me at least, as I was in West Africa involved in the recording of a political short documentary. We sat in a restaurant one evening by a beach close to the couples’ Gambian home discussing how Jason came to make his transition from the non-stop vibe of commercial photographic work in New York, to what at face value seemed an altogether slower pace of life on a continent four thousand miles from Manhattan.Neale James/Breath Pictures

Podcast Jason Florio – listen here

Podcast Jason Florio – images by the award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker – interview with Neale James/Breathe Pictures
Podcast Jason Florio – images by the award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker – interview with Neale James/Breathe Pictures

Talking about his work in The Gambia, West Africa, as a photojournalist “The newspapers, and journalists, had a very hard time, under 22 years of Yahya Jammeh’s dictatorial rule. Journalists were gunned down…Deyda Hydara, was a very famous journalist who owned The Point newspaper, he was assassinated back in 2004. Chief Ebrima Manneh, another journalist that was ‘disappeared’… never to reappear. Journalists were tortured…” Jason Florio

Podcast Jason Florio – listen here

Youtube: 9-11 the day The Towers fell, Jason Florio’s story

Podcast Jason Florio To quote from his website biography, Jason Florio’s focus has been on ‘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 raw pictorial stories on migration. It’s little wonder that photographs of his reside in a number of public and private collections and his solo and joint exhibitions worldwide have been greeted by awe, enthusiasm, and celebrationNeale James/Breathe Pictures

Podcast Jason Florio – listen here

Check out Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio’s collaborative, on-going, multi-media portrait series:

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters‘

 #Portraits4PositiveChange

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Creating a Movement – United Purpose, NGO. A a short film by Jason Florio and Zane Dedlow

This film showcases how United Purpose has created a movement to end open defecation in Nigeria using an approach called Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS). A short film by Jason Florio / Zane Dedlow

In Nigeria, less than half of all households have their own toilet and one in four of the 2 million population still defecate in the open – United Purpose

Creating a Movement – a short film by Jason Florio and Zane Dedlow. The film showcases how United Purpose has created a movement to end open defecation in Nigeria using an approach called Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS). This harnesses the shock and shame generated by communities’ realisation of their own sanitation and hygiene situation and turns it into transformative action across entire regions.

Polio victim Lawrence Itsu of Bisu ward constructed his own toilet after his community was triggered, Nigeria. Image © Jason Florio /United Purpose

Polio Victim, Lawrence Itsu, of Bisu ward constructed his own toilet after his community was triggered. He is a shoemaker, teacher and also offers computer services in his village. He is married with five children.

Assignment queries and image licensing – Contact here

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floriophotoNYC – Twitter

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Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow Testifies Before the TRRC, The Gambia

Fatou 'Toufah' Jallow testifies before the TRRC about being raped by ex-president Yahya Jammeh, The Gambia. Image © Jason Florio
Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow testifies before the TRRC, The Gambia. Image © Jason Florio


“The most powerful man in the Gambia, who am I for anybody to listen to, to believe me, and where do I say this, and when do I say it? What do I expect is going to happen?

This did not happen…this did not happen…this did not happen…BUT, that is what happened on the night Yahya Jammeh raped me, and how he did it” – Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow testifies before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, The Gambia

Young Gambian men watching Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow testify before the TRRC on TV in a bar in Kololi, The Gambia. Image © Jason Florio

#IAMTOUFAH

Fatou 'Toufah' Jallow testifies before the TRRC about being raped by ex-president Yayha Jammeh, The Gambia. Image © Jason Florio
Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow testifies before the TRRC, The Gambia. Image © Jason Florio

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

#Portraits4PositiveChange


Jason Florio is currently, in The Gambia, West Africa – Assignment queries

and image licensing – Contact here

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