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Jason Florio – Finalist Portrait Awards 2019 LensCulture ‘The Gambia: Victims and Resisters’

Finalist Portrait Awards 2019 LensCulture ‘The Gambia: Victims and Resisters’ – Portraits © Jason Florio

The Gambia: Victims and Resisters

JASON FLORIO

Finalist 
Portrait Awards 2019 – LensCulture

Great news – my ongoing project in collaboration with Helen Jones-Florio , victims and resisters of the former Gambian regime under Yahya Jammeh, made the Finalists in the LensCulture Portrait Awards 2019. Big congratulations to all the other Winners, Jurors’ Picks, Finalists and thanks to LensCulture and the esteemed jurors.

Jason Florio – making #Portraits4PositiveChange, the Gambia – image, Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio
Jason Florio meets Mustapha, who was shot in the back during peaceful student protests, in the Gambia, April 2000 – making #Portraits4PositiveChange, the Gambia – image © Helen Jones-Florio

The Gambia, West Africa is a popular winter-sun holiday destination for Europeans. But, most tourists know very little about the dark and shattered underbelly of ‘The Smiling Coast of Africa,’ as the Gambia is fondly called. From 1994 to 2017, President Yahya Jammeh ruled the Gambia as his own fiefdom, crushing dissent and opposition with brutality… read more/LensCulture.

24-year-old, Amie, a kindergarten teacher was part of a peaceful protest in 2016 when she was picked up by members of the former Gambian president, Yahya Jammeh’s, security forces. She was held incommunicado for 10 days at one of their detention sites. She was subjected to beatings with steel pipes and regularly doused in freezing water. One of her fellow protestors was subjected not only to the beatings but to gang rape by three masked police officers…

#Portraits4PositiveChange

Amie Bayo - portrait, The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio 'Gambia - Victims and Resisters of a Regime',
Amie Bayo – portrait © Jason Florio ‘Gambia – Victims and Resisters of a Regime


See more from this on-going series on Florio’s website

Watch the short documentary, about Gambia’s human rights defenders, made for Amnesty International, ‘We Never Gave Up – stories of courage in Gambia’

Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

April 2019 – Currently working in The Gambia on:

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime

#Portraits4PositiveChangefloriophoto.com

@jasonflorioio / @floriotravels – Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio/Photojournalist – FB

Victims of Jammeh – portraits by Jason Florio

13 year old Bintu looking at a picture on her phone of Lamin Tunkara, the father she never met© Jason Florio

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters of a regime’

Bintu – the 13-year-old daughter of Adama Conteh and Lamin Tunkara. Adama was 7 Months pregnant with Bintu and married less than a year when Lamin was murdered in July 2005. He was part of a group of more than 50 Ghanaians and other West African migrants bound for Europe killed by Gambian security forces, known as the Junglers, who accused the migrants  of being mercenaries who wanted to overthrow President Yahya Jammeh.


“The West African migrants weren’t murdered by rogue elements, but by a paramilitary death squad taking orders from Gambia’s President Jammeh,” said Reed Brody, counsel at Human Rights Watch. “Jammeh’s subordinates then destroyed key evidence to prevent international investigators from learning the truth.” HRW.


Shortly before his murder, Lamin was arrested and moved from one police station to another. At each of the two stations, his wife was allowed, each day, to take him food. However, around a week into his detention, Lamin suddenly disappeared from the second police station.  A heavily pregnant Adama went to every police station, and prison in the Gambia, looking for him –  ‘no one knows him here’, she was repeatedly told. “I did not eat or wash for one week…my family was worried (for the health of her unborn child)”. She searched for Lamin for over a year – “he loved me, he took care of me…I could not believe the rumors that he was dead”. She even went to the feared National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters and was warned off  – ‘go home if you do not want any trouble…stay and you will have trouble’.

#Portraits4PositiveChange

Thirteen years later, Ghanaian, Martin Kyere, the sole known survivor of the 2005 massacre, returned to the Gambia for the first time since the killings to tell Adama what had happened to her husband, Lamin. It was only then that she, and Lamin’s father, fully accepted that Lamin was dead.

Words by Helen Jones-Florio

Jason Florio photographs Adama Conteh and her daughter, Bintu, the Gambia, West Africa ©Helen Jones-Florio

Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

March 2019 – Currently working on

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime‘ in The Gambia, West Africa

#Portraits4PositiveChange

floriophoto.com

@jasonflorio / @floriotravels – Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio/Photojournalist – FB

Instagram – Jason Florio, photographer/filmmaker

Follow on Instagram @jasonflorio

Award-winning, photojournalist & filmmaker, Jason Florio, currently in the Gambia, West Africa – working on ‘Gambia-victims and resisters of a regime#Portraits4PositiveChange


Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

floriophoto.com

@jasonflorio / @floriotravels – Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio/Photojournalist – FB

athousandwordphotos – photograph by Jason Florio / words by Harry Gallon

'Sea Clouds Cuba' © Jason Florio - fine art photography prints avaIlable from helenjonesflorio.com gallery
‘Sea Clouds Cuba’ © Jason Florio – fine art photography prints avaIlable from helenjonesflorio.com gallery

On the way down he spoke about all the things he wanted to show her. All the things he had seen and all the things he had done and all the rocks he had climbed and the pools he had dived into. The carragheen and the gutweed. The limpets and anemones. Shipwrecks and catfish heads and stories about sea mines washed ashore overnight.
    ‘Have you ever seen a blowhole?’ he asked her
… ‘Embayments’ read the full piece by Harry Gallon / athousandword. / Image © Jason Florio

Follow on IG @a1000wordphotos.

A Thousand Word Photos
Short Stories Inspired by Photographs

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@jasonflorio / @floriotravels – Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio/Photojournalist – FB