photojournalism

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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@jasonflorio / @floriotravels  / @jasonflorio_photoprints– Instagram

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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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Assignment queries and image licensing – Contact here

floriophoto.com

@jasonflorio / @floriotravels  / @jasonflorio_photoprints– Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo / Motion

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio Photojournalist – FB

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Billboard Gambia Victims and Resisters – images ©Jason Florio

Billboard Gambia victims and resisters,TRRC ©Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio #Portraits4PositiveChange
Billboard Gambia victims and resisters ©Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio #Portraits4PositiveChange

‘The TRRC is not a court of law. It cannot prosecute or give amnesty. It can only recommend for prosecution or the granting of amnesty’

Billboard Gambia Victims and Resisters – huge thanks to the British High Commission Banjul, the Truth Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission (TRRC), and UNDPGambia, for their support, through these portraits and collected testimonies, on sharing the plight of the victims of the former Yahya Jammeh Regime

‘Gambia – victims, and Resisters’

See more of this on-going, multi-media, body of work at floriophoto.com. A collaboration with Helen Jones-Florio

#Portraits4PositiveChange

Victim of rape and beatings by Gambian security forces, The Gambia - portrait by Jason Florio
Bintu Nyabally was detained for five days, beaten and raped by three masked security officers at the Gambia Police Intervention Unit (PIU) HQ ©Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio From the series ‘Gambia – Victims and Resisters of a Regime’

“No, this was done to me, and I want justice…
these men should be punished” Bintu, victim of rape whilst in police custody

‘Bintu Nyabally 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’

'Portraits for Positive Change' exhibition booklet ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio
#NeverAgain booklet, printed for the British High Commission exhibition, May 2019 ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio
Interviewing Ghanaian, Martin Kyere, sole survivor of the 2005 massacre of migrants in the Gambia ©Jason Florio
Interviewing Ghanaian, Martin Kyere, in Ghana – the sole survivor of a massacre that took place in The Gambia. Image © Jason Florio

Interviewing sole survivor of a massacre, Ghanaian, Martin Kyere. Martin was one of a group of over 50 West African migrants, who were endeavouring to reach Europe when the boat they boarded in Senegal veered off course and landed in The Gambia… read more

#NeverAgainGambia

Le Monde - #Portraits4PositiveChange Former deputy sheriff, Alagie Sonko was imprisoned after denouncing corruption in his service. ©Jason Florio
Le Monde Afrique – Former deputy sheriff, Alagie Sonko, was imprisoned after denouncing corruption in his service. ©Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio

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

and image licensing – Contact here

floriophoto.com

@jasonflorio / @floriotravels  / @jasonflorio_photoprints– Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio Photojournalist – FB

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GAMBIA: Top Leader in 1994 Coup Testifies before the TRRC. Image ©Jason Florio/JusticeInfo.net

Image © Jason Florio - The Gambia, Edward Singhateh, former Defense Minister, testifies before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, Oct 2019.
In a much-attended hearing before the Gambia Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission, former military junta number 2, Edward Singhateh, admitted to having ordered several executions. “It was wrong and I’m sorry,” he said. Image © Jason Florio for JusticeInfo.net

“IT WAS WRONG AND I AM SORRY” Edward David Singhateh

Former Defense minister Edward Singhateh admitted ordering the execution of several soldiers on November 11, 1994, in his much-awaited testimony yesterday October 17 before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, in The Gambia. A former n° 2 of the military junta, he asked for forgiveness while denying several other accusations…

“Isn’t it convenient that you are always there but you never did it?” asked Lead Counsel, TRRC, Essa Faal.

“Sir, I did not shoot,” replied Singhateh.

“You see, what I am doing is to show your strategy: ‘Oh I was there, my people participated but I did not.’ You are trying to seal yourself from responsibility.”

“As a marksman, Sir, I still hold a record of sharp-shooting in the GNA [Gambia National Army]. If I wanted to kill, none of the people would have escaped. They were running in a straight line.” 

Read the full feature by Mustapha K. Darboe / JusticeInfo.net

#NeverAgainGambia

Edward Singhateh swears, to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth – The Gambia Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission, Oct 2019, The Gambia. Image ©Jason Florio

Prints on exhibit at the TRRC

‘Portraits4PositiveChange’ ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio

Edward Singhateh begins his testimony before Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission, Oct 2019, – The Gambia. Image ©Jason Florio


Currently, in The Gambia, West Africa – Assignment queries

and image licensing – Contact here

floriophoto.com

@jasonflorioio / @floriotravels  / @jasonflorio_photoprints– Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio Photojournalist – FB

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