photojournalism

Spotlight on ‘The Gambia -Victims and Resisters’ Social Documentary Network

Social Documentary Network Gambia Victims
Image © Jason Florio – Gambia-victims and resisters / Social Documentary Network

ZEKE

The Magazine of Global Documentary

ZEKE Awards -To view Jason Florio’s entry: The Gambia – victims, and resistersclick here

The jurors are now reviewing the entries and they will announce the winners by July 1, 2019. Wishing everyone who has entered the competition, the very best of luck. To view all the entries, click here

Social Documentary Network

visual stories exploring global themes

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#Portraits4PositiveChange

Gambia – Victims and resisters of a regime’, also known as ‘Portraits for Positive Change’, is a long-term, on-going body of work in collaboration with Helen Jones-Florio.

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.

So far, over 1000 victims and their families have registered with the Gambia Centre for Victims of 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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Jason Florio is available for assignments, and for image licensing – Contact here

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Press: Le Monde Afrique – In the Gambia, the wounded faces of Yahya Jammeh’s dictatorship

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

Le Monde Afrique Gambia: British photographers Jason Florio and Helen Jones-Florio met dozens of victims of the former president’s regime

“I do not care what you do with my photo or my testimony,” concluded Alagie Sonko after the meeting.  It is the fact that you came to listen to me that did me the greatest good” Alagie Sonko, the GambiaLe Monde Afrique / Romain Chanson

#Portraits4PositiveChange

Portraits for Positive Change forms part of an on-going body of work also known as ‘Gambia – Victims and resisters of a regime’


Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

floriophoto.com

@jasonflorioio / @floriotravels – Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio/Photojournalist – FB

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‘Portraits for Positive Change’ the Gambia. The story so far…

It’s been an incredibly momentous, emotional – and active! – few months for us both, here in the Gambia. Since we arrived back on the West African coast in February we’ve held two photographic exhibitions of the portraits from our on-going body of work, ‘Gambia – victims, and resisters of a regime

'Portraits for Positive Change' Kafo Bayo - arrested on April 14th, 2016 during a peaceful demonstration for electoral reform © Jason Florio
Former seaman, Masoner and political activist Kafo Bayo was arrested, tortured and jailed at Mile 2 prison after being arrested during the April 14th, 2016 protests for electoral reform in the Gambia – For three days, I did not know who I was, or where I was…my clothes were like, you know, a butchers shirt…covered in blood…KB ©Jason Florio

‘Portraits to Remember’
Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations – March 5th, 2019
With the kind support of the Goethe Institute

Ya Mammie Ceesay stands next to the portrait of herself, ‘Portraits to Remember’ exhibition, Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations ©Jason Florio
Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations – ‘Portraits to Remember’ Exhibition, the Gambia ©Jason Florio

‘Portraits for Positive Change’
British High Commissioners Residence, Banjul – May 21st, 2019
With the kind support of the British High Commission

‘Portraits for Positive Change’ – British High Commissioners Residence, Banjul, the Gambia ©Jason Florio


Photo Exhibit Documents Jammeh’s Reign of Terror
– The Chronicle

“What I learned from the interviews with victims is the range of abuses and atrocities that happened here during the 22 years of Jammeh. I have been coming to The Gambia for 20 years and I heard about things happening in the past but I had no idea about the range of abuses, including the use of forced medication, people forced to take HIV treatments. The tourists that came here had no idea about what was going on. Even I as a journalist who been here many times had no idea about what was really going on The Gambia,” Jason told The Chronicle.

Portraits for Positive Change’ – British High Commissioners Residence, Banjul, the Gambia © Jason Florio

Portraits for Positive Change’ – British High Commissioners Residence, Banjul, the Gambia © Jason Florio

#Portraits4PositiveChange

Victim of rape and beatings by Gambian security forces, The Gambia - portrait by Jason Florio
Bintu 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’ ©Jason Florio

#NeverAgainGambia

23rd May 2019, the ‘Portraits for Positive Change’ exhibition was donated, by the British High Commission, to the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), to be used as a tool for advocacy and awareness during their outreach programs around The Gambia. The aim of which is to create a dialogue within communities, to help sensitise people on the plight of the victims – emphasising the importance of victims to come forward and engage in the TRRC process.

British High Commissioner, Sharon Wardle, and the TRRC’s Vice Chairperson, Adelaide Sosseh Gaye, the Gambia © Jason Florio

“Coming to terms with the legacy of the recent past provides the Gambian people an opportunity to reconcile and regain the hope and optimism for the future they so deserve” Sharon Wardle – British High Commissioner to The Gambia

‘Portraits for Positive Change’ – donated to the TRRC by the British High Commission. Images © Jason Florio

The truth shall set you free…

The next step… which the portraits have already embarked on, is to take the exhibition further, into the international arena. First stop: the portraits were chosen by LensCulture Portrait Awards, in April.

The next step… which the portraits have already embarked on, is to take the exhibition further, into the international arena. First stop: the portraits were chosen by LensCulture Portrait Awards, in April

LensCulture Portrait Awards 2019 – Jason Florio Finalist

And, on May 27th-29th they will be digitally exhibited – on 10ftx10ft screens – at the Oslo Freedom Forum festival.

The Oslo Freedom Forum is a transformative annual conference where the world’s most engaging human rights advocates, artists, tech entrepreneurs, and world leaders meet to share their stories and brainstorm ways to expand freedom and unleash human potential across the globe.

Where to next…the story is not over, yet.

Jason Florio

Follow me on Instagram @jasonflorio / @floriotravels for regular updates

‘Portraits for Positive Change’ exhibition handover to the TRRC, the Gambia. L-R: /Helen Jones-Florio, Essa Jallow, Communications Specialist TRRC, Jason Florio

floriophoto.com


Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

May 2019 – Currently working in The Gambia on:

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime

@jasonflorioio / @floriotravels – Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio/Photojournalist – FB

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Portraits for Positive Change – The Gambia. Jason Florio

Portraits for Positive Change exhibition booklet – front cover © Jason Florio
Portraits for Positive Change exhibition booklet – front cover © Jason Florio

A sneak preview of the front cover of the booklet for our next exhibition, Portraits for Positive Change‘, the Gambia. All images are taken from an on-going body of work, here in West Africa

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters of a regime

The booklet is to accompany the portraits – and video – of our second exhibition of this work, in the Gambia. More news about the exhibition, coming soon… Jason Florio Helen Jones-Florio

#Portraits4PositiveChange

Mr.Njie – in his taxi which was confiscated by the NIA for many months ©Jason Florio
Mr.Njie – in his taxi which was confiscated by the NIA for many months ©Jason Florio

I was taken downstairs (everyone knows that this is where the bad things happen at the NIA -National Intelligence Agency). They covered my eyes with something, and I felt 3-4 people push behind me, and I felt an injection in my back – you know…like a big staple gun – and then I felt something enter my system…burning me inside. I was screaming, shouting, calling to Allah for help. Then they took me to the beating grounds…” Mr. Njie

#GambiaHasDecided


Njie, a local taxi driver, was inadvertently caught up in a demonstration by the UDP opposition party on April 14th 2016 and arrested by the former president, Yahya Jammeh’s, security forces. Despite simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Njie was held, without charge for 3 months
Oh my god, Mile 2, it is like hell…no dignity, they treat you like donkeys, animals, even the smallest of boys…no respect” Mr.Njie

Portraits ©Jason Florio / Text ©Helen Jones-Florio

Print samples for 'Portraits for Positive Change' exhibition, the Gambia ©Jason Florio
Print samples for the new exhibition in the Gambia ©Jason Florio/Instagram

floriophoto.com


Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

May 2019 – Currently working in The Gambia on:

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime

#Portraits4PositiveChange

@jasonflorioio / @floriotravels – Instagram

Jason Florio – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio/Photojournalist – FB

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