It never gets any easier listening to their stories (3+ years in, with this ongoing multimedia series), but their strength only emboldens us to continue to create a photographic and video archive – a tool for advocacy, learning, historical record and hopefully reconciliation.
My wife, Helen Jones-Florio, and I co-led the first recorded source-to-sea expedition along the length of River Gambia, from its humble source in the remote highlands of Guinea, through Senegal and into The Gambia where it widens to nearly 14km and exits into the Atlantic Ocean. We teamed up with two old Gambian friends, Abdou Ndong a fisherman and Ebou Jarju a school teacher, as our river guide and translator… Jason Florio / Safari254.com
The expedition took two months to cover the 1044km from source-to-sea…
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. See more on my website floriophoto.com
We are indebted to all the subjects who have invited us into their homes, their lives, so far, and shared their harrowing stories with us – none of this would be happening without you. Huge thanks to all the team at the Victims Centre, and the Goerte Institute for their support of the exhibition.
And, last but not least, everyone who has supported our GoFundMe campaign, your support and words of encouragement, over these last few months, has been incredible. Because of you, we are able to be in the Gambia today, to carry on building this body of work.
The exhibition is open to all – if you are in the Gambia, please come along!
19th January 2017: Wally Sanyang and his friends watching the inauguration on T.V. of their new president, Adama Barrow, who is in the Gambian Embassy in Dakar, Senegal. Meanwhile, ex-president, Yahya Jammeh, refuses to cede power and remains in the State House in the Gambian capital of Banjul. ECOWAS troops, from neighboring West African countries, enter the country to help prevent a coup by Gambian troops loyal to Jammeh
A Red Cross coordinator, two days after dictator, Yahya Jammeh, fled into exile, holding The Daily Observer, showing the front page depicting the news of Adama Barrow’s inauguration – which took place at the Gambian Embassy in Dakar, in neighbouring Senegal, because the authorities felt the country was not secure enough for Barrow to return.
An incredible day in the history of The Gambia, West Africa – February 18th, 2017. A rapturous welcome, and a time of hope – after the 22-year dictatorial rule of Yayha Jammeh – as tens of thousands of Gambians, welcome home their new president, Adama Barrow who, when the ousted Jammeh refused to step down, for his own safety exiled himself to neighbouring Senegal.