Tag Archives: Gambia

‘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

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Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

May 2019 – Currently working in The Gambia on:

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime

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Jason Florio – Photographer & Filmmaker

Jason Florio photographer and filmmaker website opnener

 

floriophoto.com

Jason Florio, photographer and filmmaker, originally from London, based from NYC for 18 years before relocating to The Gambia, West Africa, in 2013. Currently, living in Malta.

His focus has been towards 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 work on migration.

Bangladeshi and Pakistani migrants wait to be evacuated from the fetid hold of a smuggler’s boat off the coast of Libya. © Jason Florio/MOAS. Photojournalism Series Winner, Magnum Photography Awards 2017.

Bangladeshi and Pakistani migrants wait to be evacuated from the fetid hold of a smuggler’s boat off the coast of Libya. © Jason Florio/MOAS. Photojournalism Series Winner, Magnum Photography Awards 2017.

He has produced images and documentaries for clients including The New York Times, Smithsonian, IRIN News, The New Yorker, Men’s, Journal, Outside, Bloomberg, Geographical, MIT Technology Review, PepsiCo, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International HIV/Aids Alliance, United Purpose, and the World Bank. He is a contributing editor for the Virginia Quarterly Review. – See more in ‘About‘ & ‘Press‘ on Florio’s website.

Currently, Florio is working on a long-term portrait project – The Gambia – Torture, Abuse, and Dissent

'Victims of Jammeh' The Gambia, West Africa - portraits by Jason Florio

‘Victims of Jammeh’ The Gambia, West Africa – portraits by Jason Florio

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November 2018

Available for assignments, worldwide

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Makasutu – fine art photography prints by Jason Florio

'Abdou with Rescued Crocodile' fine art prints © Jason Florio

‘Abdou with Rescued Crocodile’, The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio

‘Makasutu-mecca in the forest

multi-award-winning black and white portraits by Jason Florio

‘With little command of the local language, I could only but ask my subjects to stand and look directly into the lens. With little direction on my part, I found that the subjects in front of the camera would become silently quizzical of themselves and how they wanted to be portrayed. I returned every year to Makasutu, up until 2010…’ Jason Florio

Makasutu portraits - 'Painted Face' - coming of age ceremonies, The Gambia, West Africa ©Jason Florio

‘Painted Face’ – coming of age ceremonies, The Gambia, West Africa ©Jason Florio

Makasutu Portraits

Limited edition photography prints are available to purchase from helenjonesflorio.com gallery. For prices, editions, sizes, shipping, please visit ‘Print Orders‘ page on the gallery site.

Makasutu portraits - Ismaila on his horse, Jumpex - The Gambia, West Africa ©Jason Florio

Ismaila on his horse, Jumpex – The Gambia, West Africa ©Jason Florio

View the whole ‘Makasutu’ series of portraits at helenjonesflorio.com. Please feel free to contact us with any queries.

Also, available

 ‘World at a Glance’

color photography prints by Jason Florio

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September-October 2018

Currently covering Europe and Africa

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#ThrowBackWednesday: Moto taxi rider, Ebu, Mali Ville, Fouta Djallon ©Jason Florio

Moto taxi rider, Ebu, Mali Ville, Fouta Djallon Highlands, Guinea-Conakry © Jason Florio photography

Moto taxi rider, Ebu, Mali Ville, Fouta Djallon Highlands © Jason Florio

River Gambia Expedition – 1044km source-sea African odyssey

All images © Jason Florio

River Gambia map - source-sea

River Gambia map – source-sea

‘”It will be cheaper than taking the vehicle!” said Florio – pulling at our over-stretched  budget purse-strings – that clinched the deal!…Ebu, very convincingly, stated: “Come, we go now, now!… We will get to Kedougou in two hours… and I will also return tonight, to Mali, with a passenger from Kedougou too!”.  In actual fact, we would not reach Kedougou until 10pm that evening! If we had had even a hint that we would be on the back of those motorcycles for almost nine spine-juddering hours, not one of us would have been smiling, and joking, half as much as we did when we set off!’ Words by Helen Jones-Florio / River Gambia Expedition.

See/read more:

Moto-taxi rides down the mountains of the Fouta Djallon, River Gambia Expedition.

River Gambia Expedition

A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – 930km African odyssey

Silafando – a gift to you on behalf of my journey

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September 2018

Currently covering Europe and Africa

@jasonflorio / @floriotravels – Instagram

floriotravels – Vimeo

floriophotoNYC – Twitter

Jason Florio/Photojournalist – FB

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