Tag Archives: portraits

Portrait of rape survivor, Gambian, Toufah Jallow - raising a fist - sitting in her family home, The Gambia. Black and white Image ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio

International Women’s Day, 2021

International Women’s Day 2021 – in honor, and respect, of strong women, around the world.

Released today, on #IWD2021 ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’.

In this 25-minute documentary, The Toufah Foundation offers an analysis of the Gambian Truth Commission’s (TRRC) proceedings in regard to sexual and gender-based violence. Using footage from the hearings, Toufah Jallow questions the predominant attitude towards women stories, who most of the time remain unacknowledged or doubted. Parallels are made with other contexts where powerful men raped young women in total impunity for many years, such as Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein and El Chapo, the Mexican drug lord.

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

Header Image: survivor of rape (by ex-President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh), and human rights activist, Gambian, Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow – raising a fist in solidarity, and strength for all women. Image ©Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio, from the ongoing series ‘Gambia-victims, and resisters’

#Portraits4PositiveChange

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CURRENT LOCATION: MARCH, 2021

 THE GAMBIA, WEST AFRICA

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Martin Kyere, Ghana - the sole known survivor of the 2005 massacre by Gambian security forces, ordered by President Yahya Jammeh . Image © Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio 'Gambia-victims, and resisters' of a regime

Ghanaian, Martin Kyere – sole survivor of the 2005 massacre, The Gambia – testifies today at the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission

Ghanaian, Martin Kyere – sole survivor of the 2005 massacre, in The Gambia, testifies live today at the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC).

Interviewing Ghanaian, Martin Kyere, sole survivor of the 2005 massacre of migrants in the Gambia ©Jason Florio
Interviewing Martin Kyere, in Ghana, Image © Jason Florio

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

In July 2005, over 50 West African migrants, including 44 Ghanaians were murdered in The Gambia en route to Europe. The unarmed migrants were killed by the ‘Junglers’, a death squad reporting directly to Yahya Jammeh, Gambia’s dictator at the time. Martin was the only person to escape the massacre.

#Portraits4PositiveChange

After managing to slip the rope from his wrist, Martin said: “I jumped From the pickup and into the forest. I heard the soldiers shouting at me, but I did not look back. I  ran harder…I tripped on something in the forest that brought me down and gunshots passed over me and around me. But, it was dark, so I lay still and waited until it was safe to move again. I could hear behind me “Oh God save us, Oh God save us” and gunshots”. Martin knew then that his friends were being killed. Taken from an interview with Martin, by Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio ‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

Martin is now part of a campaign to bring Jammeh to Justice for himself and the families of all of those whose loved ones were executed in The Gambia, during one week in July 2005.

Poster advertising the screening of 'I Cannot Bury My Father' short documentary at the African Film Festival, New York. Director of Photography - Jason Florio

Screening of ‘I Cannot Bury My Father’ short documentary at the African Film Festival, New York. Director of Photography – Jason Florio

Watch: ‘I Cannot Bury My Father’

Screening at the African Film Festival, NYC, 2021 – a short documentary about the 2005 massacre. Director of Photography – Jason Florio

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CURRENT LOCATION: MARCH, 2021

ABIDJAN & THE GAMBIA, WEST AFRICA

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Header Image: Martin Kyere, in Ghana ©Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio from their ongoing series, ‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

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Follow on Instagram – @jasonflorio Photojournalist / Filmmaker

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The Photoville FENCE - colour portrait of Gambian schoolgirl, Amie Lowe, from 'Gambia - victims, and resisters' ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio

The Photoville FENCE, 2020: ‘The Gambia-victims, and resisters’

We are thrilled to be chosen for The Photoville FENCE, 2020, with ‘Gambia – victims and resisters– an ongoing multimedia body of work that began back in 2016. With the blessing of those we have photographed and filmed, our intention has always been to share their very personal and traumatic stories far and wide. Heartfelt thanks to the FENCE jurors and the Photoville team for helping us to achieve this.

The Photoville FENCE 2020 - Nana Jo Ndow holds a photograph of her father, Saul Ndow who was killed by Gambian security forces. 'Gambia - victims, and resisters' ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio
The Photoville FENCE – Nana-Jo Ndow, daughter of Saul Ndow (whose photo she is holding), who, in 2013, was forcibly disappeared from Senegal, along with Mahawa Cham, former Gambian MP. Witness testimonies revealed that they had been abducted and taken over the border into The Gambia, where they were both killed by Jammeh’s hits quad ‘The Junglers‘ Image ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio
#ThePhotovilleFENCE – ‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

The Photoville FENCE is a year-round public photography project exhibited in major parks and downtowns across North America. Featuring over 90 photographers annually, the exhibition brings compelling visual stories into the public realm, and to a wide and diverse audience.

The 9th edition will be displayed in Atlanta, Brooklyn, Calgary, Denver, Durham, Houston, Metro (Fargo, W. Fargo and Moorhead), New Orleans, Sarasota, Seattle and Winchester!‘ Read/see more: The Photoville FENCE

The Photoville FENCE 2020 - Portrait of Sgt Basiru Camara and the remains of an exhumation in The Gambia. 'Gambia - victims, and resisters' ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio
The Photoville FENCE – Sgt Basiru Camara, killed by Gambian security forces in 1994 and the remains of an exhumation, Yundum Barracks, The Gambia, in 2019. Image ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

President Yahya Jammeh ruled The Gambia with an iron fist for twenty two years after taking control of the country with a coup in July1994. With Jammeh’s exile after electoral defeat in 2016, a Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) was set up to look into his regime’s abuses. The TRRC along with victims families and local media at Yundum army Barracks where the bodies of seven murdered soldiers were exhumed. The soldiers were murdered by soldiers loyal to Jammeh for being allegedly part of a counter coup in November 1994. Witnesses say eleven soldiers were buried at the barracks, so far only seven have been found. Along with the bone fragments, electrical cables were also found that were used to bind the victims hands. The only clothing found were underwear, corroborating witness testimonies that the men were stripped almost naked before being shot.

#ThePhotovilleFENCE
Gambia Portraits - Fatoumatta Sandeng, daughter of murdered activist, Solo Sandeng, whilst she was in exile in Dakar Senegal © Jason Florio
The Photoville FENCE – Fatoumatta Sandeng, daughter of murdered Gambian opposition leader, Solo Sandeng. She escaped into exile to Senegal after her father’s murder in 2016 – at the hands of Yahya Jammeh’s security forces – fearful that she would be targeted next ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio
#Portraits4PositiveChange

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

Exhibiting at Photoville, NYC, 2013: Teamwork ‘River Gambia – 1044km source-sea African odyssey’ expedition – Image of Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio

Please vote for us and a chance for our work to be chosen for the People’s Choice Winner of the 9th edition of the Photoville FENCE!!

Cast your vote for the People’s Choice Winner of the 9th edition of the Photoville FENCE! Help decide the artist who will receive a Leica camera package and a yearlong mentorship with the Photoville team. 

Individuals may cast one vote per day from now through January 2021. 

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Header image: Gambian student, Ami Lowe.

“I grew up not knowing the love of a father. I was only three years old when he disappeared, so I don’t remember him. I only know him through what people have told me, that he was a good man, and some say he was a hero.” Amie Lowe

17 year old Amie Lowe photographed in her late father’s room, left unchanged since he was killed in 2006. Amie’s father, Lt Ebou Lowe was disappeared and executed by members of the former president, Yahya Jammeh’s hit squad, ‘the Junglers’, after he was accused of being part of a coup attempt in 2006 to overthrow the dictatorial Jammeh regime. Image ©Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio ‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

View more portraits from this on-going, multimedia, series on Jason Florio’s website floriophoto.com

Victims of Jammeh - portraits by Jason Florio, The Gambia
‘Gambia – victims, and resisters‘ – Binta Tunkara looking at a photo of her late father on her phone. Bintu is the daughter of murdered Gambian, Lamin Tunkara. He was part of a group of 56 West African migrants who were murdered. Image ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio
Watch: ‘I Cannot Bury My Father’ – short documentary about the murder of 56 West African migrants, in 2005, in The Gambia, by Yahya Jammeh’s security forces

CURRENT LOCATION: OCTOBER 2020 – THE GAMBIA, WEST AFRICA

Assignment queries, and image licensing – Contact here

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