Related links: MOAS Phoenix Boat Rescues
We still miss you, James (1939-Sept 28th, 2011). We’ll raise a Julebrew, or two, in celebration.
Another taster of some of the remarkable work by MOAS‘ Phoenix crew (and various documentarians – through video and photography – including Jason Florio) – rescuing people in distress, from the Mediterranean Sea, as they endeavour to make the treacherous crossing, from Libya to Italy, on seriously overloaded fishing boats and dinghy’s,
Youtube: Night Rescue of boat migrants from West Africa – footage © MOAS_EU/Jason Florio, 2015. All rights reserved.
Foreign Policy: ‘Rare photographs document the rescue of hundreds of migrants‘ all images © MOAS_EU/Jason Florio, 2015. All rights reserved.
Photographer, Jason Florio, walking down the jetty at Kunta Kinteh Island (formally James Island), in the middle of the River Gambia, near to the towns of Jeffureh and Albread, The Gambia, West Africa. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the island was once served as one of the major ports on the Trans-Atlantic slave trade route, of West Africa.
Image © Helen Jones-Florio Taken whilst on ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – 930km African Odyssey‘.
Late last year, Jason Florio and I traveled the short distance, south, across the border from our home in The Gambia, into the Casamance region of Senegal, West Africa – on assignment for a local NGO, Concern Universal; who we had worked with on previous projects. The purpose of the assignment was to document a celebratory ‘Festival des Forêt‘, taking place in the village of Koudioubé; a juddering (hold-onto-something-fixed-down-and-mind-your-head-whilst-you’re-at-it) 20 minute drive down a deeply rutted ‘road’, through the bush – which, we were told by the driver, is often impassible during a heavy rainy season – from the small Senegalese border town of Diouloulou.
The festival was particularly important, in the fact that it brought people together, from neighbouring communities whereas previously, due to a 30 year old civil war, they had been too afraid to mix and gather, in large numbers.
“We have been dancing all night together. In the past, people did not even attend funerals in neighbouring villages,” says a community leader, Bakari Jallou.
Casamance is Senegal’s most ethnically diverse region, separated from the rest of the west African country by Gambia. But it is not ethnic or even religious differences that have divided people for decades, it is whether they are pro-government or support a separatist movement to become an independent state.
The 30-year civil war, Africa’s longest-running conflict, has killed thousands and displaced many more. Senegal’s extensive hardwood forests were battlegrounds for the rebel Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) and the army.’ Louise Hunt for The Guardian – read the entire feature here.
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On my many meanderings around the streets of Malta, I often come across sites, such as the above. Beautifully decaying doors – from another place in time – starkly juxtaposed by the surrounding modern, steel and glass environment. Yet, conversely, you could very easily walk right past these exquisite, woefully neglected, facades, without even noticing them.
What is behind the doors… now, that’s what I’d truly like to see… .
Related: Doors & Facades
Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation – Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY – interview with Jason Florio about his exhibition of award-winning portraits of Gambian village chiefs and elders – ‘Silafando’ – taken whilst on ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – a 930km African odyssey‘, West Africa, with Helen Jones-Florio.
‘Silafando’ The Gambia © Jason Florio – see the full series of award winning portraits here
Take a look behind the scenes on vimeo