Photography Daily Show PhotoWalk #300: African Adventures – The Incredible Oyster Ladies of The Gambia

Going back hundreds of years, along this coastline, people have collected oysters from the tentacles of the mangroves, which flank River Gambia…the tributaries are great sites for the oysters to grow. Oyster harvesting is traditionally a female-driven process – from collection, preparation,  to selling of the oysters… hear more from Jason Florio as he talks to Neal James of Photography Daily Show/Photowalk approximately 00:28.50 mins in

The Guardian - Stewards of the forest: a Gambian woman paddling her pirogue, bringing back her harvest of oysters, The Gambia, West Africa. Image ©Jason Florio
The Guardian – Stewards of the forest: Marie paddling her pirogue, bringing back her harvest of oysters, Lamin Balong, The Gambia, West Africa. Image ©Jason Florio

Female power at its best… Jason Florio

The Guardian - Stewards of the forest: A group of women prepare their pirogues to head out to harvest oysters, Lamin Balong, The Gambia, West Africa. Image ©Jason Florio
The Guardian – Stewards of the forest: A group of women prepare their pirogues to head out to harvest oysters, Lamin Balong, The Gambia, West Africa. Image ©Jason Florio

One of the first portraits I shot in The Gambia, 20+ years ago, with my Deardorff film camera, was of a group of oyster ladies – Jason Florio – ‘Makasutu’ series

A group of three Gambian women who collect oysters from the banks of the Gambia River. Image © Jason Florio 'Makasutu' 1998
A group of three Gambian women who collect oysters from the banks of the Gambia River. Image © Jason Florio ‘Makasutu’ 1998

‘Makasutu’ Fine Art Photography Prints

helenjonesflorio.com Online Gallery

The way it (oyster harvesting) is done now, the women are a lot more conscientious about the environment. Before they would come and hack the branches off (when collecting the oysters). Thanks to the TRY Oyster Collective, working with the UN in The Gambia, who have been teaching them the importance of the mangroves in the eco-system to not only be conscientious about how the oysters are harvested, but also to see themselves as guardians of the mangroves. Thus preserving the eco-systemJason Florio/Photography Daily Show

Are you interested in photo retreat in The Gambia? Email Neale James studio@photographydaily.show

floriophoto.com

Stewards of the forest: the pioneering women’s collective harvesting the Gambia’s oystersThe Guardian. Images ©Jason Florio / Words by J.R.Patterson

Header Image: Jason Florio photographing the oyster women in The Gambia ©Helen Jones-Florio, March 2019

Currently in The GambiaWest Africa
For assignment queries, and image licensing – Contact here
Fine Art Photography Print Sales – Contact Helen Jones Florio gallery


Photography Daily Assignment: Jason Florio #1

Cap Prize Winners 2021 - L: A young Gambian woman holds a photograph of her father, with the New York skyline in the background. R: crocodiles swimming in a pool beneath lily pads Images ©Jason Florio
Photography Daily Assignment: Jason Florio #1 ‘Diptychs’. Image ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio from ‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

Photography Daily Assignment: Jason Florio #1 – Seeing double this week, well sort of. Jason Florio, photojournalist and African picture correspondent sets you a challenge for the next seven days with his first assignment. It’s been wonderful to see the pictures you have been making from the assignments set so far, so please keep sending your photographs for inclusion on today’s show page. Also I promote forward to my conversation on the 300th edition of the podcast this Friday with Jason on an assignment of a different nature and all-weather walker, bivvy-er, who records his adventures with photographs, Ronald Turnbull. Listen to the Podcast between Jason Florio and Photography Daily’s, Neale James

Photography Daily Show

STORIES OF LIFE, TOLD BY PHOTOGRAPHERS

Send your pictures in to Neale James at studio@photographydaily.show – 2000 pixels wide, any orientation you prefer; square, portrait or landscape.

floriophoto.com

Currently in The GambiaWest Africa
For assignment queries, and image licensing – Contact here
Fine Art Photography Print Sales – Contact Helen Jones Florio gallery

The Guardian: Stewards of the forest: the pioneering women’s collective harvesting the Gambia’s oysters

Stewards of the forest: the pioneering women’s collective harvesting the Gambia’s oystersThe Guardian

The all-female workforce is part of a visionary project committed to protecting the wetland forests. Now their challenge is to earn a sustainable living year-round.

“In the cool air of an April dawn, Marie Sambou, an oyster harvester, carves through the brown water of The Gambia River’s Tanbi wetland in her long wooden canoe. The size of Manhattan, Tanbi teems with life. The mangroves provide an important habitat for many birds and fish, which nest, breed and spawn in the protective, nutrient-rich environment. Snow-white egrets stalk schools of needle-like fish nipping through the shallows as curlews and hornbills whirl overhead, and higher still, vultures turn in lazy circles.

For the next six hours or so, while the tide remains low enough to work, Sambou will paddle along the forests on the riverbank, knocking hard, rock-like west African mangrove oysters (Crassostrea tulipa) from the exposed mangrove roots. It is tedious, physical work – and painful. Sambou has only thin gloves and socks for protection; her hands and feet are scarred from the razor-edged oyster shells”... words by JR Patterson – read more in The Guardian

All images © Jason Florio floriophoto.com

The Guardian - Stewards of the forest: A group of women in their pirogues to head out into the mangroves to harvest oysters, Lamin Balong, The Gambia, West Africa. Image ©Jason Florio
The Guardian – Stewards of the forest: A group of women in their pirogues to head out into the mangroves to harvest oysters, Lamin Balong, The Gambia, West Africa. Image ©Jason Florio

@jasonflorio / @jasonflorio_photoprints

Stewards of the forest: the pioneering women’s collective harvesting the Gambia’s oystersThe Guardian

The Guardian - Stewards of the forest: A group of women prepare their pirogues to head out to harvest oysters, Lamin Balong, The Gambia, West Africa. Image ©Jason Florio
The Guardian – Stewards of the forest: A group of women prepare their pirogues to head out to harvest oysters, Lamin Balong, The Gambia, West Africa. Image ©Jason Florio
The Guardian - Stewards of the forest: a woman uses a machete to harvest oysters, Lamin Balong, The Gambia, West Africa. Image ©Jason Florio
The Guardian – Stewards of the forest: Marie Sambou harvesting oysters, Lamin Balong, The Gambia, West Africa. Image ©Jason Florio

Jason Florio, award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker, originally from London, based from NYC for 18 years before relocating to The Gambia, West Africa, in 2013. He has produced images and documentaries for clients including The New York Times, Smithsonian, The New Yorker, Men’s, Journal, Outside, Bloomberg, National Geographic, Geographical, MIT Technology Review, PepsiCo, Amnesty International and the World Bank. He is a contributing editor for the Virginia Quarterly Review.

Currently in The GambiaWest Africa
For assignment queries, and image licensing – Contact here
Fine Art Photography Print Sales – Contact Helen Jones Florio gallery

New York Film Academy (NYFA): Photojournalist & Filmmaker Jason Florio Photo – Guest Speaker Series

New York Film Academy (NYFA) welcomed Photojournalist & Filmmaker Jason Florio for a special guest lecture and Q&A as part of NYFA’s Photo Guest Speaker Series.

Jason Florio is an award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker, originally from London, based in NYC for 18 years before relocating to The Gambia, West Africa, in 2013. He has produced images and documentaries for clients including The New York Times, Smithsonian, The New Yorker, Outside, Bloomberg, Geographical, MIT Technology Review, and Amnesty International. His focus has been on under-reported stories about people living on the margins of society and human rights. His work has been recognized with a number of awards, including The Magnum Photography Award for his work on migration. His work is held in a number of public and private collections and has been presented in solo and joint exhibitions in the USA, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Jason is represented by Redux Pictures in NYC. – New York Film Academy – Guest Speaker Series

floriophoto.com

Currently in The GambiaWest Africa
For assignment queries, and image licensing – Contact here
Fine Art Photography Print Sales – Contact Helen Jones Florio gallery
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