Back in The Gambia, West Africa – images ©Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio

A recap, from The Gambia, West Africa – April 2018

Street Life, Serrekunda, The Gambia- young girls playing ©Helen Jones-Florio
Street life, Serrekunda, The Gambia ©Helen Jones-Florio
Here we are, back in our second home…

As ever, there are lots to see and do – and, a little time out from work to reconnect and celebrate with old friends

Black and white, Samba and Fatou's wedding celebrations, The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio
Samba and Fatou’s wedding celebrations, The Gambia © Jason Florio

 

And, of course, there is always the #9 pack…

 

Wolf, one of a pack of stray Gambian dogs, from the beach ©Helen Jones-Florio
‘Wolf’, one of the many waifs and strays who come to the compound for food, shelter, and a little pampering from us – Gambian dogs ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

Peaceful marches…

Connected to what we were up to last year, early on in the year and later in November, we headed over to Serrekunda and joined in on the Solo Sandeng Memorial March, April 14th, 2018, which took place to commemorate the prominent activist – of the opposition party, UDP, and youth leader –  and other victims. Sandeng was murdered whilst in custody on this day in 2016, under the old dictatorship of Yahya Jammeh. His death sparked a national outcry and the beginning of the end of Jammeh’s brutal rule – Gambians had decided that enough was enough. Saturday’s march would never have been possible under the former regime, without there blood being shed and/or lives lost

Solo Sandeng Memorial March, Gambia, West Africa ©Helen Jones-Florio
Solo Sandeng Memorial March, The Gambia, West Africa ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

Images from the Memorial March for murdered UDP activist, Solo Sandeng, The Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio & Jason Florio
Memorial March for murdered UDP activist, Solo Sandeng, The Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio & Jason Florio
Memorial March for murdered UDP activist, Solo Sandeng, The Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio
Memorial March for murdered UDP activist, Solo Sandeng, The Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio
Photographer and documentary film maker, Jason Florio at work, The Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio
Photographer and documentary filmmaker, Jason Florio at work, The Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio

 

On Monday, 16th April, we headed over to the capital of The Gambia, Banjul, to join a peaceful vigil by families of victims of Yahya Jammeh‘s regime, to demand that the Gambian government release the bodies of exhumed victims, and to open a dialogue with the families to help keep them informed of what they are doing to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Mr Njie during a vigil, in Banjul, for victims of the Jammeh regime holding a picture of his nephew Nyass who was killed during an attempted coup in 2014 to bring down the dictatorship, Gambia © Jason Florio
Mr. Njie during a vigil, in Banjul, for victims of the Jammeh regime holding a picture of his nephew Nyass who was killed during an attempted coup in 2014 to bring down the dictatorship © Jason Florio.

 

A peaceful vigil by families of victims of Yahya Jammeh's regime, holding placards of their missing family members, The Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio
A peaceful vigil by families of victims of Yahya Jammeh’s regime, holding pictures of their ‘disappeared’ loved ones © Helen Jones-Florio
A peaceful vigil by families of victims of Yahya Jammeh's regime © Helen Jones-Florio
A peaceful vigil by families of victims of Yahya Jammeh’s regime, Banjul, Gambia, with a police escort © Helen Jones-Florio.

 

We are looking forward to the next few weeks, here in The Gambia, to see what else our journey presents to us… feel free to follow us

@floriotravels / @jasonflorio

on Instagram – for regular photo updates.

Helen Jones-Florio

Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio, The Gambia, West Africa
Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio, The Gambia, West Africa, Nov 2017

 

 

 

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Solo Sandeng Memorial March, April 14 2018

Solo Sandeng Memorial March, Gambia, West Africa ©Helen Jones-Florio
Solo Sandeng Memorial March, The Gambia, West Africa ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

The Solo Sandeng Memorial March, April 14th, 2018, The Gambia, took place to commemorate the prominent activist – of the opposition party, UDP, and youth leader –  and other victims. Sandeng was murdered whilst in custody on this day in 2016, under the old dictatorship of Yahya Jammeh. His death sparked a national outcry and the beginning of the end of Jammeh’s brutal rule – Gambians had decided that enough was enough. Today’s march would never have been possible under the former regime, without there blood being shed and/or lives lost

Solo Sandeng Memorial March, The Gambia, West Africa ©Helen Jones-Florio
Solo Sandeng Memorial March, The Gambia, West Africa ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

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Dogs of the Gambia, West Africa

Cast of Extras - Dogs, dogs, everywhere! © Helen Jones-Florio Dogs of Gambia
A Cast of Extras – Dogs, dogs, everywhere! Jason Florio has made some new friends © Helen Jones-Florio

Looking forward to seeing our four-legged friends, again… soon.

Walkin' the dogs, of the Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio
‘The Pack’, – Kalu, Wolf, White Tip & Wolf, Cape Point, The Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio

See more of these little beauties

Dogs of the Gambia

 

Beach dogs - Wolf, White Tip and Juju © Helen Jones-Florio
Beach dogs – Wolf, White Tip, and Juju, Cape Point, The Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio

 

Follow our travels on Instagram – @floriotravels
White Tip & Wolf on monkey watch © Helen Jones-Florio Dogs of Gambia
White Tip & Wolf on monkey watch © Helen Jones-Florio

Tuesday Photo: Portrait of young knife trader, Uganda ©Jason Florio

Portrait of a young boy - Knife Vendor' - standing on a bridge in Uganda © Jason Florio
‘Young Knife Trader’ Uganda © Jason Florio

Instagram: @jasonflorio / @floriotravels

Web: floriophoto.com 

Twitter: floriophotoNYC

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PRINT SALES: CONTACT HELEN JONES-FLORIO

Fine art photography prints by Jason Florio - Available from Helen Jones-Florio online gallery
Fine art photography prints by Jason Florio – Available from Helen Jones-Florio online gallery

Postcards: Beached tanker, Qawra Point, Malta

 

Walking Malta - Beached tanker, Qawra Point, San Pawl il-Baħar, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Walking Malta – Beached tanker, Qawra Point, San Pawl il-Baħar, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

“I started the engine and began preparing to navigate the vessel inland, but all of a sudden – within minutes – we hit the rocks,” Capt. Abedin said. Times of Malta 12th Feb 2018

International Women’s Day 2018

Silafando portraits - Female village chief, Fatou Dansu, of Kabba Kama, Gambia ©Jason Florio
The village chief (‘alkalo’), Fatou Dansu, of Kabba Kama, Gambia ©Jason Florio. We met and stayed with Fatou in 2009  (she was, at that time, one of only 5 female chiefs in the Gambia) – a strong advocate in the fight to eradicate FGM (female genital mutilation)

 

International Women’s Day 2018

Celebrating just a few of the incredibly inspiring women we have met, over the years, and photographed on our travels, and photography assignments.

 

Human rights lawyers, with their client, Jugana Suso: L-R: Hawa Sisay Sabally, Rachel Yvonne Mendy, Juguna Suso, Yassin Sanghor © Helen Jones-Florio (2nd Camera)
Human rights lawyers, with their client, Jugana Suso: L-R: Hawa Sisay Sabally, Rachel Yvonne Mendy, Juguna Suso, Yassin Sanghor © Helen Jones-Florio (2nd Camera on ‘We Never Gave Up – stories of courage in Gambia‘)

 

Selam Tsfay from Eritrea rescued from a wooden boat carrying 369 people - portrait ©Jason Florio
Selam Tsfay from Eritrea rescued from a wooden boat carrying 369 people ©Jason Florio – ‘Destination Europe: out at sea

 

A village soap production collective in Ghana helping local women support their families ©Jason Florio for United Purpose, NGO
A village soap production collective in Ghana helping local women support their families ©Jason Florio for United Purpose, NGO

 

Sonia Pierre -Executive Director of the human rights organization, the Movement for Dominico-Haitian Women (Movimiento de Mujeres Dominico-Haitianas, MUDHA) © Jason Florio
The late Sonia (Solange) Pierre –Executive Director of the human rights organization, the Movement for Dominico-Haitian Women (Movimiento de Mujeres Dominico-Haitians, MUDHA) © Jason Florio

 

Ladies from the Santa Yalla kaffo - a collective that harvests rice for a landowner near River Gambia at Kaur. The earn 30 dalasis a day - 80 US cents ©Jason Florio
Ladies from the Santa Yalla kaffo – in the rice fields, Kaur, Gambia ©Jason Florio

 

January 2013: Kaur, The Gambia, West Africa. Members of the Santa Yalla kaffo (group) take a moment between harvesting rice from the fields, which are irrigated by the River Gambia. They are paid 30 Gambian Dalasis a day (80 US cents). River Gambia Expedition

Interviewing ex-Mile2 prisoner, Ngoi Njie, The Gambia, West Africa ©Helen Jones-Florio
Interviewing ex-Mile2 prisoner, Ngoi Njie, The Gambia, West Africa ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

And, not forgetting, all those young girls who keep me company, and make us smile and, very often, laugh out loud wherever we go in the world…we salute you, too.

Our constant companions, during our walk around Jinack Island, Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio
Our constant companions, during our walk around Jinack Island, Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio

 

Girls just wanna have fun, Kemoto Point, Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio
Girls just wanna have fun, Kemoto Point, Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio

The art of walking, and the people you meet along the way…

 

‘Dawn over Kalaji Bridge’ © Jason Florio – from ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – 930km African Odyssey‘
‘Dawn over Kalaji Bridge’ – Helen Jones-Florio and the team © Jason Florio – from ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – 930km African Odyssey

 

Wherever we are in the world, we walk, a lot, Florio and myself. As far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the only ways to truly discover a place – and the people who live there. One time, in 2009, we decided to walk around the small West African country of The Gambia. A mere 930km, with three Gambian friends, two donkeys (‘Neil’ & ‘Paddy’.), and a cart to carry our camping and photography equipment. As one does.

Along the way, we met many people and photographed quite a few of them. Amongst them, around 43 village chiefs and elders, the photos of which are now award-winning portraits, ‘Silafando – a gift to you on behalf of my journey

‘Silafando’ The Gambia  © Jason Florio

 

Another time, we took it upon ourselves to take a stroll along the coastline of The Gambia – a much shorter walk of around 80km. Again, we met and made friends with many people along the way.

Our constant companions, during our walk around Jinack Island, Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio
Our constant companions, during our walk around Jinack Island, Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio

 

Making friends, Jinack Island, the Gambia © Jason Florio
Making friends, Jinack Island, the Gambia © Jason Florio

 

Historian and local fisherman, Modou Sonko, Jinack Island, Gambia-image © Jason Florio
Historian and local fisherman, Modou Sonko, Jinack Island, Gambia-image © Jason Florio

 

And, our walks in certain places always seem to attract a good deal of attention

'Any chance of a bit of privacy?' Camping in a the village chiefs compound comes at a price ©Jason Florio
‘Any chance of a bit of privacy around here?’ Camping in the village chiefs compound comes at a price ©Jason Florio
Image: ©Jason Florio-2009 Gambian boy on his horse & farmer, on his bicycle, near the town of Basse, The Gambia, West Africa
Gambian boy on his horse & farmer, on his bicycle, near the town of Basse, The Gambia, West Africa Image: ©Jason Florio-2009
For some reason, we seem to attract dogs, wherever we go! Jason Florio and ‘Seven’ (from Footsteps Eco Lodge) talking to the cockle collectors, Gambia – image © Helen Jones-Florio

 

Of late, we’ve taken to meandering – going off-piste whenever possible – discovering the clifftops, valleys, and crevices of Malta.

Graffiti - President Trump and broken wall, Malta ©Jason Florio
Graffiti – President Trump, Malta ©Jason Florio

 

And, just when you think that you’ve seen all it has to offer, the small island in the middle of the Mediterranean (sandwiched somewhere between Sicily and the North African coast) never fails to reveal something more of itself.

Scenes from Malta - photography by Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio
Scenes from Malta – photography by Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio/Instagram

 

Victoria Lines, with Jason Florio
Walking the Victoria Lines, with Jason Florio – image © Helen Jones-Florio

Are we in Texas?!

Are we in Texas? Wind turbine, Malta © Helen Jones-Florio
Are we in Texas? Wind turbine, Malta © Helen Jones-Florio

 

Valletta, through a window © Jason Florio, Malta
Valletta, through a window © Jason Florio, Malta
Follow us on Instagram for regular travel photo updates
@floriotravels / @jasonflorio
These boots, and Birkenstocks, are made for walking
These boots, and Birkenstocks, are made for walking

Images from inside Mile 2 Prison – The Gambia, West Africa

A prisoner shouts through the window from his cell, Mile 2 prison, The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio
A prisoner shouts through the window from his cell, Mile 2 prison, The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio

 

Images from inside ousted ex-president, Yahya Jammeh’s, ‘my 5 Star Hotel’ (as he frequently called it) – the notorious Mile 2 Prison, the Gambia, West Africa, Nov 2017. Taken whilst making the ‘We Never Gave Up – Stories of Courage in Gambia’ documentary for Amnesty International.

 

 

The exercise yard come laundry space, MILE 2 prison - image © Helen Jones-Florio
The exercise yard come laundry-drying area, MILE 2 prison – image © Helen Jones-Florio 

 

These, plus more images from Mile 2 are available for licensing – please contact Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio

 

Prisoners watch TV in their dorm-like cell block, MILE 2 prison, Gambia ©Jason Florio
Prisoners watch TV in their dorm-like cell block, MILE 2 prison, Gambia ©Jason Florio

 

A prisoner looks out from his locked cell, maximum security, Mile 2 prison, Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio
A prisoner looks out from his locked cell, maximum security, Mile 2 prison, Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio

 

Instagram @floriotravels / @jasonflorio

A photographer’s take: in conversation with a humanitarian storyteller – Jason Florio

NGO, United Purpose, interview Jason Florio, about his work with them over the last few years, and other documentary photography

Unaccompanied minor, Eritrean, Henock, onboard rescue ship, leads refugees in song of thanks ©Jason Florio
Unaccompanied Eritrean minor, Henock, onboard rescue ship, leads refugees in song of thanks. ©Jason Florio

 

UP: Do you have a favourite photograph?

Jason Florio:It’s a bit like asking someone trying to choose their favourite child (and feeling pangs of guilt!). But I love this image of HenoCk (pictured above), a 14-year-old boy from Eritrea who was rescued in the Mediterranean. During the voyage on the NGO rescue ship, he led other Eritrean refugees in songs of thanks for being saved. A year later, I met him in Zurich for a film I was making… Read more on the UP blog
Photographer, Jason Florio ©Lamin Ndong
Photographer, Jason Florio. Photo credit: Lamin Ndong

 

See more of Florio’s work with NGO’s