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We arrived in The Gambia, West Africa, early December, 2013, by invitation from the US Embassy, Banjul, to teach a series of photography workshop – ‘Photos Tell Stories: teaching photography – a visual language‘. Our aim was to show young Gambian students, between the ages of 13-20 years old, how to see their ‘home‘ – the villages and towns which they live – through the eye of a camera. And, more importantly, to show us – as guests on their home turf – how they viewed their environment and how they wanted it to be portrayed.

YMCA, Fajara, The Gambia
Jason Florio – photographer and workshop tutor – YMCA, Fajara, The Gambia, West Africa

After a morning in the classroom, where Jason took them through the history of photography – showing the work of renowned international photographers, past and present – and various techniques, we gave them the cameras and sent them out, to photograph. Most of the students had never used a camera, other than perhaps snapshots with their phones.

The workshops culminated in a very successful exhibition opening at Alliance Française, in May, in The Gambia – where around 200 people, including most of the students from all over Gambia, were in attendance, along with national media.

PTS OPENING_STUDENTS_0459
Photos Tell Stories photography students with Jason Florio (center) and Helen Jones-Florio (right) at the exhibition opening night, Alliance Française, The Gambia, West Africa

If you are interested in hosting a Photos Tell Stories workshop – or have us present our previous work in West Africa (River Gambia Expedition; ‘A Short Walk in The Gambian Bush‘; ‘Makasutu – mecca in the forest‘), please check out ‘Book a Photography Workshop or Presentation with the Florios

The Florios – Helen & Jason

You may also like to check out ‘Students Work‘ and ‘Behind-the-Scenes‘.

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