Photography assignments in West Africa – what the Florios have been up to lately

Since completely the inaugural ‘Photos Tell Stories: teaching photography – a visual language‘ workshops, in The Gambia, West Africa, Jason Florio and I have worked on a number of diverse assignments, here in West Africa –  a couple of them together,  just over the border into the Casamance, Southern Senegal, for NGO Concern Universal, and then north over the border into Senegal for the New York Times, covering a story about a football academy (conveniently timely!). Jason then flew off to Sierra Leone, to shoot a story about ethical diamond mining for ‘Oprah‘ Magazine; and he recently returned from Turkey and Spain, where he was on assignment for PepsiCo, about agriculture (yet to be published).

Screen shot 2014-07-14 at 7.01.09 PM
Image © Jason Florio

 

Screen shot 2014-07-14 at 7.17.16 PM
Image © Jason Florio

 

Screen shot 2014-07-14 at 7.07.21 PM
Image © Jason Florio

 

Screen shot 2014-07-14 at 7.43.05 PM
Image © Jason Florio

 

We had a beautifully laid out feature in Sidetracked Magazine – all about our ‘River Gambia Expedition –1044km source-sea African odyssey

Camped on the rock, post potential-mutiny, I was now self-medicating with palm-wine, and concluded it was a fine lubricant to complement the bowl of noodles and some mystery meat a young local Bassari boy brought to us. I would like to say, that huddled around a bowl of possible monkey meet on such a Christian holy day...’  words and images by Jason Florio. Please click on the image below to read the whole story.

Screen shot 2014-07-14 at 7.25.42 PM
Sidetracked Magazine – Images © Jason Florio

 

We’ll be updating again soon…with more Photos Tell Stories news of what we are up to. In the meantime, you might like to check out our FB page, twitter, and Instagram, for photos and news.

The Florios – Helen & Jason

Helen Jones=Florio & Jason Florio
Helen Jones-Florio & Jason Florio

 

 

Advertisements

Disappearing Malta – an unintentional photo series of doors and facades

Disappearing Malta Series - badly decaying facade of a house of character, Gzira, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta Series -a badly decaying facade of a house of character, Msida, Malta. One of the very first doors that I photographed, in 2015, whilst waking to Valletta, which I searched in vain for the other day and I couldn’t see it. I suspect it was where there is now a construction site  ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta – vestiges of a tiny Mediterranean Island

When we first arrived on the island, three years ago, from living and working in West Africa, the contrast was stark. All I could see was what appeared to be concrete and glass multi-story structures (Sliema was our first home and for those who know the town, they will almost surely understand my first (mis)impressions). I seriously wondered what would inspire me to get my camera out – in West Africa, it was hardly ever not pointed at something or other. Yet, thankfully, within those first few days, I discovered ‘the doors‘.

 

Disappearing Malta Series - badly decaying front door of a house of character, Gzira, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta Series – badly decaying front door of a house of character, Msida, Malta. Another from the start of this photo project ‘found’ whilst walking to Valletta. It is still there, today (July 2018), but a large swath of the area around it is now under construction ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

Florio was off on the assignment that brought us to the island, on an NGO vessel in the Mediterranean, documenting migrant and refugee rescues. So, I had some time to find my bearings and walking is just about the best way I can think of, to get to know any place I’ve ever lived in or travelled to.

Disappearing Malta Series - 'Meme' vintage shop front, Valletta, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta Series – ‘Meme’ vintage shop front, Valletta, Malta. I love the vintage sign, and red is one of my favourite colours ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

Leaving the vast concrete and glass apartment complex, where we were staying at the time, I  turned down one narrow side-street – off the main drag of Sliema – after another and the true architectural beauty of Malta began to reveal itself.  And so it was, during those first days on the island, my unintentional ‘Disappearing Malta‘ series began and I’ve been photographing doors and facades on the island ever since. Hence, my camera doesn’t have to collect dust between our assignments after all, as I’m still finding more to photograph each and every time I take a walk.

 

Disappearing Malta - a cat sits on an old balcony, Valletta, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta – a cat sits on the railings of an old balcony, Valletta, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

‘I often wonder if anyone still lives in this building or is it just the cats…’

I’ve always been captivated by imperfections, the wabi-sabi, of things – drawn to the echoes of places that once were. Spaces and places that no longer exist; or at least not in their original form. And, I’m particularly drawn to architecture.  I now have a growing obsession to capture the decaying beauty of the abandoned Maltese houses of character, before they disappear completely.

Disappearing Malta Series - 'Paces Press' vintage store front, Gzira, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta Series – ‘Paces Press’ vintage store front, Gzira, Malta.  ©Helen Jones-Florio
”Paces Press’ – Yet another early days discovery and one of my absolute favourites. I’m still pleasantly surprised to see it’s still there, whenever I pass by’
Doors of Malta - Blue door and balcony, St Julians, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Blue door and balcony, St Julians, Malta. It’s the first time that I have come across a balcony quite like this in Malta – kind of modern, yet retro. I also like the asymmetry of the image ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

Disappearing Malta Series - vintage petrol station, Floriana, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta Series – vintage petrol station, Floriana, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

Doors of Malta - A peek inside - doorway to abandoned house, Gzira, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
A peek inside – the doorway to an abandoned house, Gzira, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

Furthermore, I want to see what is behind the doors…

Who lived in a house like this? I’m always peeking through letterboxes or broken windows (one of these days, someone will look right back at me, from the shadows of the interior of some decrepit building, and scare the hell out of me! Shades of all the horror movies I grew up watching!). Regretfully, since beginning this unintentional photo series, many of the doors that I have photographed – and the houses that surround them –  have already disappeared, and their history with it. In many cases, to be replaced by yet another characterless, generic concrete structure – for rental purposes –  clearly made with very little love. Either that or the doors are chained or boarded shut, locked up with ancient rusty padlocks, the keys to which have irrevocably long been lost.

 

Disappearing Malta Series - vintage workshop doors, Gzira, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta Series – vintage workshop doors, Msida, Malta. This, to me, is like a work of art, albeit unintentional, it’s almost like a face with wide set eyes ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta 
an unintentional photo series
Disappearing Malta Series - House of Character, Devonshire House School, Gzira ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta Series – Devonshire House School, Gzira ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

The quest continues…

Helen Jones-Florio

 

Related work: Doors & Facades #1 / Doors & facades #2 .

BEING SOCIAL
@FLORIO_GALLERY / @FLORIOTRAVELS / @JASONFLORIO  INSTAGRAM
PHOTOSTELLSTORIES – FB

 

Jason Florio – Smithsonian Magazine Instagram Takeover: Rhino Relocation, South Africa

Rhino Relocation

Vimeo - Rhino Relocation, South Africa © Jason Florio
Vimeo – Rhino Relocation, South Africa © Jason Florio

 

Jason Florio – Smithsonian Magazine Instagram Takeover: Rhino Relocation, South Africa

 

Starting today, Saturday 16-Friday 22 June 2018, I’ve been invited by Smithsonian Magazine to take over their Instagram page for a week (huge thanks, Smithsonian!)

I was commissioned by the magazine (via my NYC agent, Redux Pictures). for an assignment in South Africa – ‘Movable Beast‘ – a story about the largest rhino relocation, by road, in history from South Africa to Botswana, working with the writer, Todd Pitock.

A rhino is tranquilized before being transported - Rhino Relocation, South Africa © Jason Florio
A rhino is tranquilized before being transported – Rhino Relocation, South Africa © Jason Florio

 

Check out @smithsonianmagazine Instagram page to see my exclusive, as yet, unpublished images.

So often with magazine assignments, there are a limited number of images, out of hundreds shot, that make it to the pages of the magazine. Therefore, this Instagram takeover is a great opportunity to share some of my favourites over the next week, that did not make it to the printed page.

I hope that you’ll stop by

Jason Florio

Instagram – @jasonflorio / @floriotravels
floriophoto.com

 

Photographer, Jason Florio in Mdina, Malta- image © Helen Jones-Florio
Jason Florio – image © Helen Jones-Florio

 

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