Photo of the Day: Fish-smoking, Kafountine, Casamance

Panoramic: Fish-smoking on a grand scale, Kafountine, Casamance ©Helen Jones-Florio
Panoramic: Fish-smoking on a grand scale, Kafountine, Casamance©Helen Jones-Florio

Another kind of landscape… Poisson fumant à grande échelle! Casamance, Southern Senegal, West Africa

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Photo of the Day: People disembarking a pirogue, Casamance River ©Jason Florio

 

Passengers disembarking a pirogue, Casamance River ©Jason Florio
Passengers disembarking a pirogue, Casamance River ©Jason Florio  

The view from the balcony of our room…

at Hotel La Perroquet, in Ziguinchor, Senegal. Dusk was closing in, as Florio and I sat drinking a blissfully trés chaud Flag, overlooking the Casamance River. After a week of shooting out in the field, in a hot-as-Hades climate, around northern Senegal and then in the Casamance region, down in the south, it was well-deserved!

Pirogue at dawn, Diouloulou, Casamamce © Jason Florio
Pirogue at dawn, Diouloulou, Casamance, Senegal © Jason Florio

 

We’ll be posting more images from our current West Africa travels soon.

Ba chi kanam

The Florios

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Youtube: Forest Festival, Casamance, Senegal, West Africa

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VIDEOGRAPHY © JASON FLORIO AND HELEN JONES-FLORIO . CLICK HERE OR ABOVE IMAGE TO VIEW FOOTAGE

 

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.

The 'Cumpo' is warming up... Casamance, Senegal
Jason Florio photographs the ‘Kumpo’ – traditional masquerade – festival des forêts, Casamance, Senegal. Image © Helen Jones-Florio

 

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Helen Jones-Florio: “These bundles are seriously ‘acouliatah’ (heavy)!”  – image © Jason Florio  

 

We were also accompanied by our friend, and adroit writer, Louise Hunt, who was covering the story for The Guardian:

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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Helen Jones-Florio

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Jason Florio and Helen Jones-Florio working for Concern Universal NGO – Koudioubé forest, Casamance, Senegal