GoFundMe: Gambia-Victims, and Resisters of a Regime – #Portraits4PositiveChange ©Jason Florio

Portrait of ex-Mile2 prisoner, Ballo Kanteh, the Gambia ©Jason Florio
Ballo Kanteh – an ex-political prisoner, he shows the burns he suffered after melted plastic was dripped onto his skin by Jammeh’s hit-squad, the Junglers. Kanteh spent 18-year detention at the notorious Mile 2 prison – for the first two years, he was held in solitary confinement in a pitch dark cell, which has permanently damaged his eyesight ©Jason Florio

GoFundMe: The Gambia – Victims, and Resister of a Regime  

  • To face the past, victims, and resisters, of the Jammeh regime come forward – #Portraits4PostiveChange

‘In a global political climate where authoritarian rule is on the rise  – where autocratic leaders crush dissent, and opposition, with brutality and little or no regard for human rights – it is essential to keep telling the stories of the victims of such regimes.

Your support will enable us to continue our work, to create an extensive body of portraits of the victims of the 22-year brutal dictatorship of the Yahya Jammeh’s regime, as a tool for positive change and advocacy…’Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio 

The wife and son of Harouna Jammeh, who was murdered along with his sister on the orders of his brother, former president Yahya Jammeh ©Jason Florio
The wife and son of Harouna Jammeh, who was murdered along with his sister on the orders of his brother, former president Yahya Jammeh. Harouna’s daughter, Ayeshah Jammeh, has since co-founded the ‘Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations‘ – Image ©Jason Florio 

 

Please check out our GoFundMe campaign to find out more and why this is so important… and help spread the word, by sharing on social media. We’ll thank everyone, individually. And, if you donate, we’ll send you a handmade postcard, once we get to the Gambia. 

GoFund Me #Portraits4PostiveChange Gambia

 

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#ThrowBackMonday – Behind the scenes : Jason Florio’s portrait of ‘Samba Fishing’ – River Gambia, West Africa

‘Samba Fishing’, Kuntaur, River Gambia ©Jason Florio 

 

During our time canoeing the length of the River Gambia, on our exploration of the people whose livelihoods depend on the river, we spent each night wild camping on the river bank – whether it be camping on a sandbank in the middle of the river (burning a fire all night long to deter the hippos!), on rocky outcrops miles from the nearest village and, at other times, on the edge of a village, if it was near enough to the river.

Jason Florio photographs Samba, a young fisherman, in Kuntaur, whilst on the River Gambia Expedition. Image © Helen Jones-Florio
Jason Florio photographs Samba, a young fisherman, River Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio.

 

On this particular day, we arrived mid-afternoon into the village of Kuntaur, situated on the banks of the river. We had stayed in the village before, whilst on our 2009 ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush‘. We set up our campsite in the grounds of a small riverbank lodge and, as had become the norm, our arrival instantly attracted hordes of local kids – shouting and screaming, all vying for our attention, fascinated with our tents and equipment – before the caretaker of the lodge shooed them away, “atchayah! atchayah!” (go away, get lost! A Mandinka word Gambians use to scatter mischievous kids and the scores of scavenging bush dogs alike!).

'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?’ Helen – Camping in the village chiefs compound comes at a price ©Jason Florio.

 

As we were about to settle down for a well-deserved cup of tea, having paddled almost 33km that day – a tough, exhausting 10km of it against the tide – we noticed a young boy, out on the river, in a local pirogue that looked far too big for him to handle on his own. We called him over and he paddled towards us with such ease and dexterity, as if he was steering a small rubber dinghy and not a heavy wooden dugout canoe, carved from a tree trunk.

His name was Samba and he said that he was ‘11 or 12 years old‘ (it’s not unusual, in this part of the world, for people not knowing exactly how old they are). He had come straight from school, to pull in his families fishing nets from the river, to see what catch they had that day…‘ Exert/words ©Helen Jones-Florio – read more at ‘River Gambia Expedition – 1044km source-sea African odyssey

'Samba Fishing' River Gambia, fine art photography prints © Jason Florio '
‘Samba Fishing’ fine art photography prints © Jason Florio ‘

 

Jason Florio’s fine art photography prints – available from helenjonesflorio.com

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Exclusive images: Inside Mile2 Prison, The Gambia – images ©Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio

Exclusive images inside Mile 2 Prison, The Gambia - Prisoners watch TV in their dorm-like cell block ©Jason Florio
Prisoners watch TV in their dorm-like cell block, MILE 2 prison, Gambia ©Jason Florio

Exclusive images, inside the notorious Mile2 Prison, The Gambia, West Africa – Ex-President, Yahya Jammeh, referred to it as ‘my 5-star hotel‘.

Exclusive images inside Mile 2 Prison, The Gambia - The exercise yard come laundry space - image © Helen Jones-Florio
The exercise yard come laundry space, MILE 2 prison – image © Helen Jones-Florio

 

All images © Jason Florio & ©Helen Jones-Florio  – for more images/footage, and licensing, please email Helen (dot) Jones (at) floriophoto (dot) comExclusive images from Inside the notorious Mile 2 Prison, The Gambia – in the exercise yard of the Remand Wing – image ©Jason Florio

Mile 2 Prison, The Gambia – the exercise yard of the Remand Wing – image ©Jason Florio.

Mile 2 Prison, The Gambia – a prisoner looks out from his cell in the maximum security block– image ©Helen Jones-Florio
Mile 2 Prison, The Gambia – a prisoner looks out from his cell in the maximum security block– image ©Helen Jones-Florio.

 

Related:Victims of Torture, Abuse, and Dissent work in progress – portraits by Jason Florio.

From 1994 -2017 Yahya Jammeh ruled the Gambia, West Africa as his own fiefdom, crushing dissent, and opposition with brutality. With Jammeh’s ouster and flight into exile, hundreds of Gambians now feel safe to come forward and speak freely about the crimes committed against them by his regime. This is a work in progress…

Exclusive images from Inside the notorious Mile 2 Prison, The Gambia   – prisoners in the main exercise yard of the prison  – image ©Helen Jones-Florio
Mile 2 Prison, The Gambia – prisoners in the main exercise yard of the prison – image ©Helen Jones-Florio.

 

Watch the trailer for: ‘We Never Gave Up – Stories of courage in Gambia‘ made for Amnesty International. The documentary tells the stories of human rights defenders fighting against former-President Jammeh’s oppressive state.

Vimeo - Watch "We Never Gave Up: Stories of Courage in Gambia" - trailer for Amnesty International
Watch “We Never Gave Up: Stories of Courage in Gambia” – trailer for Amnesty International

 

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The Gambia – The Victims and the Instigator. Portraits © Jason Florio

Ex-president, Yahya Jammeh, with his ever-present security force ©Jason Florio
Ex-president, Yahya Jammeh, with his ever-present security force ©Jason Florio

 

One man, many victims

The Gambia – torture, abuse, and dissent

From 1994 -2017 Yahya Jammeh ruled the GambiaWest Africa as his own fiefdom, crushing dissent, and opposition with brutality. With Jammeh’s ouster and flight into exile, hundreds of Gambians now feel safe to come forward and speak freely about the crimes committed against them by his regime.

This portrait series is a work in progress…Jason Florio.

Jugana Susso, was arrested and detained during a peaceful demonstration by President Jammeh's feared security services. She was tortured and beaten so badly on her legs she has problems walking even around her own home ©Jason Florio
Jugana Susso, was arrested and detained during a peaceful demonstration by President Jammeh’s feared security services ©Jason Florio.

 

Read/see more images on Jason Florio’s blog and website.

"We Never Gave Up: Stories of Courage in Gambia" free doc screening, Aug 13th, London. Poster Image © Helen Jones-Florio (inside Mile2 prison) "We Never Gave Up: Stories of Courage in Gambia" free doc screening, Aug 13th, London. Image © Helen Jones-Florio (inside Mile2 prison)
“We Never Gave Up: Stories of Courage in Gambia” watch the documentary trailer Image © Helen Jones-Florio (inside Mile2 prison)

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