#DisappearingNewYork – doors, and storefronts

#DisappearingNewYork ‘When it reigns, I’m poor’, Mario… 7th Ave, Manhattan, NYC ©Helen Jones-Florio/ Instagram

‘Helen Jones-Florio, always ‘unhiding’ doors that would remain for most unseen , thank you for guiding the eyes and mind’- NYC-based photographer, Michel Delsol

#DisappearingNewYork


Door-hunting in and around our old neighbourhood, in New York City. Plus a smattering from a road-trip between Dallas and Austin, Texas – Helen Jones-Florio / Instagram

Disappearing New York - Doors and storefronts ©Helen Jones-Florio
#DisappearingNewYork – Doors, and storefronts ©Helen Jones-Florio

Press: ‘How I’m seeing Malta disappear through its doors’ – Times of Malta #DisappearingMalta


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Looking back: A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush, 930km African Odyssey

Chief Jara Sowe and photographer, Jason Florio, The Gambia, West Africa ©Helen Jones-Florio 2009

A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush –

930km African Odyssey

Throughout November and December 2009 Expedition: The first-ever circumnavigation, completely by foot, of The Gambia, West Africa by award-winning photojournalist & filmmaker, Jason Florio, and photography producer, Helen Jones-Florio, three Gambians, two donkeys, and a cart!

Along the way, Jason shot what have become award-winning, internationally exhibited, portraits of the traditional village chiefs – the Alkalo – and elders

‘Silafando – a gift to you on behalf of my journey

The following exert is from the expedition blog, ‘930km African odyssey’ – words by Helen Jones-Florio:

Despite turning up unannounced, at the end of a long day of walking, each village that we approached kindly permitted our raggle-taggle, road-weary team to pitch our small camp. This generous acceptance was mainly due to the fact that we used the age-old tradition and protocol for approaching the Alkalo’s – by offering them ‘Silafando’

Gambian village chief and his brother - portraits ©Jason Florio
L-R Samba Sowe (Alkalo’s brother)- farmer Alkalo Jare Sowe, Felling Koto The Gambia, West Africa ©Jason Florio

The story behind the black backdrop

In The Gambia, as in other regions in West Africa, when approaching a village as a stranger and/or traveler and you are asking something from them – such as shelter for the night – it is customary for you to give a ‘silafando’ (roughly translating as ‘a present on behalf of my journey’) of kola nuts, to the chief, which he then shares with the elders.  Once accepted, you are warmly welcomed into the village and everyone knows that you are there as a guest of the Alkalo. This, in turn, guarantees that you are treated with respect as strangers in the village during your stay. And, if anyone were to disrespect that, then they would have the Alkalo to answer to and the shame that this disrespect brings on the family.

A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush –

930km African Odyssey

We met many Alkalo’s on our 6-week journey as we traversed first the length of South Bank, to the country’s furthest easterly point on the border of Senegal, then crossing the River Gambia (which was to form an integral part of a future expedition) we walked the length of the North Bank, before crossing back over the river on the Barra to Banjul ferry to make our way back to where we began the walk.

On the Barra to Banjul ferry, a very tired Short Walk expedition team: Helen, Momadou, Samba, and Jason (and the donkeys, ‘Neil and Phadley). Photo by expedition team member, Janneh.
Helen films the team leaving Makasutu Culture Forest, where the Short Walk in the Gambian Bush Expedition began. Image © Jason Florio

Read/see more images about the expedition on our dedicated blog: 930kmAfricanOdyssey.

Related: River Gambia – 1044km source-sea African odyssey Expedition

Young men on a float taking a generator to a banana plantation on the River Gambia, Senegal, West Africa © Jason Florio
Image © Jason Florio – young men taking a generator on a raft to a nearby banana plantation, River Gambia, Senegal, West Africa

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Interviewing sole survivor of a massacre, Ghanaian, Martin Kyere ©Jason Florio

Interviewing Martin Kyere, Ghana, Image © Jason Florio

Interviewing sole survivor of a massacre, Ghanaian, Martin Kyere. Martin was one of a group of over 50 West African migrants, who were endeavouring to reach Europe when the boat they boarded in Senegal veered off course and landed in The Gambia.

#Portraits4PositiveChange

According to recent witness testimonies by members of President Yahya Jammeh’s hit squad, ‘the Junglers’, at the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) in The Gambia, they revealed that the mass execution was ordered by Jammeh himself after the migrants were accused of being mercenaries trying to overthrow the government. 

Gambia – victims, and resisters’

The portrait of Martin was taken as part of an on-going series: ‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’ – whilst filming a documentary for an NGO in Ghana.

Photographer, Jason Florio, making #Portraits4PositiveChange, the Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio
Photographer, Jason Florio, making #Portraits4PositiveChange, the Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio

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Instagram @jasonflorio_photoprints: ‘Sky Over Texas’ – photography prints by Jason Florio | Available from helenjonesflorio.com gallery

@jasonflorio_photoprints Instagram

We’ve changed the names of a couple of our Instagram feeds

Instagram @doors.helenjonesflorio #DisappearingMalta #StoriesBehindDoors #GambiaDoors - the beauty in decaying vintage doors and facades
Instagram @doors.helenjonesflorio #DisappearingMalta #StoriesBehindDoors #GambiaDoors (previously @doors_facades_florio)

@doors_helenjonesflorio Instagram

Follow us for regular photography updates on Jason Florio’s fine art photography prints and Helen Jones-Florio’s doors and facades from Malta, The Gambia, and beyond…

Helen Jones-Florio & Jason Florio - wet plate collodion print portrait courtesy of Marcin Andrzejewski
Helen Jones-Florio & Jason Florio – portrait courtesy of Marcin Andrzejewski