Press: The Voice newspaper, Gambia, features ‘Photos Tell Stories: photographs of The Gambia by Gambians’ exhibition

The Voice, interview with Jason & Helen Florio


Many thanks to Nfamara Camera – a journalist from Gambia’s Voice newspaper – for coming along to the ‘Photos Tell Stories – photographs of The Gambia by Gambians‘ exhibition opening night on Friday 15th May, at Alliance Française. It’s great to have such positive  national press coverage, to showcase our PTS’s workshops students photography.

One for the weekend –  an uplifting image, from one of the sixty prints we have on exhibit at AF, until May 31st, 2014 – by Lucy Njoku, Kartong village Photos Tell Stories photography workshop:


Please check out ‘Students Work‘ to see images from all the Gambia photography workshops we taught, courtesy of the US Embassy, Banjul.

More news coming soon.

The Florios – Helen & Jason

GRTS (Gambia Radio & TV) coverage of the exhibition opening night

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Opening night at ‘Photos Tell Stories’ exhibition – Photographs of The Gambia by Gambians

The opening night for ‘Photos Tell Stories – photographs of The Gambia by Gambians‘ exhibition, at Alliance Française, in The Gambia, West Africa, was a resounding success!

On the left, yours truly (Helen Jones-Florio), and Josh Shrager (to my left), from the US Embassy, Banjul – Alliance Française, The Gambia © Jason Florio


Between us, and our main partners, the US Embassy, Banjul, we managed to get around 40 of our Gambian ‘Photos Tell Stories’ photography workshop students down to Alliance Francaise for the exhibition opening last Friday – including the students from as far afield as Soma and Farafenni –  and Kembujeh, Fajara, Kartong. And, thanks to Didier Martin, le Directeur  of AF, they managed to use their persuasive influence to get GRTS – Gambia TV and Radio – down too.

Le Directeur of Alliance Française, Banjul, Didier Martin,  introduces the exhibition, filmed by GRTS. Image © Jason Florio


Carrying on with photography – Abdoulie Jallow from our Soma workshop. Image © Jason Florio


Kembujeh students work, Alliance Française, The Gambia. Image © Jason Florio


Along with Jason and I being filmed (although I barely sqwaked out the URL for the blog – a sore throat having taken fierce hold a few days previously, whereby I was barely able to speak by the opening night!), many of the students were interviewed on camera too – all very new and exciting for most of them. GRTS’s presence was an added bonus for them all, including us. Also, in attendance were journalists from The Observer and The Point national newspapers respectively.

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Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio – GRTS, Alliance Française, The Gambia – click image to view

The response, from those who attended, to the sixty prints on exhibit was extremely positive – particularly (and most importantly) about the quality of the students work. The same question kept coming up throughout the evening: were the students photographers before we taught them? When, in reality, the majority of the workshop students had never even held a camera, let alone taken a photo. We think they did really rather well – and, they obviously listened well to their tutor, Jason Florio, during the theory section in the classroom.

Image © Ousman Bah
Image © Ousman Bah
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Image © Alieu Bojang
Image © Nanding Saidybah
Image © Nanding Saidybah
Image © Nanding Saidybah
Image © Nanding Saidybah

It was great to see so many new, and old friends, turning up to support us all, and those who had seen the posters around and about town, advertising the exhibition, who felt compelled to come and see what this Photographs of The Gambia by Gambians exhibition was all about.

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As the night set in, in the outdoor amphitheater, we then projected a slideshow of images by Jason Florio, from three of our West Africa journeys : ‘River Gambia‘, ‘Silafando’, and ‘Maksutu‘ – along with our short film from hours of footage we both shot whilst on the ‘River Gambia Expedition

Flo paddling IMG_5776 copy

Thanks to Joshua Shrager, Public Affairs Officer
– our main man at the US Embassy Banjul –  and Ric Yoneoka,   Deputy Chief of Mission, for believing in what we wanted to do when we first talked to them 16 months or so ago; and for sharing this with us all at Alliance Française, for GRTS. And, to Momadou ‘Papa’ Njie, Assistant Public Affairs Officer, for facilitating and joining us on the road for the photography workshops – and for showing us the best breakfast place in Soma!

Josh and Ric, talking to GRTS about Photos Tell Stories – Alliance Française, The Gambia. Image © Jason Florio

And, of course, thanks to all those who partnered with us – they too had a hand in making the workshops and the subsequent exhibition happen. For this, we are eternally grateful.

However, if it weren’t for our very talented Photos Tell Stories photography workshop students – who had inspiration, during the theory work, from some amazing professional photographers, who contributed images – we wouldn’t have an exhibition in the first place. So, abaraka bakeh, jerrejef, jarama boyeh, merci beaucoup! Please check out more of their inspiring work here. Or, if you are in The Gambia, the exhibition runs through May 30th, 2014. And, Jason and I would be more than happy to walk you through it – just email me: and we can arrange that.

Now… what next?

Watch this space!

The Florios – Helen & Jason

Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio, Photoville 2013, NYC, SA. Image © Chris Bartlett


Exhibition – photographs of The Gambia by Gambians + a projection of images by Jason Florio

Photos Tell Stories‘  exhibition

photographs of The Gambia by Gambians

Opens Friday May 16th – 6-9pm – at Alliance Française, Kairaba Avenue, The Gambia, West Africa.

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With thanks, as always, to our main partners, the US Embassy, Banjul, we are delighted to host the forthcoming exhibition of around 60 prints (thanks to AdoramaPix, NY for their support) from our young Gambian  Photos Tell Stories photography workshop students.

Also, on the opening night, we’ll be projecting images from three other major West Africa projects – images by PTS’s tutor and award-winning photographer Jason Florio – from ‘River Gambia‘, (1044km source-sea African odyssey) ‘Silafando‘ (A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush), and ‘Makasutu – mecca in the forest‘:

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We had some great support for Photos Tell Stories – all of whom made the inaugural photography workshops in The Gambia possible. So, with thanks to all our partners and contributors:

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We also had some phenomenal  – and truly inspiring for our Gambian students –  images to share throughout all the workshops, thanks to a highly accomplished bunch of professional photographers:

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During the opening night, we’ll be screening our short film from ‘River Gambia‘, footage taken during our 1044km source-sea journey – from the source of the mighty African river in the Fouta Djallon Highlands of Guinea-Conakry, into Senegal, and onto where the river meets the Atlantic Ocean in The Gambia.

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Click on image to view River Gambia film


We look forward to welcoming you all to the opening night, Friday 16th May. However, if you can’t make it, we will be posting photos galore from the event. If you want us to keep you updated, please subscribe to the blog (lefthand column), ‘like’ our FB page, or follow us on twitter


The Florios – Helen & Jason

Flo_HJF Alliance Francaise

‘Photos Tell Stories’ photography exhibition invites are being sent out! Opening night at Alliance Française, The Gambia 16/5/2014

in Partnership with US GAMBIA WORK SHOP -300dpi_ FLAT

exhibition image_student-1Photos Tell Stories – Photographs of The Gambia by Gambians

+ a projection of images

River Gambia’, Silafando‘, &Makasutu

from award-winning photographer, Jason Florio

 Opening night: Friday 16th May, 2014 6-9pm – Alliance Française, Kairaba Avenue, Kanifing, The Gambia.

Free entry – everyone welcome!

Partnering with the US Embassy, Banjul


Based on a series of photography workshops, in The Gambia, West Africa, earlier in 2014 – ‘Photos Tell Stories: teaching photography – a visual language‘, with tutor and photographer Jason Florio and producer Helen Jones-Florio – the exhibition is the culmination of these workshops, to showcase the amazing, and truly inspiring, photography produced by Gambian students, from Fajara, Kembujeh, Kartong, Farafenni, and Soma.

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‘River Gambia‘ © Jason Florio


In the reception area of Alliance Française, the Florios short film – ‘River Gambia’ – will be screened throughout the opening night – which premiered at Photoville 2013, New York, during the River Gambia exhibition.

youtube river gambia
Please click  here or on above image to view


Behind-the-Scenes – Jason Florio with the Photos Tell Stories photography workshop students from Kembujeh village, The Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio


Along with exhibiting printed work – around 60 images – from our Gambian photography students, on the big screen in the AF amphitheater, we will be projecting a wider range of the students work from all the Photos Tell Stories  workshops; including behind-the-scenes of the students and Jason Florio at work.


Image © Alhasan Bah
Image © Alhasan Bah – Soma


The exhibition is open to the public, during AF hours, Fri 16-Sat 31st May

For all updates about the workshops, and our other photography projects, please subscribe to this Photos Tell Stories blog (‘follow’ in the lefthand column of this page); ‘like’ FB; follow Twitter

We look forward to welcoming you on the night of Friday16th May, at Alliance Française, The Gambia.  If you would like us to add you to the guest list, please email

Abaraka bakeh!

The Florios  – Helen & Jason

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Gambia, April 2014


As always, we give a  BIG thank you to all our partners and contributors who helped make ‘Photos Tell Stories‘ happen – especially The US Embassy, Banjul, The Gambia –  Fujifilm, USA; PowerHouse Books, NY, USA; Gambia Experience, UK & The Gambia; Foto Care, NYC, USA; Protronica Ltd, UK; Jekkah – African inspired clothing – made in The Gambia; Qcell, The Gambia; AdoramaPix, NYC, USA.

Team Soma! the students from the Silicon Institute receive their Photos Tell Stories photography workshop certificates


And HUGE thanks to all the awe-inspiring International, professional, photographers who allowed us to share their superb images with our Gambian students, during the workshops (in no particular order – we are equally grateful to all!): Manjari SharmaAmber Terranova; Amy Toensing; Sari Goodfriend; Ryan Heffernan; Ben Lowy; Stefan Falke; Oskar Landi; Thomas Donley; Brandon Remler; Wayne Lawrence;  Chris Bartlett; Robert Goldstein; Henry Jacobson; Heloise Bergman