‘Dear Government…’ Billboard campaign – The Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations

Gambia Victims Centre billboard, The Gambia, West Africa ©Helen Jones-Florio, with Jason Florio
Gambia Victims Centre billboard, The Gambia ©Helen Jones-Florio, with Jason Florio.

 

We finally arrived back in The Gambia to carry on working on our long-term project – ‘Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime.  The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) is in full swing, and the searching for truth – and the bodies of those loved ones, who ‘disappeared‘ under the former, 22-year reign, of Yahya Jammeh – has begun.

Our families need closure…

For the past two years, we have been making portraits and filming testimonies of those who suffered, those who lost family members, and those who fought against Jammeh’s brutal autocratic rule.

#PORTRAITS4POSITIVECHANGE

In April 2000, Yusupha Mbye was shot in the back by Yahya Jammeh regime forces while attending a protest. He was left paralyzed. Image © Jason Florio
In April 2000, Yusupha was shot in the back by Yahya Jammeh regime forces while attending a protest. Image © Jason Florio .

 

With huge gratitude to the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations, who we have been collaborating with over the last few months, we will also be holding the first exhibition of this work, in The Gambia, early March 2019. More news, on that, to follow soon. It’s been some time since we last exhibited in the Gambia so we are honored and excited to be able to, once again, to show our work.

Thanks for stopping by!

Helen Jones-Florio & Jason Florio.

If you would like to be part of #Portraits4PositiveChange, check out our GoFundMe page.

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Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio are available for assignments.

For image licensing – Contact here

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#Portraits4PositiveChange The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio

Ebrima Jabang 'Gambia - Victims and Resisters of a Regime' ©Jason Florio #Portraits4PositiveChange, Victims of Yahya Jammeh
Ebrima Jabang ‘Gambia – Victims and Resisters of a Regime’ ©Jason Florio

 

#Portraits4PositiveChange

The Gambia

© Jason Florio

Ebrima Jabang, age 64, was arrested along with the opposition activist, Solo Sandeng, during the April 14th, 2016 peaceful protest for electoral reform. He was taken to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters, tied face down on a table and tortured by YahyaJammeh’s personal hit squad, the Junglers, permanently losing the sight in his right eye among other internal injuries. Jabang said that he could hear the screams of Solo Sandeng, who was being tortured in another room. Tragically, Sandeng died on the same day, as a result of being tortured. See more of this work-in-progress: floriophoto.com

Photographer, Jason Florio, making #Portraits4PositiveChange,Gambia, West Africa - victims of Yahya Jammeh © Helen Jones-Florio
Photographer, Jason Florio, making #Portraits4PositiveChange, the Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio.

 

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime’

Exhibition News: We will be holding the first photography exhibition, in the Gambia, from this particular body of work, early in March 2019. We are really looking forward to exhibiting in the Gambia, again.

Watch this space for more information on that, shortly!

The Florios (Helen & Jason)

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

 

Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

2019 – Currently working on

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime’

#Portraits4PositiveChange

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Gambia documentary screening at Pan African Film & Arts Festival, 2019, LA

"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

 

Gambia documentary screening at Pan African Film & Arts Festival - still from: Free Screening, london, documentary 'We Never Gave Up - stories of courage in Gambia' Amnesty International
Free Screening ‘We Never Gave Up – stories of courage in Gambia’ Amnesty International – still image ©Helen Jones-Florio (exclusive images from inside the maximum security wing, 2018, Mile2 Prison)

 

Gambia documentary screening at Pan African Film & Arts Festival – We are honoured to have ‘We Never Gave Up – Stories of Courage in Gambia‘, made for Amnesty International, chosen to be shown in its entirety at the 27th PAFF, Los Angeles, CA, February 7-18, 2019 (screening times to be confirmed)

We believe film and art can lead to better understanding and foster communication between peoples of diverse cultures, races, and lifestyles, while at the same time serve as a vehicle to initiate dialogue on the important issues of our times. PAFF.

Gambia documentary screening at Pan African Film & Arts Festival - Still from 'We Never Gave Up' Imam Baba Leigh, The Gambia - portrait ©Jason Florio
Still from ‘We Never Gave Up’ Imam Baba Leigh who was arrested, disappeared, and tortured, for 5 months, The Gambia – portrait ©Jason Florio.
Gambia documentary screening at Pan African Film & Arts Festival

Once the screening has taken place, we will post a link to view the full documentary. In the meantime, the trailer can be seen here.

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Jason Florio is currently working on ‘Gambia – Victims and Resisters of a Regime‘ making portraits and filming testimonies, with Helen Jones-Florio.

#Portraits4PositiveChange

From 1994 -2017 President Yahya Jammeh ruled the Gambia, West Africa, as his own personal fiefdom, crushing dissent, and opposition, with brutality.

His personal hit squad and intelligence agency carried out tortures, and assassinations with impunity – journalists were gunned down and disappeared, ministers were jailed, students shot in cold blood, and even his own brother and sister were murdered on his orders.

With Jammeh’s 2016 election defeat, he went into exile after a standoff with regional forces, and the victims of his regime started to come forward.

So far, over 1000 victims and their families have registered with the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations to share their stories and help build international support to bring Jammeh to justice

This is a work in progress in collaboration with the GCHRV.

 

Bintu was detained and raped by 3 masked security officers - Gambia victims and resisters portraits ©Jason Florio
Bintu was detained and raped by 3 masked security officers – Gambia-Victims and Resisters of a Regime. Portraits ©Jason Florio.

 

Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

BEING SOCIAL
@JASONFLORIO /@FLORIOTRAVELS /
@DOORS_FACADES_FLORIO / @FLORIO_GALLERY
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PHOTOSTELLSTORIES – FB
@FLORIOPHOTONYC – TWITTER

‘Gambia – Victims and Resisters of a Regime’ Update

‘Gambia – Victims, and Resisters  of a Regime’ 

#Portraits4PositiveChange

 

We’ve been busy these last couple of months, working predominantly on the portraits of victims and resisters in our second home of The Gambia. This is a work-in-progress, which we began two years ago. We also got asked to make a documentary for Amnesty International, which should be available to view in its entirety next month. See the trailer on our Vimeo page.

Along with making the portraits, we are filming the testimonies of all the victims and resisters of the Yahya Jammeh 22 year regime. More on this at a later date.

 

Gambia Victims and Resisters of a Regime – ©Jason Florio, the Gambia
Dodou Sanyang, Gambia – portrait ©Jason Florio.

 

Dodou Sanyang in the room of his recently deceased mother. She was one of over a thousand elderly people abducted on the order of the former president, Yahya Jammeh in 2009. Groups of Jammeh’s paramilitary troops along with his youth brigade, The Green Boys and ‘magicians’ from Guinea went from village to village as part of a nationwide hunt for witches.

The alleged witches were held for up to five days in secret locations and made to drink ‘Kubehjaro’, a hallucinogenic substance, and then forced to confess to witchcraft. Some were also severely beaten and robbed by their captors. Some died at the detention sites, and others like Sanyang’s mother suffered years of illness before dying. Many in Sanyang’s village believe the elderly there were not targeted for witchcraft, but because the village had been an opposition stronghold –  Essau, Northbank Division, The Gambia. Image ©Jason Florio.

Oumie Jagne was shot twice in the arm by Gambian security forces during a peacful protests by students on April 10th 2000 © Jason Florio Gambia
Oumie Jagne, Gambia – portrait © Jason Florio.

 

Oumie Jagne was shot twice in the arm by Jammeh regime security forces after she was caught up in the student protests of April 10/11 2000. She was at her small shop when the shooting of unarmed students began and attempted to help a young girl who had been shot in the foot. While pulling the girl to safety, Oumie was fired upon and suffered life-changing injuries, almost severing her left arm. She is one of over 1000 victims registered at the Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations – Bakau, The Gambia. Image ©Jason Florio.

‘Gambia – Victims, and Resisters  of a Regime’ 

See more from this on-going series of portraits on Jason Florio’s website floriophoto.com

follow our hashtag campaign #Portraits4PositiveChange

 

E-Presiden, Yahya Jammeh, leaves the Gambia - 21/1/207 ©Jason Florio

 

From 1994 -2017 President Yahya Jammeh ruled the Gambia, West Africa, as his own personal fiefdom, crushing dissent, and opposition, with brutality.

“I will rule for a billion years if Allah wills it” Yahya Jammeh

His personal hit squad and intelligence agency carried out tortures, and assassinations with impunity – journalists were gunned down and disappeared, ministers were jailed, students shot in cold blood, and even his own brother and sister were murdered on his orders.

Gambia Has Decided

Follow @jasonflorio – Instagram

Instagram - images © Jason Florio
Instagram – @JasonFlorio.

 

Follow @floriotravels – Instagram

Instagram @floriotravels. Images © Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio
Instagram © Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio.

 

If you would like to know how you can help us to make more #Portraits4PositiveChange, please check out our GoFundMe page.

More updates, coming soon

Helen Jones-Florio & Jason Florio.

Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio, Essau, The Gambia. Image courtesy Madi Sonko
Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio, Essau, The Gambia. Image courtesy Madi Sonko