The Gambia – Photographer/filmmaker, Jason Florio, making #Portraits4PositiveChange

 Jason Florio, with Yusepha Mbye, who was shot in the back by security forces in 2000 student protest - making #Portraits4PositiveChange #Gambia - image, Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio
Jason Florio – making #Portraits4PositiveChange, the Gambia – image, Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio

 

‘Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime’
#portraits4positivechange

On location, in The Gambia: Yesterday Jason Florio photographed Yusepha, who was shot in the back by the Yahya Jammeh regime’s security forces, during a peaceful student protest in April 2000. He is paralyzed from the neck down. He was just 18 years old.

The April 2000 Gambian student massacre was the killing of 14 people (and one accidental death) by Gambian police officers and soldiers on the 10 April 2000 at a student protest in Banjul, the Gambia.

Please check out our GoFundMe page for more info on this project, or to donate/share.

 

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
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Multimedia: ‘I am Amigoe Dieudonné – The Artist Painter’ continues his odyssey

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VIMEO: Filmed & produced by Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio ©Jason Florio/Florio Studio. Click here to view

 

Update: April 26th, 2017: Amigoe needs a little help, to enable him to exhibit his work in Belgium  

A short video portrait shot in The Gambia, of Togolese painter Amigoe Dieudonné, who has traveled for over thirteen years around West Africa in his wheelchair, stopping along the way to create extensive bodies of work, which he exhibits and sells to be able to continue his odyssey.

We met Amigo, last year, whilst living in The Gambia, West Africa, at the opening night of our Photos Tell Stories – ‘The Gambia by Gambians‘ – exhibition. He asked us if we would film a short bio, to enable him to approach potential clients and galleries.

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Amigoe at work in his house in The Gambia, with Jason Florio © Helen Jones-Florio

A few months ago, true to his independent and ever-inquisitive nature of the past thirteen years, Amigoe decided to make the arduous overland journey to Bamako, Mali, to see if he could expand his artistic career. He recently contacted us to give us some great news – thanks to the Senegalese Chamber of Commerce he, and a select number of other artists, have been given the opportunity to travel to Germany to exhibit their work. Amigoe is currently back in his homeland of Togo, waiting for his new passport.

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©Helen Jones-Florio
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Florio, Amigoe, and fellow artists, at his former home in Cape Point, The Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio
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©Jason Florio

We wish him all success in his continuing odyssey. Watch this space, as we’ll be keeping a close eye on his progress.

Bon voyage, Amigoe – the artist, painter!

Helen Jones-Florio & Jason Florio

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Multimedia: I am Amigoe Dieudonné – The Artist Painter

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Click the above image or here to view the video Vimeo

 

We recently had the pleasure of working with the very talented Togolese artist, Amigoe Duiedonné. He had asked us to make a short multimedia bio for the opening of his current exhibition at Alliance Française, here in The Gambia, West Africa; which, coincidentally, is the same venue we exhibited ‘Photos Tell Stories – Images of The Gambia by Gambians

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Image © Jason Florio

 

Vimeo: ‘Short video portrait shot in The Gambia, of Togolese painter Amigoe Dieudonne who has travelled for twelve years around West Africa in his wheelchair, stopping along the way to create extensive bodies of work, that he exhibits and sells to be able to continue his odyssey’ – Filmed & produced by Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio
©Florio Studio

For more about our multimedia work, please check out Film & Radio

 

 

 

West Africa – a sneak peek at personal photography and film projects: traditional masquerades and Togolese artists

After Jason and I finished our inaugural ‘Photos Tell Stories: teaching photography – a visual language‘ photography workshops, in Gambia, West Africa – the culmination of which was an exhibition of the young Gambian students work at Alliance Française – we began to look around for new photography projects in the region.

Both of us have always been fascinated by the traditional Gambian ‘masquerades’ – after having seen many over the years, throughout the country and in neighboring Senegal – dynamic, wonderfully mysterious, and sometimes down right dark and scary!

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Image © Jason Forio – the ‘Asamayo’ or ‘Agomalah’ for NGO Concern Universal – Forest festival, Koudioubé, in the Casamance, Senegal

 

Whether it be a circumcision ceremony, celebrating a successful harvest, chasing away evil spirits, enforcing village rules, or simply for entertainment, masquerades play a central and significant role in many parts of West African society.

Before we left The Gambia last month –  a short hiatus to spend time with family – we began to work on the masquerade project…

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Image © Jason Florio – ‘Little Devil’ a sneak peak at one of the masquerades, Kembujeh village, The Gambia, West Africa

 

We’re also working closely with the Gambia National Centre for  Arts and Culture – to produce a series of masquerade portraits for an exhibition in the near future. There is an abundance of masquerades – from the ‘Cumpo‘, ‘Kankurang‘, ‘The Hunter‘, ‘Agomalah’, to the stilted ‘Monpara‘. We look forward to exploring these more fully, when we return to West Africa in the coming months – delving deep into the origins and traditions of each one we meet; to create a photographic anthropology of the traditional masquerade

 

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Image © Jason Florio – Amigoe at home, surrounded by his paintings.

 

On the opening night of the Photos Tell Stories exhibition, we were very fortunate to be introduced to highly accomplished Togolese artist, Amigoe Dieudonné . During further meetings, Amigoe – an articulate, charismatic man – began to tell us the compelling story of his life, since leaving his Togolese home and family at 19 years old, living as a disabled artist, in various countries in West Africa. And, how his travels have shaped the very distinctive art he produces today.

We began to film and photograph Amigoe – again, shortly before we left The Gambia – who invited us into to his home and studio, to fully share with us the rich and vibrant tapestry of his life. We look forward to continuing this story too, when we return.

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Image © Jason Florio – Amigoe at work in his studio, The Gambia, West Africa

 

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We would like to extend our thoughts to all those, in West Africa, who have been affected by the recent Ebola crisis, and we pray that it does not spread further.

More news soon…

The Florios – Helen & Jason

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Helen & Jason – opening night of the Photos Tell Stories exhibition – Gambia TV & Radio (about 47 seconds in!) – click image to view footage
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