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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Jason Florio – Smithsonian Magazine Instagram Takeover: Rhino Relocation, South Africa

Rhino Relocation

Vimeo - Rhino Relocation, South Africa © Jason Florio
Vimeo – Rhino Relocation, South Africa © Jason Florio

 

Jason Florio – Smithsonian Magazine Instagram Takeover: Rhino Relocation, South Africa

 

Starting today, Saturday 16-Friday 22 June 2018, I’ve been invited by Smithsonian Magazine to take over their Instagram page for a week (huge thanks, Smithsonian!)

I was commissioned by the magazine (via my NYC agent, Redux Pictures). for an assignment in South Africa – ‘Movable Beast‘ – a story about the largest rhino relocation, by road, in history from South Africa to Botswana, working with the writer, Todd Pitock.

A rhino is tranquilized before being transported - Rhino Relocation, South Africa © Jason Florio
A rhino is tranquilized before being transported – Rhino Relocation, South Africa © Jason Florio

 

Check out @smithsonianmagazine Instagram page to see my exclusive, as yet, unpublished images.

So often with magazine assignments, there are a limited number of images, out of hundreds shot, that make it to the pages of the magazine. Therefore, this Instagram takeover is a great opportunity to share some of my favourites over the next week, that did not make it to the printed page.

I hope that you’ll stop by

Jason Florio

Instagram – @jasonflorio / @floriotravels
floriophoto.com

 

Photographer, Jason Florio in Mdina, Malta- image © Helen Jones-Florio
Jason Florio – image © Helen Jones-Florio

 

“We Never Gave Up: Stories of Courage in Gambia” – Amnesty International Documentary

“We Never Gave Up: Stories of Courage in Gambia

A Jason Florio & Louise Hunt Production for Amnesty International

the documentary

At the end of last year, we were commissioned by Amnesty International, West Africa, to make a documentary about the human rights defenders, and activists, who worked tirelessly, and often at their own risk, to stand up for those who had been abused and tortured – including working for the families of those who had ‘disappeared‘ – under the 22-year dictatorship of President Yahya Jammeh.

Screen-grab from documentary: Dec 2016, Yahya Jammeh goes live on air to rescind the recent elections, whereby the majority of the country voted him out
Screen-grab from documentary trailer: Dec 2016, Yahya Jammeh goes live on air to rescind the recent elections, after the majority of the country voted him out
Director of Photography/Co-Producer, Jason Florio, with Foroyaa newspaper editor, Samuel Sarr, at his printing press
Director of Photography/Co-Producer, Jason Florio, with Foroyaa newspaper editor, Samuel Sarr, in his printing press. Image ©Helen Jones-Florio (2nd Camera)

Having traveled, lived, and worked, over the last 20 years, on various assignments and personal projects, in the Gambia, Florio and I were always aware of its dark underbelly. We heard ‘the stories‘ of abuse, torture, disappearances, murder even. And, in a country which depends largely on tourism – the pull of beautiful sandy beaches, year-long sunshine, languorous boat trips on the River Gambia, technicolored sunsets – you’d be extremely hard pushed, if you only visited for a holiday, to have any notion at all of the graveness of what was going on, in the small West Africa country.

Jugana, one of the victims of Jammeh's torturous regime, being filmed by Jason Florio ©Helen Jones-Florio
Jugana Suso, a victim of Jammeh’s torturous regime, being filmed by Jason Florio ©Helen Jones-Florio

For 22 years, we documented Gambians living in a climate of fear. Their rights were denied and many were subjected to torture, arbitrary detention, and widespread surveillance. But even in those dark days, there were people brave enough to stand up and challenge the abuse of power.” 

Screen-grab from the documentary #GambiaHasDecided, Bakau ©Jason Florio
Screen-grab from the documentary trailer #GambiaHasDecided, Bakau ©Jason Florio

“Whether they were journalists, human rights lawyers, community leaders, young activists or victims of abuses, they never gave up. Our film portrays their stories, showing the world a lesson that what happened in the Gambia is proof of the power and change that human rights defenders can bring about.Alioune Tine, Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa Regional Director.

Preparing to interview Imam Baba Leigh at his home ©Helen Jones-Florio
Preparing to interview Imam Baba Leigh at his home – a former prisoner and victim of torture – with sound man, Pa Ebou Sossey ©Helen Jones-Florio
Jason Florio filming at the Foroyaa newspaper print shop ©Helen Jones-Florio (2nd Camera)
Jason Florio filming at the Foroyaa newspaper print shop ©Helen Jones-Florio (2nd Camera)
Human rights lawyers: L-R ©Helen Jones-Florio
Human rights lawyers, with their client, Jugana Suso: L-R: Hawa Sisay Sabally, Rachel Yvonne Mendy, Juguna Suso, Yassin Sanghor © Helen Jones-Florio (2nd Camera)
The facilitators of the #GambiaHasDecided campaign ©Helen Jones-Florio
The inspiring people behind the far-reaching and incredibly influential #GambiaHasDecided campaign – Lamin Saidykhan, Gilleh Thomas, Asta Jobe, Salieu Taal ©Helen Jones-Florio
Filming human rights lawyer, xxxx, in her home © Helen Jones-FlorioFilming human rights lawyer, xxxx, in her home © Helen Jones-Florio
Filming human rights lawyer, Yassin Sanghor at in her home © Helen Jones-Florio
Car bumper sticker '#MyTribeIsGambian © Helen Jones-Florio
Car bumper sticker ‘#MyTribeIsGambian © Helen Jones-Florio

To have all those stories,  Jammeh’s reign of fear and terror,  Florio and I had only heard whispers about over the years (until April 2016, when Gambians came to the streets to protest after the death in custody of activist Solo Sandeng), our Gambian friends only ever spoke sotto voce about what was going on, confirmed by those who had actually lived them was both incredibly disturbing and humbling. Now, with a new president, they have the freedom to speak out, have their voices heard.

Louise Hunt, write and co-producer, interviews Salieu Taal (#GambiaHasDecided), Saffy J's Restaurant, Bakau ©Helen Jones-Florio
Louise Hunt, writer/co-producer, interviews Salieu Taal (#GambiaHasDecided), Saffie J’s Restaurant, Bakau ©Helen Jones-Florio (2nd Camera)

We are truly thankful to every single person who shared their experiences, those who worked with us on the documentary, and Amnesty International for inviting us to make the documentary, in a place that we feel is a second home.

The Florios

Photos Tell Stories – documentary, photography, travel

Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio, The Gambia, West Africa
Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio, The Gambia, West Africa

Follow us on Instagram @floriotravels / @jasonflorio for updates on

when and where you can see the full documentary

Helen Jones-Florio online gallery of fine art photography prints

Helen Jones-Florio online gallery-fine art photography prints montage

Helen Jones-Florio online gallery-fine art photography prints montage
Helen Jones-Florio online gallery – fine art photography prints montage. Also on @florio_gallery/Instagram    

 

View the above collections and more at helenjonesflorio.com or contact helen@helenjonesflorio.com. Fine art photography prints from award-winning, internationally established photographers:

Ritty Tacsum, Robert Goldstein, Ken Shung, Michel Delsol, Chris Bartlett, Oskar Landi, and Jason Florio