Meeting the Gambian village chiefs – the Alkalo’s – see their portraits on exhibition for the first time in The Gambia

Something for the weekend…

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Expedition leaders, Jason and Helen. on a red dusty road with Paddy, the donkey. From 930km African odyssey

 

If you are new to the story,  in short, in 2009, photographer, Jason Florio, myself, and three Gambian team mates, two donkeys and a cart to carry camera and camping equipment, walked around the small West African country of The Gambia – ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – 930km African odyssey,  on what would be the first fully documented circumnavigation of the country, completely by foot.

 

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Alkalo (village chief), Dam Sallah, and the village elders come to welcome the team – Kerr Sat Maram, The Gambia. From 930km African Odyssey. Image © Jason Florio

 

On the way around, we were warmly welcomed by many, many different Alkalo’s – male and female – who Jason then photographed. The formal portraits  of the chiefs and elders became an award-winning body of work, entitled: ‘Silafando – a gift to you on behalf of my journey‘.

 

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Team mates: Janneh, Jason, with Alkalo Dadi Bah, Helen, & Momadou, in the tiny village of Tuba Dabbo, The Gambia. From 930km African Odyssey. Image by team mate, Samba Leigh

 

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Alkalo Jare Sowe, Jason Florio, & Samba Leigh, Falleng Koto, The Gambia. From 930km African Odyssey. Image © Helen Jones-Florio

 

'Silafando' The Gambia © Jason Florio
Alkalo Jare Sowe, Felling Kotto, The Gambia – from ‘Silafando’ © Jason Florio

 

If you are in The Gambia, there is still a few more days to see the ‘Silafando‘ exhibition (until 30th April, 2015), at Gaya Art Cafe, Bertil Harding Highway (next door to Senegambia main craft market). And, to see and read more of the back story of the 930km walk, then please visit our ‘930km African Odyssey‘ blog.

HJF

Related Post: ‘Silafando’ exhibition opening

Press: Review of exhibition opening – ‘Silafando’ – portraits of village chiefs by Jason Florio, The Gambia, West Africa

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Photographer, Jason Florio, and photography & expedition producer, Helen Jones-Florio, at the opening of ‘Silafando’ – photo © Anna Wedin, for Afrope.se

 

A big thank you to Anna Wedin, who came to review the opening of our ‘Silafando‘ exhibition, at Gaya Art Café, Gambia, a couple of weeks ago, for Afrope.se – Jason Florio’s award-winning portraits of Gambian village chiefs (‘alkalos’) and elders were taken whilst we were on ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – 930km African odyssey‘, completely by foot, in 2009

Read Anna’s review on the Afrope.se site. If you would like to translate the article, try translate.google.com

The exhibition runs through April 30th, 2015. Click here for location details.

HJF

Related posts: Exhibition Opening / Silafando / Photo Exhibition – Silafando

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Jason Florio – Image © Helen Jones-Florio

 

 

Exhibition opening: ‘Silafando’ – Jason Florio’s Gambian village chief portraits

Friday 3rd April, 2015 – Gaya Art Café, The Gambia, West Africa

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Abdou & Ebou (2nd & 3rd from left), Helen, Jason, Sarjo (Abdou’s daughter), and Samba Leigh – Gaya Art Cafe exhibition opening

 

It was an honour to have Gambian team members present (above), at the exhibition opening, from both the ‘Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – 930km African odyssey 2009 (on which Florio’s ‘Silafando‘ portraits were shot), and from ‘River Gambia – 1044km source-sea African odyssey, 2013-14, expeditions.

 

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What a pleasure to welcome so many familiar faces and to meet new ones. It’s also not uncommon, at Gambian events, to rub shoulders – have a chat over a drink and canapés, as one does – with Ministers, Ambassadors, High Commissioners… . It’s what I really like about being in this tiny West Africa country – few people, however important their status, are truly unapproachable (Jason even had a brief tête-à-tête with the President a short while ago). For us, this informality has been invaluable in procuring official letters of introduction, to ease our passage as we travelled along by land and river, on both our West Africa expeditions.

So, thank you to all those dignitaries who came to support our arts and culture event last Friday, and especially to friends, old and new. Jason and I came away feeling that we’d tasted a little slice of the exhibition gatherings we love to frequent – when we are at home in New York – here at Gaya Art Café, in The Gambia.

Speaking of Gaya’s – huge thanks to everyone there for all their support and for allowing us to exhibit the Gambian chiefs in such a splendid setting. You guys rock – as does Gregor O’ Gorman, who curates the exhibitions there.

If you missed the opening, fear not. The exhibition will run until the end of April, 2015 – Mon-Saturday – outside in the garden and inside the restaurant.

'Silafando' The Gambia © Jason Florio
Herouna Tunkara with his Horse – ‘Silafando’ The Gambia © Jason Florio

 

You can see Jason Florio’s complete, award-winning, ‘Silafando‘ body of work on his website : floriophoto.com

The Florios – Helen & Jason

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The Florios with the Gambian chiefs – Silafando’ – at Gaya Art Cafe, The Gambia

 

Photographer, Jason Florio, and the Gambian chief – exhibition opening 3rd April, The Gambia, West Africa

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Image © Helen Jones-Florio, 2006

 

Jason Florio with the village chief – the alkalo – Massaneh Cham, of Chamin Sosseh, The Gambia, West Africa. Just one of the many portraits, from Florio’s award-winning ‘Silafando‘ body of work, to be exhibited from Friday 3rd April, 2015 – in The Gambia. Taken whilst on ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – 930km Africa odyssey‘, with Helen Jones-Florio.

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Image © Jason Florio – ‘Silafando’

 

If you are in The Gambia, please feel free to come along to the opening:

Friday 3rd April, 2015 – 3-6pm, Gaya Art Cafe, Bertil Harding Highway (next door to the Senegambia craft market).

We hope to see you there!

The Florios (Helen & Jason)

A Short Walk in The Gambian Bush
L-R: The Short Walk team, 2009:- Momadou Cham, Jason Florio, Alkalo Manneh Cham, Helen Jones-Florio, Abdoulie Janneh – Image taken by Samba Leigh (also a team member)

 

Related posts: Silafando – Photo exhibition, Gambia