Photo exhibition: ‘Silafando’ award-winning portraits of Gambian chiefs and elders by Jason Florio


Gaya1_exhibit poster April 3rd 2015_ small

Gaya Art Café, The Gambia, West Africa – opening Friday 3rd April, 2015, 3-6pm. Everyone is welcome.

Silafando – a gift to you on behalf of my journey‘ – award-winning portraits of Gambian village chiefs and elders, by Jason Florio, taken whilst on ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – a 930km African odyssey‘, with Helen Jones-Florio, Samba Leigh, Ablie Janneh, and Momadou Cham.

Helen films the departure from Makasutu – the beginning of a 930km walk. Image © Jason Florio


In 2009 we turned left at the gate, from Makasutu Culture Forest, to embark on the first ever circumnavigation of The Republic of The Gambia, West Africa, completely by foot, with two donkeys – Neil & Paddy – (courtesy of The Gambia Horse & Donkey Trust) and a cart, to carry our camping and camera equipment.

Florio dreams of cattle! Chamois Bunda village, The Gambia, West Africa – image © Helen Jones-Florio


At the end of each day, we presented ‘silafando’ (the traditional gift giving of kola nuts) to the village chief – the alkalo – and asked permission to pitch our campsite for the night, along with a request to take a formal portrait of the chief and, at times, the village elders.

H & donkey
Helen, ‘Paddy’, and Samba Leigh (Ablie Janneh in the background) – on the road. Image © Jason Florio


‘A New York dinner party isn’t the place to open your mouth and not follow through – no matter how much Brooklyn Lager you’ve drunk. Yet, after a fellow guest told my partner, Helen, and I how he had walked 500 miles across Europe on the El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, we declared that we’d been contemplating a journey for some time and a long walk sounded like just the thing… ‘ read the full story here:  You People Cannot Walk, You Only Move in Cars‘ – The Independent .

‘Silafando’ is an award-winning body of work, which has been published and exhibited around the world and now, for the first time, we have been given the opportunity to do something we have dreamed of doing, since we finished the walk, and that is to exhibit them here in The Gambia (we are indebted to Athens Photo Festival, APhF:15, for shipping the prints to West Africa).

'Silafando' The Gambia © Jason Florio
‘Silafando’ – Alkalo Landing Jammeh, Kalaji village (click link to view Youtube video of Jason taking the portrait of the chief), The Gambia © Jason Florio


At last, the chiefs are coming home – thanks to Gaya Art Café and Gregor Gorman.

We hope you can make it.

The Florios – Helen & Jason

Flo, H & Mr Bah Screen Shot 2012-05-15 at 10.09.54 AM
Jason Florio, Mr Bah – the marabout – and Helen Jones-Florio, Tuba Dabbo village, The Gambia


Related blog:930km African Odyssey’  – images and stories from the journey.


Gambian Photography workshop students – Friday slideshow

Looking back over some of the marvelous work that our young Gambian students produced, during their Photos Tell Stories Photography Workshops, earlier this year. After running through theory in the classroom, Jason then sent the students out into the field. They came back with some very impressive work – considering the majority of them had never used a camera before – which we exhibited, to a packed gallery, at Alliance Française, here in The Gambia, in May.

mamilie_touray_farafenni-0481 copy

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


This weekend we will be going back down to Kartong, near the border of Senegal, to carry on with our story about the turtle conservation project, which we started last weekend, where we released 20 turtles into the Atlantic Ocean – an wondrous experience. More on that soon…

Have a great weekend!

The Florios – Helen & Jason

Flo_HJF Alliance Francaise
Jason & Helen at the Photos Tell Stories exhibition venue


Related posts: Jason Florio Teaches the Art of Portrait Photography  and Photos Tell Stories Students Work

The River Gambia meets the East River, NYC – a floating photographic exhibition

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 9.06.31 AM

At Photoville, NYC, 2013, we exhibited Jason Florio’s ‘River Gambia‘ body of work – taken whilst we were on the ‘River Gambia Expedition – 1044km source-sea African odyssey‘. So, we were very excited when, earlier this year, the organizers of PV – United Photo Industries – approached us to see if we would like to exhibit the work as part of their Wunderlust / Drawn to Water series of exhibitions on the East River Ferry, in New York.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 9.18.43 AM

We are particularly honored to except their invitation because, although we are spending an extended period here in West Africa at the moment,  New York has been our home for some years now. We only wish we could be there to see it. However, we are more than happy to have ‘River Gambia‘ representing us… floating around on the East River in NYC.

‘River Gambia’ © Jason Florio
Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 9.46.36 AM
‘River Gambia’ © Jason Florio


To see more of Jason’s ‘River Gambia‘ series, please visit the website: And, if you would like to read about and see more images from the journey – check out our ‘River Gambia Expedition‘ blog.

Thanks for stopping by.

The Florios – Helen & Jason

Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio – ‘River Gambia’ exhibition, Photoville 2013. Image © Chris Bartlett

Press: ‘US photographers hold photo exhibition’ – Daily Observer, The Gambia, West Africa



To read the full article, please click here or on the above image

Great to see a review of the Photos Tells Stories exhibition in Gambia’s Daily Observer newspaper. It’s just a shame that they didn’t use any of our Gambian students images, which we sent to them.

PTS - A4 poster FLAT

However, you can see them by reading on through the blog or clicking on the various menu links in the header – i.e. ‘Photos Tell Stories Students Work‘. See more press here.

We were also thrilled to see the feature about our ‘River Gambia Expedition‘ in Sidetracked Magazine – with a beautiful layout of Jason Florio’s images from the journey

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 9.07.05 AM
Image © Jason Florio