The beauty in decay – Gambia Doors v Malta Doors

 

Green door, Kartong, The Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio - from #GambiaDoors & #StoriesBehindDoors
Green door, Kartong, The Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio

 

GAMBIA DOORS V MALTA DOORS

 

Green door, Sliema, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio from #DisappearingMalta #MaltaDoors
Green door, Sliema, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

Crossing continents

Malta DoorsGambia Doors.

We are still in West Africa, and I see similarities every day in many of the doors and storefronts, here in the Gambia, of those that I see daily in Malta – the rich, and vibrant colours of beauty in decay…

#DisappearingMalta / #GambiaDoors / #StoriesBehindDoors

All images © Helen Jones-Florio

Photography prints of all the doors and storefronts are available from helenjonesflorio.com

 

Helen Jones-Florio, Valletta vintage storefront ©Jason Florio
Helen Jones-Florio, Valletta vintage storefront ©Jason Florio

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#ThrowBackMonday – Behind the scenes : Jason Florio’s portrait of ‘Samba Fishing’ – River Gambia, West Africa

‘Samba Fishing’, Kuntaur, River Gambia ©Jason Florio 

 

During our time canoeing the length of the River Gambia, on our exploration of the people whose livelihoods depend on the river, we spent each night wild camping on the river bank – whether it be camping on a sandbank in the middle of the river (burning a fire all night long to deter the hippos!), on rocky outcrops miles from the nearest village and, at other times, on the edge of a village, if it was near enough to the river.

Jason Florio photographs Samba, a young fisherman, in Kuntaur, whilst on the River Gambia Expedition. Image © Helen Jones-Florio
Jason Florio photographs Samba, a young fisherman, River Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio.

 

On this particular day, we arrived mid-afternoon into the village of Kuntaur, situated on the banks of the river. We had stayed in the village before, whilst on our 2009 ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush‘. We set up our campsite in the grounds of a small riverbank lodge and, as had become the norm, our arrival instantly attracted hordes of local kids – shouting and screaming, all vying for our attention, fascinated with our tents and equipment – before the caretaker of the lodge shooed them away, “atchayah! atchayah!” (go away, get lost! A Mandinka word Gambians use to scatter mischievous kids and the scores of scavenging bush dogs alike!).

'Any chance of a bit of privacy?' Camping in a the village chiefs compound comes at a price ©Jason Florio
‘Any chance of a bit of privacy?’ Helen – Camping in the village chiefs compound comes at a price ©Jason Florio.

 

As we were about to settle down for a well-deserved cup of tea, having paddled almost 33km that day – a tough, exhausting 10km of it against the tide – we noticed a young boy, out on the river, in a local pirogue that looked far too big for him to handle on his own. We called him over and he paddled towards us with such ease and dexterity, as if he was steering a small rubber dinghy and not a heavy wooden dugout canoe, carved from a tree trunk.

His name was Samba and he said that he was ‘11 or 12 years old‘ (it’s not unusual, in this part of the world, for people not knowing exactly how old they are). He had come straight from school, to pull in his families fishing nets from the river, to see what catch they had that day…‘ Exert/words ©Helen Jones-Florio – read more at ‘River Gambia Expedition – 1044km source-sea African odyssey

'Samba Fishing' River Gambia, fine art photography prints © Jason Florio '
‘Samba Fishing’ fine art photography prints © Jason Florio ‘

 

Jason Florio’s fine art photography prints – available from helenjonesflorio.com

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Reading corners, NYC

Whicker hanging chair and black & white prints, Waverly Place NYC ©Helen Jones-Florio
Waverly Place, NYC ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

My favourite reading corner. I think it’s high time that we get our stuff out of storage. Black and white framed photography prints by the John Edwards. Whicker hanging chair – the best thrift shop find! – Beacon, New York.

Helen Jones-Florio

 

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Doors and Facades

Derelict facade of an old house of character, Triq San Pawl, Bormla, Malta © Helen Jones-Florio
Derelict facade of an old house of character, Triq San Pawl, Bormla, Malta © Helen Jones-Florio

 

I’ll be updating, on a regular basis, my ‘Disappearing Malta‘ series on the ‘Doors and Facades’ page.

First post on the new page:

On one of my many island rambles, the other day, to find more doors and facades to photograph, I jumped onto one of the small local boats that ferry people from the Grand HarborValletta, on the short ride over to the Three Cities.

Walking around the narrow back streets of Bormla (also known as Cospicua), whilst photographing an old door, of the many derelict houses in the area, I was approached by two very young girls – around 6 and 9 years old, respectively. ‘You like this door?’ the older of the two said. ‘Come, I will show you more…’

this is where my grandfather lived when he was a boy’, my unintended chaperone told me… read/ see more on Doors and Facades

ld red door, Bormla, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Old red door, Bormla, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

I hope you that you will stop by

Helen Jones-Florio

Helen Jones-Florio, Valletta vintage storefront ©Jason Florio
Helen Jones-Florio, Valletta vintage storefront ©Jason Florio

 

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