(self) Isolation… images ©Jason Florio

(self) Isolation - image © Jason Florio - a lone woman sits in a bed looking at her phone by a window overlooking the sea, Cornwall, UK
(self) Isolation – image © Jason Florio, March 2020, UK
(self) Isolation - image © Jason Florio - a lone woman stretches in the early morning, looking out the window at the sea, Cornwall, UK
(self) Isolation ©Jason Florio, March 2020, UK

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(self) Isolation - image © Jason Florio - a lone beach hut, on the cliffside, overlooking the sea, Cornwall, UK
(self) Isolation – Image © Jason Florio, March 2020, UK

But if you could just see the beauty,

These things I could never describe,

These pleasures a wayward distraction,

This is my one lucky prize.

Isolation, isolation, isolation, isolation, isolation

Words: Curtis-Hooky-Sumner-Morris / Joy Division

(self) Isolation - image © Jason Florio - a lone woman looks out at the ocean from a cliff top, Cornwall, UK
(self) Isolation ©Jason Florio, March 2020, UK

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(self) Isolation - image © Jason Florio - a lone wild pony eats grass in a field, Cornwall, UK
(self) Isolation – image ©Jason Florio, March 2020, UK
(self) Isolation - image © Jason Florio - a lone wild pony eats grass in a field, Cornwall, UK
(self) Isolation – image ©Jason Florio, March 2020, UK

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(self) Isolation - image © Jason Florio - a lone stone-shaped heart, on a clifftop, overlooking the sea, Cornwall, UK
(self) Isolation – image © Jason Florio. March 2020, UK
(self) Isolation - image © Jason Florio - a vase of flowers on the window ledge in an ancient country church, Cornwall, UK
(self) Isolation – image © Jason Florio, March 2020, UK
Isolation - images ©Jason Florio - an old graveyard, overlooking the sea, Cornwall, UK
(self) Isolation – image © Jason Florio, March 2020, UK
Isolation - images ©Jason Florio - man sits on the the top deck of a bus, overlooking the sea, Cornwall, UK
(self) Isolation – image © Jason Florio, March 2020, UK

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Photos Tell Stories: Photojournalism Workshop for IOM, The Gambia – with Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio

Photos Tell Stories: Photojournalism Workshop for IOM, The Gambia – field work, with journalists, Soulayman Ceesay and Louise ‘Tina’ Alsan, photographing returnee, Buba. Image © Jason Florio

Our Photos Tell Stories Photojournalism Workshop for IOM, in The Gambia, began last week with a group of young Gambian journalists, selected by the International Organisation for Migration. Our first day, spent in the classroom, included an introduction to photojournalism, and technical skills, with photographer and filmmaker, Jason Florio. He also shared his work of over 18 months aboard a rescue ship – for the NGO, MOAS – where he documented multiple rescues, in the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea. IOM’s Communication’s Officer, Miko Alazaz, also presented to the class IOM’s ethics of interviewing and photographing returnees of ‘the backway‘.

@Jason Florio/MOAS.EU
Eritrean Yosef Goitom AKA King Josee helps caryy a baby to safety on the RHiB. Rescue of 369 migrants. This was the first rescue of the 2015 MOAS Mission. Image ©Jason Florio ‘Destination Europe’ award-winning images
Photos Tell Stories: Photojournalism Workshop for IOM. Day 1 – all set up and ready to go. Image © Helen Jones-Florio

“Our workshop with photographers, and filmmakers, Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio, this week allowed photojournalists to learn both technical skills and migration dynamics in The Gambia—then headed out to gather empowering and dignifying photos of returnees.” IOM

Photos Tell Stories: Photojournalism Workshop for IOM, The Gambia. Field work, with Malick Saine, and Bubacarr Jallow – photographing returnees who work as drivers out of Tippa Garage, Bakoteh. Image ©Jason Florio

For the remainder of the week, we headed out with the journalists to interview and photograph young Gambian’s who IOM had helped to come back home from Libya, to The Gambia.

Photos Tell Stories: Photojournalism Workshop for IOM, The Gambia field work, with journalists, Sulayman Ceesay and Louise ‘Tina’ Alsan. Image © Jason Florio
Photos Tell Stories: Photojournalism Workshop for IOM, The Gambia. Field work, with journalist, Isatu Bokum – photographing returnee, Fatou. Image ©Helen Jones-Florio

Huge thanks to all the journalists involved in the Photos Tell Stories photography workshop – who have produced some incredible work, over the past week – and, to IOM for inviting us to present the workshop. Respect and gratitude, to all the returnees, their friends and family, who agreed to share their very personal stories with us, along with allowing the journalists to photograph them.

The IOM Photojournalism Workshop participants, with Jason Florio and Helen Jones-Florio – L-R: HJF, Malick Saine, Louise ‘Tina’ Alsan Davis, Sulayman Ceesay, Bubacar Jallow, Isatu Bokum, Jason Florio, Senegambia Hotel, The Gambia, January 2020

The journalists’ images will be part of a forthcoming IOM photography exhibition, about the returnees who they have aided with their reintegration back into Gambian society – more news on the exhibition date, coming soon.

The Florios – Jason & Helen

The day always starts with coffee! Jason Florio, Helen Jones-FlorioPhotos Tell Stories – with journalist, and photojournalist workshop participant, Isatu Bokum. Lana’s, Bambo Junction, The Gambia

January 2020 – Currently in The Gambia, West Africa

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Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow of the #IamToufah movement, The Gambia

Fatou 'Toufah' Jallow - the first woman to speak in public, without hiding her identity, about her rape ordeal with former Gambian president, Yahya Jammeh, at her parents home in The Gambia. Portrait ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio #Portraits4PositiveChange
Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow – the first woman to speak publically, without hiding her identity, about her rape ordeal with former Gambian president, Yahya Jammeh, at her parents’ home in The Gambia. Portrait ©Jason Florio / Helen Jones-Florio #Portraits4PositiveChange

Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow – “If there’s no seat at the table of power – let’s build our own! Our activism makes people uncomfortable because it disturbs entrenched power relations and questions the world as it has always worked. But the world needs change, and the Youth will make it happen” at the United Nations, New York – International Human Rights Day, December 10th, 2019

#Portraits4PositiveChange

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters’

Photographer and filmmaker, Jason Florio, makes a portrait of Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow, for our on-going series, ‘Gambia- victims, and resisters’ #Portraits4PositiveChange. Image ©Helen Jones-Florio

#IamToufahMovement

Fatou 'Toufah' Jallow testifies before the TRRC, about being raped by ex-President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia. Image © Jason Florio
Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow testifies before the TRRC, The Gambia, November 2019. Image © Jason Florio (prints on exhibition at the TRRC ©Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio, from the ongoing series ‘Gambia – victims, and resisters#Portraits4PositiveChange

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Podcast Jason Florio – ‘9/11 to African Stories’

Podcast Jason Florio – ‘9/11 To African Stories’ – listen to the interview with Neale James/Breathe Pictures

I met with Jason Florio in The Gambia in 2018 along with his creative, business and actual life partner, Helen Jones-Florio. It was a serendipitous meeting, well for me at least, as I was in West Africa involved in the recording of a political short documentary. We sat in a restaurant one evening by a beach close to the couples’ Gambian home discussing how Jason came to make his transition from the non-stop vibe of commercial photographic work in New York, to what at face value seemed an altogether slower pace of life on a continent four thousand miles from Manhattan.Neale James/Breath Pictures

Podcast Jason Florio – listen here

Podcast Jason Florio – images by the award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker – interview with Neale James/Breathe Pictures

Talking about his work in The Gambia, West Africa, as a photojournalist “The newspapers, and journalists, had a very hard time, under 22 years of Yahya Jammeh’s dictatorial rule. Journalists were gunned down…Deyda Hydara, was a very famous journalist who owned The Point newspaper, he was assassinated back in 2004. Chief Ebrima Manneh, another journalist that was ‘disappeared’… never to reappear. Journalists were tortured…” Jason Florio

Podcast Jason Florio – listen here

WATCH: Youtube: 9-11 the day The Towers fell, Jason Florio’s story

“Dear Neale & Jason, This film is a testiment, in both cases, to the importance of making documentary stories, thank you both for your remarkable work and voice.” Regards, Giles Penfold/Youtube comment

Podcast Jason Florio To quote from his website biography, Jason Florio’s focus has been on ‘under-reported stories about people living on the margins of society and human rights.’ His work has been recognised with a number of awards, including The Magnum Photography Award 2017 for his raw pictorial stories on migration. It’s little wonder that photographs of his reside in a number of public and private collections and his solo and joint exhibitions worldwide have been greeted by awe, enthusiasm, and celebrationNeale James/Breathe Pictures

Podcast Jason Florio – listen here

Check out Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio’s collaborative, on-going, multi-media portrait series:

‘Gambia – victims, and resisters

 #Portraits4PositiveChange
#Portraits4PositiveChange exhibition booklet – front cover © Jason Florio/Helen Jones-Florio

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