Economic Migrant Gold Miners, South Eastern Senegal, West Africa

Gold-miners2_tombronkoto_MG_3950-copy-3
© Jason Florio Economic Migrant Gold Miners, South Eastern Senegal, West Africa

Thursday 20th December 2012 – Paddling distance: 11.4km (total to-date: 83.65km) – ‘River Gambia Expedition1044km source-sea African odyssey

Even our tents and canoes, situated by the river over 2 miles away from the mine itself, were covered in a fine film of the pale pink, talc-like dust…

‘A relatively short day’s paddling on the River Gambia today, as we wanted to stop and visit another gold mine in South Eastern Senegal. This stretch of the river is dotted with artisanal gold mines – which draw thousands of migrant workers from all over West Africa: Guinea-Bissau, Ghana, Guinea-Conakry, Mali, and Senegal itself. All of them hoping to make their fortune. Whole families live in and around the mines, in makeshift villages (rather disconcertingly described as the ‘Wild West‘ of SE Senegal, during our pre-expedition research). All the mines we visited were understandably dusty, but this one, in particular, had an extremely fine, pink-hued, dust which got into absolutely everything. Even our tents, and canoes, situated by the river – over 2 miles away from the mine itself – were covered in a fine film of the pale pink, talc-like dust. But, at least we could pack up our tents and leave the next day, washing away the dust. Many of those people whose lives revolve around the gold mines, for months and years in some cases, aren’t so lucky, as they inhale toxic fumes from the mercury – used to separate the gold from the rock dust…’ Words by Helen Jones-Florio. Read more on the River Gambia Expedition blog.

FLO-AT-WORK-GOLDMINES
Jason Florio photographs the gold miners © Helen Jones-Florio
HJF_WITH-TOLLEH_GOLD-MINE
HJF with ‘Tolleh Kaafo’, S.E. Senegal gold mines © Jason Florio

It’s a Dog’s Life, West Africa

Searching for images on my hard drive back-up, recently, I began to see a pattern – dogs feature prominently, in our various journeys and travels.

DOGS AND FARMERS KEDOUGOU
Farmers with their dogs, Kedougou, Senegal © Jason Florio, River Gambia Expedition

 

DOGS AND KIDS
Kids and Dogs, Djinji, Senegal, West Africa © Jason Florio – River Gambia Expedition

 

DOG RIVER GAMBIA KEDOUGOU
The guardian of the River Gambia dog, Kedougou, Senegal, West Africa © Jason Florio River Gambia Expedition

 

DOG & DONKEY BANSANG
The donkey loving dog (or the dog loving donkey?), Bansang, The Gambia © Jason Florio

 

GOATS AND DOG STANDOFF
‘You are outnumbered, pooch!’ – dog and goat standoff, Kedougou, Senegal © Helen Jones-Florio
Jason Florio chatting with a local with beach dogs, Bijilo.
One of our guides on our walk along the coastline of The Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio

 

And, the dogs who have a piece of my heart – The Gang of Seven:

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 10.20.31 AM
‘Chase me, chase me!’ Wolfie and White Tip, Cape Point, The Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio
Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 10.23.52 AM
Beware the Crocodiles! These dogs are fearless! Wolfie, Rascal, (Noisey) Nelly, and Kalu (the others are in there somewhere!) – Cape Point, The Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 10.29.25 AM
King of the Pack: Lion, The Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio cc
Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 11.08.17 AM
Kalu, the newest edition to the ‘Pack of 7’ (after defecting from the Indian restaurant across the street) © Helen Jones-Florio
Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 10.37.21 AM
Me with my sentinals Lion, Susie (white dog), and Nelly, Cape Point, The Gambia © Jason Florio/Instagram

 

Lest we forget… the inimitable, Mr P (a.k.a Poet, Poe, Poetta, the P-sta, P-Diddly…), the dog star of Portobello Road, London. We rescued him when he was two or three years old, and he graced us with his serene presence until he reached the grand old age of 17 or 18.

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 10.27.49 AM
R.I.P. Mr P, June 7th 2011. Gone, but never ever forgotten

 

 

Weekend photos: Traditional Masquerades, The Gambia & Senegal, West Africa

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 12.34.44 PM
‘Fara Kankurang’ (made from leaves and tree bark), The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio

 

The Kankurang – a secret society – used in traditional Mandinka initiation rites, whose rituals can be seen all over The Gambia and Senegal, West Africa.

Images from an ongoing photo series.

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 12.34.11 PM
Image © Helen Jones-Florio, Bijilo Beach, The Gambia, West Africa – masquerade made from scraps of fabric

 

KAN JF KURANG_PINKIMG_1927 copy
Image © Jason Florio, Bijilo Beach, The Gambia, West Africa – masquerade made from recycled rice sacks

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 12.51.00 PM
‘Agomalah’ – traditional masquerade, the Casamance, Senegal – Footage © Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio. Click here or on image to view video

 

HJF & JF

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 1.11.20 PM
HJF & JF © Gerald Sowe – Teaching portrait photography to Gambian students, The Gambia, West Africa

 

Related Post:  Photographing Gambian masquerades with Jason Florio, with an audience