More donations are coming in for the River Gambia Expedition 2012!

Donations are coming in almost daily for our ‘River Gambia Expedition 2012 – 1000km source to sea African odyssey‘. Its amazing! BIG love and thanks to Suzy Peters, London, UK, for the most recent donation.

Suzy’s donation will go towards helping us to traverse over 1000km of the River Gambia – one of Africa’s last big, free-flowing, rivers. Traveling by canoe and foot through the homelands of over seven different tribes, our journey will begin at the source of the river, where it trickles out of the Fouta Djallon highlands of Guinea, on into hippo-abundant Niokolo Koba National Park, Senegal, and finally into The Republic of the Gambia. We will collect – through multiple medias – visual/written/audio – stories documenting the lives and cultures of the indigenous people, who live and work along the course of the river.

And, again, we can’t thank everyone else enough, who have donated so far – both funding and product. You are all making this expedition possible and, for that, we are humbled by your support, help and generosity. We’re extremely excited that you are on-board the journey with us – metaphorically-speaking, that is. Our canoes aren’t that big!

Florio - The Gambia, West Africa

This could be your name/website on the banner! Florio – Karantabah, The Gambia, West Africa – Image © Helen Jones-Florio 2009

If you would like to have a limited edition 2012 expedition print, signed by Jason Florio and have a banner with your name/website – on it, taken whilst we are on the journey in West Africa, check out this ‘How to Donate link‘ We also have a ‘Wish List’ of products that we need.

Thank you, merci beaucoup, abaraka baci, jerrejeff (just four of the languages we’ll come across whilst on our journey)!

Love & Respect

The Florios xxx

Florio’s portraits of Gambian chiefs and elders win another award – ‘Px3′, 2012

Px3 – Prix de la Photographie, 2012 - Winner-Silver Medal: Professional Portraiture – Culture category

Congratulations to Florio – he has just won yet another award from Px3 (his 3rd with them!) for his portrait’s of Gambian chiefs and elders, which he took whilst we were on our last expedition ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – a 930km African odyssey’ in 2009, in The Gambia, West Africa. To see more about his awards and exhibitions etc., please visit his website Bio section.

Px3 Paris - winner Jason Florio 2012

Px3 2012 Paris – Winner ‘Professional Portraiture/Culture Category – Jason Florio’s images of chiefs and elders made while on a 930km expedition by foot of The Gambia, West Africa.
‘Silafando’ is a gift made by a traveler to a village chief as thanks for his hospitality and protection for the night.

He may do something similar on the River Gambia Expedition 2012 but, like all best laid plans, that idea could change once we get on the ground and see what else catches his eye and imagination. We’ll be on the River Gambia, through Guinea, Senegal and finally into The Gambia (1000km +), for as much of the route as possible so it will be fascinating to see what we come across to photograph and write about.

Alkalo Messaneh Cham, Chamen Sosseh, The Gambia

Alkalo (chief) Messaneh Cham, Chamen Sosseh, The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio

Alkalo (the chief), Massaneh Cham, was a grand old man, who had on flowing white robes, a red and white skullcap, sporting a white beard and gold-rimmed, aviator-style shades – a very stylish gentleman indeed. Mr Cham is one of my favourite portraits of all the chief’s Florio had sit for him. And, I love the chicken lolloping past in the background too.

An exert from Helen’s forthcoming book – a woman’s perspective on their 930km walk around The Gambia, West Africa:

Wednesday 9th December, 2009 – Chamen Sosseh village. Distance walked to-date: 827.55km

‘Once Flo presents the silafando, and the chief kindly agrees to sit for a portrait, we prepare the backdrop. The old chief is a little unsteady on his legs so we find a wooden bench for him to sit on. I scan around the compound and see a pure white goatskin, stretched over a branch, on a nearby tree. That will go perfectly with the chief’s outfit, I think, draped over the bench he’s sitting on. I ask one of the young village boys, who is helping us to go and ask the chief’s wife if we can use the goatskin. He calls out a name, and from inside a nearby hut, an elderly woman comes out and walks towards us. The boy asks her, in Mandinka, about the skin and she nods and goes to fetch it…’ More news on the book…coming soon.

And, of course, more updates on our forthcoming journey will be posted on a regular basis.

Thanks for jumping on board!

The Florios (Jason & Helen)

Please click on the image below to watch Jason Florio as he explains how you can own one of his fine art photography prints, from a series of images he will take whilst on the River Gambia Expedition 2012: