Photographer, Jason Florio: Boys with painted faces, River Gambia, Senegal, West Africa

Random photo of the day: December 2012 – we came across these boys on one of our first days, in the canoes, on the River Gambia Expedition, in Senegal. I spied them through my binoculars – I was on hippo watch – from a distance. And, at first, I thought they had masks on. I remember turning around to Florio, who was paddling behind me in the canoe, saying excitedly “there are boys up there, on the river bank, and I think they are wearing some kind of masks…almost like Halloween!” As we neared, we realised the masks were actually some kind of paint – or more likely crushed oyster-shell powder. We asked them why they had painted their faces and bodies and what did the numbers mean? They shrugged and giggled ‘we are only playing’ translated our Mandinka speaking team mate, Ebou. And then they promptly jumped in the river – not before Florio got a couple of shots of them though – and washed it all off. Had we arrived a moment or two later, we would have missed this rather wondrous spectacle.

‘River Gambia’ Jason Florio’s new series of images from the journey

Jason Florio photograph’s the boy in the fur coat – The Gambia, West Africa

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YOUTUBE: Florio at work – The Gambia, West Africa. Please click on the above image to view footage

Diagabou village, The Gambia, West Africa

This little boy in the fur coat was the son of alkalo Bakary Dabo, the village chief. On the morning we were leaving, he had followed Florio and Ebou, when they returned from the village, with his friend in tow, to say goodbye. They vied for Florio’s attention with the camera.

I think both of them shine, in their own way…

FUR COAT BOY

The boy in the fur coat – Latest Work: River Gambia © Jason Florio

Boy-red jumper_MG_6552

Boy in the red jumper: River Gambia © Jason Florio

More to come from the River Gambia Expedition soon. In the meantime, please check out Florio’s latest work, from the 1000km+ road and river journey, on his website: floriophoto.com

Thanks for stopping by

Helen & Florio