Photographer, Jason Florio, ‘Silafando’ NY exhibition: award-winning portraits of Gambian village chiefs and elders

Rush Arts flierA solo exhibit of Jason Florio’s award-winning portraits of Gambian village chiefs (‘alkalo’s) and elders, taken whilst on our 2009 expedition – A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush-930km African odyssey- starts this Saturday, March 23, 2013. Venue: Rush Arts/Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn, New York

Fashion and the gold mines of Senegal, West Africa

Bantaco Boys-one love-town_MG_3362 copy

Those gold miners have got that ‘sagging’ jeans look goin’ on © Jason Florio

Whilst we were on the River Gambia Expedition, it became apparent, that the ‘sagging’ jeans/hip hop culture has taken off big time in Senegal – and actually in The Gambia and the Fouta Djallon Highlands of Guinea-Conakry too. Check out the ‘moto-taxi’ guys from Labé, in a previous post.

Coming next…more from River Gambia and the gold mines of Southeast Senegal.

Thanks for stopping by

The Florios (H & ‘Flo’)

Jason Florio – Fine Art Photography Prints: The River Gambia


© Jason Florio

Jason Florio’s on-line fine art photography gallery has just been updated – now featuring a series of his sublime images from the River Gambia Expedition. For sales, price list and any information on the B&W and the Color Galleries, please visit the website:

painted face boys-river gambia

© Jason Florio

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 11.14.37 AM

© Jason Florio


© Jason Florio


© Jason Florio

Jason Florio at work

The Boy in The Fur Coat - The Gambia, West Africa:

Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 2.46.27 PM

Please click on the image to view footage


PRESS: TRUNK Magazine – Postcard – ‘Gambia and Back’

Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 1.57.25 PM

All images © Jason Florio

Thanks to David Cicconi and all at Trunk magazine for their recent feature on Postcard – ‘Gambia and Back’ about ourRiver Gambia Expedition – 1000km source-sea African odyssey‘. Much appreciated!

Trunk also recently ran 18 pages of Florio’s Gambina chiefs and elders (‘There and Back Again’) from our 2009 expedition – did we mention that we walked 930km around the small West African country?: A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush-930km African odyssey


Trunk Magazine – “There and Back Again’ Images © Jason Florio

“There and Back Again” is Trunk’s longest layout yet. Photographer, Jason Florio, has created one of the most stunning portrait pieces we’ve ever seen…this is what you get from 15 years of traveling to a country, learning its customs, and being open with its people…a comfort level that is achieved only through a truly authentic relationship between photographer and subject…18 pages of breathtaking portraits of chieftains (or alkalos) from the numerous Gambian villages that Florio visited on his circumnavigation (by foot!) of the country. We would’ve run the article even longer, but needed to fit all of our must-read stories into the issue…” David Ciconni – Creative Director and Founder TRUNK


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

Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 2.46.27 PM

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…


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:

Thanks for stopping by

Helen & Florio




Big thanks from West Africa to just a few of those people who made the River Gambia Expedition possible


ALAN HUNTLEY, UK : The River Gambia, The Gambia, West Africa

And, for those of you who donated $100+ we will be sending you a pdf of exclusive new images, from the River Gambia Expedition, to choose your Jason Florio fine art photography print…as soon as we get back to NYC in early February.


Andy Needham – UNHCR, Nairobi, East Africa: The River Gambia, Senegal, West Africa

BELLA2_DSF3349 copy

Isabella (rock-a-fella) Kimberlin, Dallas, TX, USA : Bansang, The Gambia, West Africa


The Gambia Experience, UK : Fatoto, The Gambia, West Africa

Chris Bartlett4_DSF1955

Chris Bartlett, NY, USA : Women washing on the banks of The River Gambia, Senegal, West Africa


Christy Nielsen, Omak, Washington, USA : Kaur, The Gambia, West Africa

Claire and Glenn Pott2_DSF2351

Claire and Glenn Pott, Queensland, Australia : Wassadou Camp, Senegal, West Africa

Ellen Mai2_DSF2187

Ellen Mai, California, USA : The River Gambia, Mako, Senegal, West Africa


Gabriella Nissen, USA : Fatoto, The Gambia, West Africa

Many more thank you images to come…shortly.

Big love and thanks

The Florios (H & Flo) x

H & Flo polaroid_DSF4403 copy

Jason Florio – images from Guinea-Conakry, West Africa

Food, food and more food shots then you can shake a stick at © Jason Florio

Food, food and more food shots then you can shake a stick at © Jason Florio

Ebou - at the helm! Fouta Djallon, Guinea-Conakry © Jason Florio

Ebou – at the helm! Fouta Djallon, Guinea-Conakry © Jason Florio

H and her little helper, Janabah, Fouta Djallon, Guinea-Conakry © Jason Florio

H and her little helper, Janabah, Fouta Djallon, Guinea-Conakry © Jason Florio

Abdou, H & Ebou - Mali Ville, Guinea-Conakry © Jason Florio

Abdou, Ebou & H – Mali Ville, Fouta Djallon, Guinea-Conakry © Jason Florio

Florio gets to work - filming the chief, Fouta Djallon, Guinea-Conakry © Helen Jones-Florio

Florio gets to work – filming the chief, Fouta Djallon, Guinea-Conakry © Helen Jones-Florio

Just a few pics to be going on with. We promise to connect the dots, re the images, as soon as we can get on line long enough to do so.

Thanks as always for stopping by.

The Florios – H & Flo x






The weight of waiting…Kedougou, Senegal, West Africa

Wednesday November 28th 2012

Internet Cafe, Kedougou, Senegal, West Africa © Jason Florio 2012

Hurry up and wait…this should be the title of our book about the River Gambia Expedition so far.

The journey began on our departure from Gatwick Airport, UK on the 16th October. However, since we arrived in West Africa, all we seem to have done is wait, wait, and wait some more – whether it be for a box of expedition gear to arrive by boat in The Gambia (which we still don’t have a definite date for it’s arrival into Banjul Port), or waiting for the public transport that we need to take to get us to Labé, high up in the Fouta Djallon Highlands, Guinea, to fill up with enough passengers to depart Kedougou, Senegal. The next Land Cruiser in line to leave the bus station needs seventeen people before the driver will leave and head towards the capital of the Fouta Djallon. At the moment, ten people have paid to join the vehicle (including our team of four). So far, it has taken three days to fill those ten seats.

Helen – Breakfast in Kedougou, Senegal © Jason Florio 2012

After much debate amongst the team, and our time to complete the expedition running extremely short – we haven’t actually even started it yet (we don’t truly start it until we reach the source of the River Gambia, located somewhere in the Fouta Djallon Highlands)! So, we have decided to swallow the expense and buy up the extra seats in the Land Cruiser so that we can get moving. It will make a big dent in our already very tight budget – travel in West Africa can be extraordinarily expensive, often due to extortionately high gas prices in certain parts of the continent (this ride will cost us a staggering $250) – but we are now almost eight weeks behind schedule…due to…waiting.

Waiting…for the ferry to cross the River Gambia, Kedougou, Senegal © Jason Florio

Despite the waiting game, we’ve really enjoyed our time in Kedougou. With great gratitude and respect, we’ve been staying in the peaceful, spacious, compound of Peter Stirling – a Canadian we met on line whilst researching our trip – run by the trés belle Bébé (who also happens to be a great cook!) and her husband, Kali (who, unfortunately, we won’t get to meet this time around, as he is working out in the bush on a chimpanzee rehabilitation project). Visited by scavenging chickens and cockerels in the morning, thirsty donkeys mid-afternoon (to drink water from the well  in the compound), goats chomping the sparse grass late afternoon, and the odd dog cocking it’s leg around the place – the compound is alive. At night, we have lizards and god know what else scuttling around in the eves of our hut. We’ve also been discovering the sprawling, vibrant, dusty town of Kedougou and the nearby River Gambia – from whose banks we’ll be setting off from, once we return from paying homage to the source of the river, in the Fouta Djallon.

Farmers – the banks of the River Gambia, kedougou, Senegal © Jason Florio 2012

It is in the hands of God” Ebu tells us, as he hangs up from the umpteenth phone call to the driver at the bus station, to see how many seats have been sold so far. How far is Labé, we ask? “A day and a night” – in local terms, is the answer…and the roads are ‘very bad’. I have a suspicion that might be a slight understatement. But, I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

We hope to be in Labé by Friday morning…’Insh’Allah’.

More updates whenever possible so please stick with us.

The Florios (H & Flo), Abdou and Ebu

The River Gambia Expedition Team

Follow our trail on YellowBrick Tracking

click to go to YB site




To find out how we eventually got the Labé, please check out ‘The long and winding road…Kedougou, Senegal-Labé, Guinea-Conarkry-and back again

Jason Florio gets ready to photograph the Tolleh Kaafo – the ‘Silly Group’ – Kartong, The Gambia, West Africa

Florio – in the thick of the Tolleh Kaafo – the ‘Silly Group’ – Kartong, The Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio

We met the local Tolleh Kaafo women – the Silly Group – the other day, in Kartong village. Most villages will have such a group and, basically, their purpose is to lighten up situations, laughing and joking around, when things get too serious. But, on that serious note, these women – past child-bearing age and/or can’t bear children – help out those in need. Such as when a woman loses her child or her husband, they will come along and help her to cope with the grief – whether it be planting the rice crop or sweeping her compound – and, whilst they are at it, they will lift her spirits with their goofy antics…singing, dancing, banging on plastic water containers with sticks, chasing each other around with wicker brooms, wearing over-sized glasses, without lenses, and painting their lips and faces with vivid fucshia lipstick.

Florio the Brave – getting in the van with the Tolleh Kaafo!! Kartong, The Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio

We spent a cacophonous, hectic, afternoon in the presence of these formidable women, once we managed to get them all together that is – ‘like corralling cats’ is the phrase that springs to mind – these women do not stand still for a moment! During our time with them, they graciously allowed us to film and photograph them at work, play and pray – they pray for those who are in need and also give thanks for their own good fortune.

We’ll be posting more on this impressive group of women soon – perhaps with a taster of the film we made – so please stop by again soon.

The Florios (H & Flo)

#trunkmag ‘How sexy is this! @floriophotoNYC Jason Florio’s Gambian portraits layout coming off press for Trunk F/W ’12 issue’

November/December Press – 2012

Talk about serendipity. Here we are back in The Gambia, about to embark on the ‘River Gambia Expedition – 1000km source to sea African odyssey’, and Trunk Magazine are featuring Florio’s portraits of Gambian chiefs and elders in their next edition, which he took whilst we were on our last West Africa expedition – ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – a 930km African odyssey’

We’ll be posting an update shortly about our delayed leaving date for Guinea – and the start of the River Gambia Expedition. Right now, we are being held up by the freight company’s, shipping our gear down here, boat being delayed – by over 2 weeks so far! Anyway…more on that once we have spoken to the shipping company again today.
On a great note, and one word: OBAMA!!

Thanks for stopping by

The Florios (H & Flo)