Until next year, Photoville – thanks for hosting the ‘River Gambia’ exhibition

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Day 8 – ‘action stations, everyone, we’re about to open the gates!’ – the lovely Laura Roumanos, United Photo Industries © Helen Jones-Florio

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Florio gets down to the business of filming our time at Photoville 2013 © Helen Jones-Florio

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The Girl in the Hat photographs The Boy in the Fur Coat – budding photographer and our neighbors daughter, Florie © Helen Jones-Florio 

Sunday 26th September – the last day of Photoville 2013

Big thanks to the supremely efficient Photoville organizers: Laura Roumanos, Sam Barzilay, and Dave Shelly, of United Photo Industries - and all their staff and volunteers – who helped make the photo destination village an immense event, of some phenomenal photography, workshops, and talks. Thanks to these guys, our ‘River Gambia’ journey was viewed by 1000′s of people over two four day weekends. As they trekked in and out of our shipping container, we took them on our epic journey – ‘River Gambia Expedition – 1044km source-sea African odyssey‘ – images by Jason Florio, curated by yours truly, River Gambia video footage by both of us, and presented by the Virginia Quarterly Review. And, an even bigger thanks to VQR for making the exhibit at PV 2013 possible! Thanks also to Pascal Prince of ‘A Small Light Room‘ for the sublime large format print of ‘Ebrima in Fur‘ – who was there with Mandinka greetings of ‘nimbara, nimbara’, from his vantage point on our container door, to all who passed through.

Last but definitely not least, thanks to every single person who came to view the fruits of our labor:  from the River Gambia’s humble source in the Fouta Djallon Highlands of Guinea, paddling through the gold bearing lands of Senegal and along the length of The Republic of The Gambia to the Atlantic ocean. We traveled 300km by motorcycle/4×4 and 744km by canoe – creating a photographic and written account along the way, of the tribes and communities whose traditional lifestyle and livelihood depend upon this mighty African waterway.

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‘Malian Fisherwoman‘ River Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio – one of the most popular prints we sold at PV

And for all of those people who purchased Florio’s prints at Photoville, we truly hope you enjoy having a small slice of the enchanting River Gambia in your homes. For anyone who missed out and would like to check out Florio’s fine art photography prints, please visit our on-line galleries – Black and White Collection and Color Collection.

And the day turned into the night…


 …and the crowds are thinning out. Time to go home… © Jason Florio


What ‘River Gambia’?! © Jason Florio


And it’s good night from him and goodnight from her – The Florios are leaving the building – photo courtesy of Kisha Bari

It was great to be part of a community of like-minded people. We hope to see you all again next year.

The Florio’s (H & Flo)

P.S. we’ll be posting a gallery of Photoville images over the coming days, with links to some of the great exhibits at PV 2013 -  keep an eye out!

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‘River Gambia’ at Photoville 2013 was sponsered by the Virginia Quarterly Review

‘Swimming Horses’ by Jason Florio – ‘River Gambia’ presented by VQR at Photoville, NY – Sept 19-29

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Swimming Horses‘ crossing the River Gambia, Karantaba, The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio

Just one of Jason Florio’s ‘River Gambia‘ images – presented by VQR – which we will be exhibiting at Photoville 2013. From the series of images taken whilst on the ‘River Gambia Expedition - 1044km source-sea African odyssey‘.

Swimming Horses‘ is also available to purchase – sizes range from 8×10″ (unlimited edition) – 40×50″ (limited editions). Please visit our website gallery for details and both color and black and white collections: Florio Fine Art Photography Prints.

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The countdown - as of 5th Sept, 2013

See you at Photoville!

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Artsy.net – ‘Boat as Subject: Sebastião Salgado, Jason Florio, and More…’

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‘Swimming Horse’ crossing the River Gambia, Karantaba, The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio 2013

We’re honored to have Jason Florio’s fine art prints – images from both of our West Africa journeys – currently featured on Artsy.net:Herouna Tonkara with his Horse‘ from A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush-930km African odyssey‘ (2009) and ‘Swimming Horses‘ from the ‘River Gambia Expedition-1000km source-sea African odyssey‘ (2013)

'Herouna with his horse' The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio 2009

‘Herouna Tonkara with his horse’ The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio 2009

For an update on what’s happening in the Florio camp, please visit this link

‘Great Things Come In The Mail’ – photo editor and creative consultant, Stella Kramer

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 4.54.29 PMLimited edition fine art prints by Jason Floro – ‘River Gambia‘ : ‘The Boy in the Mask’ and ‘Hawa‘ The Gambia, West Africa. Taken whilst on the ‘River Gambia Expedition – 1000km source-sea African odyssey

Great to read that Stella Kramer is enjoying her Florio prints, which she wrote about in her recent blog post: ‘Photographer Jason Florio has been a favorite of mine for many years, and I am always so grateful when he offers me a print. These two are from his newest work, from the last expedition to the Gambia when Jason and his wife, Helen Jones-Florio, canoed down the Gambian River from end to end. The spirit of adventure lives, and I am so glad to see that. Jason‘s connection to the people he photographs is incredible, and what his subjects give back of themselves is really wonderful. A great example of connecting with your subjects.’

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 4.54.17 PMThanks, Stella, for always being such a huge support of Florio’s work and what we’ve been up to over the last few years; with our recent River Gambia Expedition and our 2009 expedition – ‘ A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – 930km African odyssey

For and update on where we’re at as of today, 30th July 2013, please check out this link

Our River Gambia Expedition donors say ‘thank you’ / grazie mille

Giorgio with print

“Grazie Jason e grazie Helen Jones-Florio bellissima foto !!!”

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Prints for all our River Gambia Expedition donors © Jason Florio

We just received this from Giorgio in Italy – who was one of our River Gambia Expedition donors. They look very pleased with their ‘Boy in the Mask’ print – which is the image they chose from Jason Florio’s new ‘River Gambia’ series – as their reward for getting involved in ‘An Exchange’ way back last year, when we were raising funds for the expedition.

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Thanks to to Sgobbi family for their support for our expedition – all the way from The Gambia, West Africa

Before we first sent out our initial fundraising email, and later Kickstarter, we tried to think of a unique way of saying thank you to everyone who chipped in. We came up with the idea of making banners – with whatever materials we could find when we were down in West Africa – and writing our donors names and websites on (if they had one) them. Then we posted the images here on the blog and our FB page and Twitter.  And, along the way, we had fun doing this…so many people we met on the journey, who participated when we explained, loved the idea of it – and/or loved the camera! Either way, it worked out really well.

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“You guys rock!” Julie Grahame/aCurator image © Jason Florio

We’ve since sent Florio’s prints out all over the world. So…grazie mille, abaraka baci, merci beaucoup, jerrujef, danke, shukran, dik, muchas grazias, 謝謝, kia ora, mange tak, ta, khàwp khun, a sheynem dank….

Thank you!!

The Florios (H & Flo)

P.S. more tales from the River Gambia coming up

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A female migrant worker from Mali pulls up fishing pots from River Gambia, near the Gambian village of Fatoto. Image © Jason Florio


Memoirs of 1950′s River Gambia – and thanks for the Florio print!


The Pier at Bonton – River Gambia, West Africa © Jason Flori

‘My print choice is the photo of the rusting hulk. After much consideration, I have realized that it is the photo that most speaks to me, despite the distant and rear view of the figure of a man. Perhaps the reflective nature of the photo echoes my childhood memories of the River Gambia’ Michael Mallinson, Toronto, Canada.

During raising funds for our River Gambia Expedition – donations in exchange for one of Jason Florio’s fine art photography prints, from a series he created whilst on our journey in West Africa – we received donations from friends, family, and surprisingly, to us, from complete strangers. Michael was one of the latter – he had ‘liked’ our FB page and then went on to kindly donate to our campaign. The reason our expedition peaked his interest was because he had spent the first 18 years of his life growing up in The Gambia. Michael then proceeded to share with us some wonderfully evocative memories of his childhood, growing up in a small West Africa country back in the 1950′s and ’60′s – in a country both Florio and I know so well. His description of The Gambia resonated, on a very deep level. He even shared old photograph’s with us, of life on the River Gambia – which, at that point, we had yet to begin our paddle down down one of Africa’s last remaining major, free-flowing, rivers.

Micheal M_Cutter, Bingtang Creek

Cutter on the River Gambia, Bintang Creek, The Gambia – image used courtesy of Michael Mallinson



Hi Helen and Jason, I received my photo today, thank you very much. The story with it (*about the drugs) is amusing. In more innocent times, the odd package of illicit diamonds would be found under trees at Yundum Airport (as Banjul International Airport used to be known). I don’t know what the situation is today, but in the old days the most valuable economic activity in Gambia was cross-border smuggling with Senegal.

For some reason, I am reminded of when Gambia purchased its first fisheries patrol vessel. The wealth of the fisheries had long been recognized and Gambia was worried about their depletion because of huge and modern trawlers. So, it ordered a fisheries patrol vessel from the U.K. and when the boat was ready a crew went to the U.K. for training and to sail it back to Gambia. On its voyage back, just inside the claimed Gambian territorial waters the new patrol boat came across a large Russian trawler, which was promptly boarded and seized. For it to be released a fine was imposed – in the exact amount of the cost of the fisheries patrol boat!

The name Yundum always gave me trouble as a child. I do not have a musical ear and am terrible at languages. When I would ask someone where someone else was, the inevitable reply was a point of the chin and the words “He gone yonder”, which I always heard as ‘Yundum’. Consequently, I couldn’t understand why everyone was always going to Yundum when there really wasn’t anything there!
One of the most noticeable things about my return to Gambia in 2010 was how a language had died and disappeared. Everyone spoke pretty good English and the old pidgin English had disappeared. I asked about this and was told that it was still used by old men too lazy to learn English properly. It was a very simple and descriptive language, for example, ‘He no agree for go” meaning ‘it doesn’t work’ and “Are you coming to go?” meaning “Are you about to start?” Or, in the case of my mother asking after a broken teapot “Nobody hold him so he fell and broke”.
I love the photo, thanks again.’ Michael Mallinson

Thanks so much to Michael, as always, for sharing his past – so beautifully expressive and reminiscent.

Next up on the blogHappy Christmas and dead monkeys – from a rocky ledge on the edge of the River Gambia

The Florios (H & Flo)

* more details on the pier and ‘drugs’ to come soon – when we reach Bonto Point, on our journey down the River Gambia!

Last remaining prints, by Jason Florio, to ship out to our donors – from the River Gambia series

From this:

To this…the last few remaining prints to send out:

Sunday 21st May, 2013 – NYC

After a couple of weeks of processing, packing, and labeling, we’ve now shipped out the bulk of prints, to our donors, who donated $100 and over for our River Gambia Expedition - sharing with them all those people we met along the way, who Florio photographed.

Thanks so much for the wonderful “*Boy in Mask” photo and the extra Fur Coat pic (postcard). All arrived in great condition. I’m having the Boy pic custom framed to match the “Alhaji Tonkara” photo. Both will reside in my living room. Thanks again and all best wishes for your continued happiness and success”  Bob, Fort Myers, Florida – just received his print. Bob was the very first donor for our initial crowd-funding campaign ‘an exchange‘ for this expedition, and he has been a great support over the years – he also generously donated for our 2009 expedition, in exchange for one of Florio’s prints,A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – 930km African odyssey


‘Boy in the Mask’ The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 8.12.34 AMTrunk (@trunkmag) is ecstatic w/ our ‘Boy in Mask’ print from @floriophotoNYC Jason Florio’s prints-River Gambia seriesDavid Ciccone – Founder and Creative Director, NYC

Again, a humongous thank you to everyone who helped us get on to that mighty River Gambia – from Australia, Switzerland, Germany, East Africa, West Africa, UK, Canada, USA, Turkey, Italy, Ireland, France… . Suddenly, our apartment feels quite empty…time to go out and play!

More river stories coming very soon – as our journey continues from where we left off

The Florios (H & Flo)

*If you missed our crowd-funding campaign’s, Jason Florio’s prints are available to purchase – from the website gallery floriophoto.com

With a little help from our friends, here’s how we raised the money to make the River Gambia Expedition happen:

An Exchange



The pier at Bonto © Jason Florio – to check out the ‘River Gambia’ series, please visit the website floriophoto.com

Photographer Jason Florio’s prints for our donors – taken whilst on the River Gambia Expedition – are almost ready to ship!


Prints for donors

Sunday 14th April, 2013

We’ve spent the last few days packing, packing and…more packing – using lots of recycled cardboard too, thanks to Hakim and the guys at Waverly Wines, 6th Ave, NYC! Prints incoming to all those who donated over $100 for the River Gambia Expedition  – plus postcards for everyone – to our ‘An Exchange’ and ‘Kickstarter’ campaigns last year.


‘Boy in Fur’ © Jason Florio – River Gambia

Further tales from the River Gambia coming soon – once we get all the prints shipped out!

Thanks for stopping by

The Florios (H & Flo)

Jason Florio – new images from the River Gambia Expedition, West Africa

boy and bucket © Jason Florio

Many people from the Cuuballo people of Senegal come to The Gambia for fishing in the fresh water regions of the River Gambia. Photographed here is Sinju Mangan who came with his family to Kaur for the seasonal fishing. Image © Jason Florio

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L – Alkalo (village chief) of Karantaba preparing his fishing net in the River Gambia.
R – A young boy with a dead fish and net at the village of Karantaba, The Gambia. Images © Jason Florio

To view more of Florio’s latest body of work, taken whilst on the River Gambia Expedition, please visit his website: floriophoto.com

More personal ‘thank you’ banners to our donors – River Gambia Expedition

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Michael Mut/ Love Yourself Project, NYC – Kartong, The Gambia, West Africa

So many of your made this expedition possible – with your participation in ‘An Exchange’ and the Kickstarter campaign – in exchange for donations we offered Jason Floiro’s limited edition fine photography art prints, taken whilst on the River Gambia Expedition . For that, we were immensely humbled by your support and unprecedented generosity.

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Teru Kuwayana, NY, USA – Bonto, River Gambia, The Gambia

Before we first sent out our fundraising emails we tried to think of a unique way of saying thank you to everyone who chipped in. The above is what we came up with. And, along the way, we had fun doing this…so many people we met on the journey, who participated when we explained, loved the idea of it – and/or loved the camera! Either way, it worked out really well.

Please see our ‘big thanks page’ for more banners.

BIG Thanks!

The Florios – H & Flo x

To see Jason Florio series of images from the River Gambia, please check out his website: www.floriophoto.com