Jason Florio’s ‘River Gambia’ images nominated for ASME, 2014 – American Society of Magazine Editors – award

VQR Spring 2013 opening page_72dpiHot off the Press!

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 9.25.20 AM

Congratulations to co-expedition leader and photographer, Jason Florio for his nomination in the ‘feature photography’ section for this years ASME National Magazine Awards, 2014. The nomination came via Virginia Quarterly Review’s ‘Life of the River Gambia‘ – which featured images Jason took whilst on our ‘River Gambia Expedition – 1044kim source-sea African odyssey‘ in 2012-13

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 9.27.07 AM

Winners will be announced May 1st, in New York City.

Fingers crossed!!

The Florios - Helen & Jason

What we are up to at the moment – back in The Gambia, West Africa: ‘Photos Tell Stories: teaching photography – a visual language

TEAM FARAFENNI 3

Team Farafenni! With FujiFilm USA digital cameras – ‘Photos Tell Stories‘ photography workshops

 

Jason Florio – ‘Boy in the Mask’ – cover shot. Geographical Magazine, Dec 2013 issue

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 11.44.12 AM

Image © Jason Florio ‘River Gambia’

I can’t begin to tell you how surprised and elated we both were, upon opening our mail boxes yesterday morning, to find that Florio’s portrait of the ‘Boy in the Mask’ got the cover of Geographical Magazine’s December issue – the last portrait that he took when we were almost at the end of our recent ‘River Gambia Expedition – 1044km source-sea African odyssey‘. Florio is a ‘Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society’ (FRGS), of which the magazine is affiliated. Since 1830, RGS, has been the ‘home’ of many esteemed, and greatly admired by us, explorers and expeditioners – of which we are mere fledglings (the River Gambia Expedition being only our second foray, delving into that world – our first was in 2009, when we walked 930km around The Gambia, with two donkeys and a cart; as one does). Therefore, it’s an immense honor to have our river expedition recognized by the Society, in this way.

Going with the flow
 – Inspired by stories of European adventurers exploring the great West African rivers, Jason Florio and Helen Jones-Florio follow the course of the River Gambia, from its source in Guinea to its mouth in its namesake...’ Geographical Magazine

Geographical on-lineThe December issue of the magazine is now in selected stores and available digitally – please check out the website here for more information.

We’ll be posting very shortly about our next West African venture – which includes teaching our first photography workshop in The Gambia.

More on that soon…please feel free to subscribe to the blog to receive our updates

The Florios (Helen & Jason ‘Florio’)

 

‘River Gambia’ – images by Jason Florio from a 1044km source-sea African odyssey

‘River Gambia Expedition – 1044km source-sea African odyssey‘. Take a journey with Jason Florio and Helen Jones-Florio - over landing from the source of the River Gambia in the Fouta Djallon Highlands of Guinea, canoeing through the gold-bearing lands of South East Senegal, and on into The Republic of The Gambia, where one of Africa’s last major free-flowing rivers meets the Atlantic Ocean.

Moto-taxi-Fouta_DSF1381 copy

© Helen Jones-Florio

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 1.58.22 PM

Youtube: Too close encounter with a hippo © Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio

Allys_H_Ebou_Abdou T5616x3744-00110 copy

© Jason Florio

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 4.21.47 PM

© Jason Florio

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 10.33.22 AM

Youtube: A ten-minute journey along the River Gambia © Jason Florio and Helen Jones-Florio

More about our journey in the forth coming book…more about that soon…

The Florios

Read about our 2009 expedition : ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush-a 930km source-sea African odyssey

 

 

Youtube: ‘River Gambia’ footage from a 1044km African odyssey – and other African journeys by Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio

Yourtube

Youtube: River Gambia © Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio

Painted Faces_MG_2947

‘Boys with Painted Faces‘ River Gambia © Jason Florio

River Gambia Expedition – 1044km source-sea African odyssey‘ with photographer/writer, Jason Florio, and, producer/writer, Helen Jones-Florio. A journey, spanning three West African countries, to find the source of the River Gambia and to document the lives of those people who live, work, and rely on this mighty African river.

Interview with Outside Magazine – ‘Expedition Improv‘  HelenWe actually offered him (Yousef, our Malian fisherman/guide/hippo expert) more money to come further along the river with us but he had a family to get back to in Kédougou. We were sad to see him go. In that short week, he became a member of our little team, albeit a slightly bonkers one

Jason: “At one point, he was guiding us through these sections of rock and fast-moving water, and about 20 feet in front of us, a hippo just comes rearing out of the water. It had been submerged. We had startled it. We could have gone over the back of this thing, but instead we scrambled very quickly over onto the bank and climbed up on some rocks. For the next hour, he spent time shooting rocks at it from a homemade catapult. The thing wouldn’t move. We were back there clinging to the bushes and the rocks for an hour and a half. The hippo just didn’t want to let us get by—watching us, watching it, watching us. Eventually, we just kind of clung to the undergrowth and just pulled the canoe through really slowly. Finally, we got past him. That was a serious crash course in hippo etiquette” Read full interview here

To read about our first West African journey – ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – 930km African odyssey – please click here. Images of the village chiefs (Alkalos) and elders, ‘Silafando’, which were taken along the way, by Jason Florio.

Florio – interview with FlakPhoto – Making Pictures of People  “I had been working yearly in The Gambia since 1996 making portraits of people who live around a sacred forest. My wife Helen came up with the idea of making the first recorded circumnavigation of The Gambia by foot. So with three Gambians and two donkeys we headed off around the country in November 2009. I decided to work in the same style as with the forest portraits, using a 70-year old cloth to formalize the setting.” full interview and images here

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 10.50.18 AM

Youtube – Florio makes a portrait of Alkalo Landing Jammeh, Kalaji, The Gambia – footage by Helen Jones-Florio

We’ll be updating soon about our next African journey…please stay with us

The Florios

 

Day 5: Snapshots from a Photo Destination – New York City skies over the ‘River Gambia’

Stormy sky2 PV 20130926_999_3 copy

© Helen Jones-Florio  – From this…

Sunset_PV 20130926_999_19 copy

© Helen Jones-Florio. …to this.

Florio and I are back at Photoville for part two of what we just know will be another exciting time of catching up with old friends, making new ones, and having the rather magnificent Manhattan skyline as our vista for the next three days.

Come along and let us both take you on an epic journey along the ‘River Gambia’ – a 1044km source-sea African odyssey – over landing to the humble source of a mighty African river, in the Fouta Djallon Highlands of Guinea, motorcycling back down the mountain, getting our canoes into the River Gambia for the first time in Southeast Senegal, and on through the length of The Gambia itself, to the Atlantic Ocean and our journey’s end…or is it?

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 8.53.53 AM

The source of the River Gambia © Jason Florio

We hope to see you there. Click here for all the details on Photoville

Helen & Jason Florio

Presented by the Virginia Quarterly Review :River Gambia‘ images by Jason Florio, curated by Helen Jones-Florio

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 8.45.22 AM

 

 

Day 2 : Snapshots from a Photo Destination – the ‘River Gambia’ at Photoville 2013, NYC

Day 2 – Friday 20th September : Virginia Quarterly Review presents ‘River Gambia‘ at Photoville 2013, Brooklyn, New York

Flo_top of container_photoville 20130920_999_43 copy

Florio – not sure we’re insured for this © Helen Jones-Florio

helen_MG_0699(1)

VQR & Jason Florio’s fine art prints – available to purchase at Photoville © Jason Florio

helen_MG_0696

Helen - “What? it’s the first time I’ve sat down all day!” © Jason Florio

Flo_boy_photoville 20130921_999_3 copy

The things we do to entertain ourselves – Florio and ‘Sequin Boy’ © Helen Jones-Florio

Dollar taxes20130921_999_28 copy

Change from the food truck – Photoville © Helen Jones-Florio

Container night -photoville 20130921_999_25 copy

‘Time’ © Helen Jones-Florio

Video Photoville 20130921_999_49 copy

Exclusive to Photoville footage of the ‘River Gambia’ journey © Jason Florio and Helen Jones-Florio : Vimeo Image © Helen Jones-Florio

Australians_Photoville 20130921_999_27 copy

Very cool stuff from the Oz contingency

Screenings Photoville 20130921_999_8 copy

Nightly screenings at Photoville

Ok…we’re now off to set up for Day 3 at Photoville 2013. Come and join the party!

The Florios (H & Flo)

Big thanks to aCurator for featuring Jason Florio’s ‘River Gambia’ series – just in time for Photoville, NY, 2013 opening

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.21.54 PM

Portrait of Bakary Dabo, the Alkalo of Diagabu Tenda © Jason Florio

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 4.23.28 PM

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. © Jason Florio

NEW PRESS:  thanks to Julie Grahame / aCurator for featuring Florio’s ‘River Gambia’ images – and for a great edit.

We’ll be exhibiting many of the images featured, and more, from the series at Photoville, Brooklyn, NY – a photo destination and pop-up village‘ opening this week : Thursday 19th – 4-10pm – running until 29th September.

We hope you can make it!

The Florios (H & Flo)

Thanks to Virginia Quarterly Review for their support

http://www.vqronline.org/

Looking back – those who helped make the River Gambia Expedition possible. Today, our thanks goes to Concern Universal

WASDA garden, Basse, The Gambia

Image © Jason Florio for Concern Universal – WASDA Garden, Basse, The Gambia

As we continue to trawl through 1000′s of images and multiple journal entries, for our forthcoming book about the River Gambia Expedition, we’re reminding ourselves of those who helped make our journey possible and, in the case of Concern Universal, adding the comfort and ease of passage factor to the first leg of our road trip down towards the Fouta Djallon Highlands of Guinea – where we would pay homage to the source of the mighty River Gambia and the true beginning of our West African odyssey. For this, in the age old West African tradition, we bartered.

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 10.01.39 AM

Image © Jason Florio for Concern Universal

Before we left The Gambia, for the source, we visited a number of community-based gardens where Florio took photographs for CU – for their ‘Gambia is Good‘ (G.I.G) initiative. In exchange, they supplied us with a vehicle and a driver – Nicolas – to take us over the border into Senegal, with our two canoes, all our gear and our two Gambian team mates, Abdou and Ebou. What could have been a lengthy and expensive nightmare – getting through customs – was made seamless, partly due to being driven in a shiny 4×4, with NGO number plates, and having a huge seriously-important-looking radio antennae sticking out of the hood of the vehicle! We even managed to get the BBC World Service on the way!

CU Gambia is Good_DSF0158 copy

G.I.G van – CU Head Office, Fajara, The Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio

CU_Flo_ Gambia AM

Jason Florio – shooting for Concern Universal, The Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio

Concern Universal_CU_DSF0236 copy

Jason Florio - shooting for Concern Universal, The Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio

Flo_GADOH school_DSF0215 copy

Our next stop: GADOH – Gambia Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing © Helen Jones-Florio

In our quest to document the lives of the people and communities whose lives depend on the River Gambia, we had phenomenal support from many, many people and companies. And, we are sure to be coming across more images from everyone who got involved – which we will post as and when.

Please stay tuned for further updates – especially about our River Gambia book!

The Florios (H & Flo)

P.S. If you are in Brooklyn, New York, between 19-29 Sept, come by and say ‘hello’ to us at Photoville

P13 Banner 728x90.night

 

Scenes from the banks of the River Gambia – BBC ‘News in Pictures’

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 12.12.53 PM

Oyster collectors: Migrant workers from Guinea-Bissau collecting oysters along the shores of a tributary of the River Gambia © Jason Florio

Girl and Boy 7711-7723

Senegalese Children from the Toucouleur tribe © Jason Florio

Family_MG_7731

A Senegalese family from the Toucouleur tribe at their seasonal fishing camp at Carrolls Wharf in The Gambia © Jason Florio

Just a few of the images that picture editor, Phil Coomes – BBC News in Pictures - chose for his recent feature about our ‘River Gambia Expedition – 1000km source-sea African odyssey‘. As we traveled along the River Gambia, from its source in the Fouta Djallon Highlands of Guinea, to the where the river meets the Atlantic Ocean, in The Gambia,  Florio documented the people we met along the way – all of whom rely on the River Gambia, in one form or another.

For an update of what we are working on at the moment (Aug 2013), please check out this link

HJF

BBC News in Pictures: ‘From source to mouth, the River Gambia’

Most nights we would wild camp on the river bank, and on one occasion on a small sandbar in the middle of the river when the banks were too steep to scale,” Florio said. “At night we would we build a big fire, and keep it going all night, to ward off wildlife, especially hippos – just in case we had inadvertently pitched our tents on one of their pathways to and from the river.” Jason Florio – Read more and see more pics on the BBC website here

Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 8.06.50 AM

_MG_6017

Boy with his pet monkey – Fata Tenda, The Gambia, West Africa © Jason Florio

Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 1.25.27 PM

Image © Jason Florio

River Gambia Expedition - route map

River Gambia Expedition – route map

Thanks to Phil Coomes, over at the Beeb, for taking an interest in our River Gambia Expedition story and – most importantly – for publishing it on the BBC website. We both (Helen & Florio) grew up with the BBC (and we are still growing up, tuned into it every day!) . So, we are honored to be featured with the BBC again, for this particular journey.  When we returned from our 2009 ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – 930km African odyssey‘ we were approached by John McCarthy’s producer to be interviewed on the – now much missed – ‘Excess Baggage‘ radio show.

Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 1.23.18 PM

The Florios with 'Paddy' the donkey - A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush

The Florios with ‘Hadley’ the donkey – ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – a 930km African odyssey’ 2009

route-map-gambia

Click on the map, or here, to visit the ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush’ blog. And, yes, we did walk every single km of it  : ‘bi tamala singolah’ (walking by foot, all the way)!

To find out what we’re up, as of today (1st Aug 2013) please visit this link