Ok…we’re now off to set up for Day 3 at Photoville 2013. Come and join the party!
The Florios (H & Flo)
And, thank you so much to Chris Bartlett for taking our portrait yesterday – ‘The King and I’ springs to mind..we are honored, Chris x
See you at Photoville!
The Florios (H & Flo)
At last…the day has arrived. We are here, at the Photoville site in Brooklyn, blue, blue skies and a stunning view of Manhattan, across the East River – which will just get better as the light changes. We’re installing Florio’s ‘River Gambia‘ body of work for it’s first exhibition. We’ll also be previewing a short piece of film footage, which we shot whilst on the journey – ‘River Gambia – 1044km source-sea African odyssey‘
The site is buzzing, with exhibitors from all around the globe – our neighbors are Dutch and Australian – installing their work in the numerous shipping containers, in readiness for tomorrow’s big opening at 4pm. Photoville/United Photo Industries, Laura, Sam, and Dave, who have the unenviable task or organizing the whole shebang – with help from Gilbert, the dog, and a multitude of very helpful volunteers – are doing a sterling job.
We hope you can make it down. Keep an eye out for ‘Ebrima in Fur’, who will be on our’River Gambia’ shipping container door, waiting to welcome you into our little slice of West Africa. As ever, thanks to Virginia Quarterly Review for supporting us at Photoville, 2013.
The Florios (H & Flo)
NEW PRESS: check out the ‘River Gambia’ on aCurator! Thanks, Julie Grahame!
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
We are honored to be part of Photoville 2013 – where we will be exhibiting Jason Florio’s ‘River Gambia’ body of work. The images are from our ‘River Gambia Expedition – 1044km source-sea African odyssey’.
‘UNITED PHOTO INDUSTRIES ANNOUNCES PROGRAMMING FOR PHOTOVILLE, A FREE PHOTOGRAPHIC VILLAGE COMPRISING OVER 45 SHIPPING CONTAINERS IN BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK, SEPTEMBER 19-29
Over 40 exhibitions, 7 photo screenings, 30 talks, 20 workshops, community events, ALL FREE, plus food & beer garden‘
And, it’s with huge thanks to the Virginia Quarterly Review for supporting our exhibit at Photoville 2013. Florio has been a contributor to the multi award-winning literary journal since 2009. So, when we returned to New York from the river in West Africa, we were thrilled when the publisher, Jon Peede, approached us about running a feature on the new images, from our journey. And, just imagine our delight when the proofs came through to us and that VQR were running 18 pages of images, on line and in their printed journal! The layout was quite beautiful too – wondrous to see our long journey in print.’Crikey, did we really do all that?!’
‘Established at the University of Virginia in 1925, the Virginia Quarterly Review has won six National Magazine Awards in the past decade—more than any literary quarterly in the nation. VQR has published work from 17 Nobel Laureates and more than 50 Pulitzer Prize winners. The magazine publishes photography, photojournalism, nonfiction, fiction, poetry, translations, art, reportage, and criticism. Its many honors include selection as a finalist, National Magazine Award for Photography, 2012; winner, Overseas Press Club Best Use of Online Video, 2011; winner, National Magazine Award for Multimedia Package, 2011; and winner, National Magazine Award for News Reporting in the Digital Medium, 2010. In recent years, VQR has published photography portfolios by Nadia Shira Cohen, Maisie Crow, Jason Florio, Aaron Huey, and Ed Ou, among others. In addition to the print magazine, VQR has online readers in more than 200 countries.‘ Courtesy of VQR
So much has happened since we set out to pay homage to the humble source of one of Africa’s last major free-flowing rivers – the River Gambia – naught but a puddle, high up in the Fouta Djallon Highlands of Guinea-Conakry, in West Africa, in December of 2012. We then went on to paddle the river from Kedougou, Senegal, to the where the river meets the immense Atlantic Ocean, in The Gambia itself ,on January 12th, 2013; the smallest West African country on the continent, named after the mighty river.
At this years Photoville, again, with huge thanks to our supporter, VQR our 20 foot shipping container/photo gallery will be amongst such esteemed company as aCurator, Time Lightbox, Douglas Ljunkvist, Jim Mortram, Nina Berman, American Illustration, Pete Brook, Indie Photobook Library, Magnum Foundation, V11, Chris Hondros Fund, The Open Society Foundation…check out the more on the Photoville website
Photoville – here we come!! More updates to come, about what else we’ll be exhibiting in our container.
Please stop by and say hello. We’d both love to see you. Sept 19-29, 2013
The Florios (H & Flo)
As Florio and I shift through hundreds of images, to see what we want to put in our forthcoming book about the ‘River Gambia Expedition‘ (it’s a difficult task – every single image has it’s own story to tell), it’s reminding us of all those companies who supported our journey. We just came across some of these images: Peli Products UK – their ‘rugged, watertight, dustproof, crushproof, buoyant, corrosion-proof‘ cases ensured that our cameras, batteries, laptops, hard-drives, journals, communication devises, etc., didn’t get ruined if they got inadvertently dumped in the river – which is what almost happened on our first day in the water!
Even though we had to leave for the expedition, without our big 1690 Peli case of gear – due to the case getting ‘lost’ for almost three months, somewhere between Belgium and Banjul Port – we still had our two rugged Peli 1520 cases and the Peli head torces – invaluable when trying to find a place to pee in the middle of a moonless night in the African bush!
I’m sure we’ll come across many more of the great cases in action but, in the meantime, HUGE THANKS to Gill Lack and all at Peli Products UK for their support of the ‘River Gambia Expedition – 1000km source-sea African odyssey‘
Now…we wade through more images and journal entries for the book – we’ll post a few taster’s here and there, plus we’ll be posting more thanks to the other businesses who helped us along the way. And, we haven’t forgotten all those people who donated in exchange for prints! To you lot, we are eternally thankful.
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
Jason Florio will have two pieces in the above show – one from our very recent ‘River Gambia Expedition’ and one from our 2009 ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush’ expedition: the above image is from his award-winning body of work: ‘Silafando’
The second image, from our river journey, was taken in Karantaba – where the 18th Century Scottish explorer (and our inspiration), Mungo Park, stayed during his travels into the interior of West Africa.
If you are in New York on the 19th June, 6-8.30pm, please feel free to stop by the gallery – Tabla Rasa, Brooklyn – and have a glass of wine with us and view the exhibition.
For an update on the River Gambia Expedition, as of today, please visit the following blog post: Tales from the River Gambia – reflecting on what’s gone by and what’s t come…’
The River Gambia Expedition Route Map: 1044km (649 miles) from source to sea – 23rd November, 2012-21st January 2013. Three West African countries. One river.
We actually began our journey when we arrived in The Gambia, West Africa, on a hot, sticky mid-October day, 2012, in anticipation of shortly afterwards receiving our container of gear – including a emergency stockpile of packet noodles and CLIF bars!) – which was being shipped down the Atlantic Ocean. We’ll be on the road, we thought, heading towards the Fouta Djallon Highlands of Guinea-Conakry, by 21st-22nd October, at the latest, to find the source of the River Gambia. Or at least, that was the plan. One thing we should have learned by now, from past expedition experience (‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush-930km African odyssey‘, 2009), is that plans will always – always – change.
It wouldn’t be until nearly five weeks later that we would eventually give up on ever seeing our container again – after the shipping company finally admitted that they had no clue where it was and/or when it would turn up at the docks in Banjul, the capital of The Gambia! We had to make do with what we could scavenge together and get on our way. Each week we were delayed could be problematic once we got into the River Gambia – as the river levels can fall very dramatically in places, resuting in us having to portage the canoes and our gear – more often than we would be paddling.
We headed out, from The Gambia, on November 23rd, towards the Fouta Djallon Highlands of Guinea – stopping in Kedougou, Senegal, on route, to drop off our canoes at a friends place. Thanks to Concern Universal for the lift across the border! From there, we took various modes of transport – a spine-juddering 24 hour drive, in an over-crammed (suspension-free – or so it felt!) Land Cruiser, up into the Highlands – to find the source of the River Gambia – on some of the worst ‘roads‘ in Africa. Calling them roads is actually a grand overstatement – it’s more akin to rattling over the rockiest of river beds! However, in comparison to what we came back down the mountains on – on the back of moto-taxis – the ride in Land Cruiser was like cruising in a Rolls Royce Ghost!
We’ve covered a lot of ground, and river, since then and now we are back in our ‘other reality‘ of New York City, and the contrast couldn’t be more extreme. We’ve been working hard since our return, to get our story out there. Part of that work is to make the book. So…we need to fast forward a little, from our last blog post to the end of the journey, because there just aren’t enough hours in the day, days in the week, weeks in the month, to dedicate to both the blog and the book. Everything and more will be in the book anyway. We’ll be keeping you updated on here as to when we are ready to publish.
In the meantime, we hope that you have enjoyed – and continue to do so – the journey. Following is a snap-shot, if you will, of our travels on the River Gambia Expedition – please click on any of the hot-links, which will take you to the relevant posts, for more stories and images.
Thank you for coming on the ‘River Gambia Expedition – 1000km source-sea African odyssey‘. Its been quite a journey and we have more to come…please stay with us and we’ll keep you updated on the ‘River Gambia’ book – which will fill in all the blanks.
The Florios (Helen & Flo)
To view more of Jason Florio’s new series of images – ‘River Gambia’ – taken whilst on the ‘River Gambia Expedition-1000km source-sea African odyssey‘ please visit the website: florio photo.com