Awards: VQR ‘Prize for Photography’ Jason Florio for three pieces – from Somalia and Burma

VQR-photography award 2013

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Congratulation! Jason Florio – photographer and River Gambia Expedition co-leader – recently awarded VQR Prize for Photography (Virginia Quarterly Review), for his work from Somalia and Burma, last year.

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The Black Zone‘ – Words: Robert Young Pelton. Photos: Jason Florio for VQR

A big shout out to River Gambia Expedition co-leader and photographer, Jason Florio, for his recent feature in the Forward Thinking Museum – ‘Facing Mogadishu’

‘Facing Mogadishu’ Image ©Florio

Well done to River Gambia Expedition’s co-leader and photographer, Florio, for his current main feature on the Forward Thinking Museum site. He keenly portrays the every day existence of people who live and work in Mogadish – one of the worlds ‘most dangerous places’: ‘Facing Mogadishu’

When we could find a secure location I set up my semi-translucent background cloth. I not only wanted to make reportage images but to bring people face to face with the individuals that live and survive in Mogadishu through intimate portraits...’ Jason Florio – Mogadishu, Somalia

The feature also shows Florio’s reportage images, taken in Mogadishu at some of the SAACID feeding program sites.

SAACID – Feeding program, Mogadishu, Somalia © Jason Florio

‘With food and water in desperately short supply, thousands of people rely on the ‘wet’ feeding kitchens, but the situation was exacerbated by the influx of internally displaced people from southern Somalia converging on Mogadishu, to escape the hardline Al Shabaab and a devastating drought – land that was empty in Mogadishu in April was filled by September with tent cities packed with mainly women and children baking in the Somali heat…’ Jason Florio – Mogadishu, Somalia.

Although, it will eternally make me anxious when Florio travels to such places (particularly when he calls me from a satellite phone, atop some built-ridden building in the middle of Mogadishu, and I can actually hear the gun shots – far too close for comfort)…but, seeing the work that he comes back with, stirs me beyond words. However, I think his images more than make up for my verbal (written word) ineptness.

‘Facing Mogadishu’ © Jason Florio

To see all the images from the ‘Facing Mogadishu’ series, and read Florio’s forward, please visit the Forward Thinking Museum site.

Helen Jones-Florio

River Gambia Expedition Photography Producer & Co-Leader