Jason Florio is a NYC based photographer and writer from London. For the past 15 years he has worked as a freelance photojournalist around the globe for publications including The New Yorker, New York Times, Outside, Newsweek, Virginia Quarterly Review, Men's Journal, and Sunday Times Travel. At the beginning of his career he had gained recognition after being one of the last photographers in Afghanistan to photograph the anti-Taliban commander Ahmed Shah Massoud in August 2001, who was assassinated by Al Qaeda operatives on September 9th, then to be at the foot of the World Trade Center on September 11th as it collapsed.
Along with his wife, photography producer and writer, Helen Jones-Florio, he spent the last three months of 2009 making a 930 km expedition by foot of The Gambia, West Africa to produce a series of portraits of African chiefs for which in part he was given fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society in London. The resulting body of work from the journey, titled ‘Silafando: A Gift to You on Behalf of my Journey’ won Florio The International Photography Awards – People Photographer of the Year 2010. The Gambia has been a place Florio regularly returns to. For the past fourteen years he has made yearly trips there to work on a long-term project of the people living in and around a sacred forest called Makasutu. The culminating body of work was shown in New York in 2009 in a solo exhibition and the work won a Black and White magazine Spotlight Award, as well as garnering him a nomination for the Santa Fe Prize for Photography. Part of the Makasutu series was acquired by the Haggerty Museum of Art.
Jason was awarded the Joy of Giving Something grant in 2004 to produce the first ever assigned story for Aperture in their 50 year history, called ‘This is Libya’, which is now part of the permanent collection of The Forward Thinking Museum. His work on Afghanistan is in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York, as well as a number of private collections.
November 2012-January 2013 - Successfully completed the 'River Gambia Expedition - 1044km source-sea African odyssey' - along with his wife, producer Helen Jones-Florio, they followed the 1044km course of the River Gambia, by canoe and local transport along one of Africa's last free flowing major rivers, from Guinea-Conakry to the Gambia, West Africa, creating a document of the people and cultures along the river's length.
All photos © Jason Florio.