11 Apr Jason Florio – Black and White: fine art photography prints, West Africa
Jason Florio – Black And White: fine art photography prints, West Africa. Florio is a multi-award winning photographer, and filmmaker. The black and white portraits are from his award-winning series, ‘Makasutu – mecca in the forest’
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‘Makasutu – Mecca in the Forest Between 1997 and 2010 I returned annually to ‘Makasutu’, a sacred forest in the West African Republic of The Gambia, to make portraits of the people who live and work, in and around the forest. According to local ‘griots’, ‘Makasutu’ gained its name when the Islamic wave swept through the Sahara in the 12th Century and Gambian converts used the area as a prayer ground before mosques were erected; hence the name, translated from the local Mandinka language ‘Maka’ – Mecca and ‘sutu’ – in the forest. Since then it has been deemed holy ground, protected in the past by local kings and marabouts (Islamic shaman), and now under the auspices of a conservation group, Makasutu Wildlife Trust set up by my old friend, Lawrence Williams, and his business partner, James English; but many locals still believe the forest is really protected by ‘jinns’ and a giant spectral serpent, known as a ‘ninkinanko’. With many aspects of life in The Gambian, ancient animist traditions and beliefs weave easily with their adopted Islamic faith...’ Jason Florio Read more floriophoto.com