Blog Entry: June 2010. ‘Wobbly Productions’ Presents: Jones films Jason Florio photographing the alkalo (village chief), Landing Jammeh, of Kalaji, The Gambia, West Africa, as part of what would become an award-winning series of colour portraits http://www.floriophoto.com/#/projects/930km%20african%20odyssey/1
Our first foray into filming our journey – hence the name ‘Wobbly Productions’!
(Main image: Florio-2009 Alkalo’s Landing Jammeh & Julu Sanyang)
Kalaji Village was in such an idyllic setting – our tents were pitched in the middle of a big pasture, beneath a huge tree (perfect for shade against the midday sun). Neil and Paddy, the donkeys, loved it too as they had the whole field to graze from. That was until the herd of cattle returned home to pasture later in the day. If donkeys are capable of expression, I would say that their look was pure bemusement, at being surrounded by about 100 cows and bulls! And the cattle, in return, equally bemused by the interlopers in their field!
We then realised that the tree was the only real shade in the village and (something we should have known by that point) its where the whole village congregate to sit and chew the fat at the end of their working day. So, along they came, a steady stream of villagers, until our camp site was surrounded by very voiciferous, curious kids and adults alike. They brought their wooden benches and stools, plastic chairs and, in one case, a women brought her sewing and another two women sat and plaited each others hair. Our team became the free entertainment and amusement well into the darkness of the evening - rather like starring in our very own live reality tv show!
Kalaji is one of the villages that really stands out for both Florio and myself, from the whole journey. Gambians are truly the most hospitable people and in this particular village, even more so.
Ok, over to ‘Wobbly Productions’ (excuse the amateur filming in advance – we did get better as time went on. Honestly!)
Neil and Paddy ain’t seen nothing yet! They meet the first one of the herd, whilst Florio watches on.
Image: Jones-2009-Kalaji, The Gambia, W Africa
Neil “my, what big horns you have!!” The Kalaji herd start to move in…….The cows (and bulls!) are coming home!!
Image: Jones-2009-Kalaji village, The Gambia, West Africa
And here come the kids!
Image: Jones-2009- Kalaji village, The Gambia, W Africa