Civil War or Turf War ?
In late 2001, Jason began work on an
independent project to document the conflict that has torn Colombia
apart for decades.
Colombia has become synonymous with
drug trafficking and violence.
Left wing rebel groups that once had
strong political ideals appear to have become little more than armed
gangs fighting for territory. Their sworn enemies, the right-wing
Paramilitaries, battle against them with at least the tacit approval if
not full support of the government. Atrocities are committed against the
civilian population by all sides. Each group seeks to take control of
the land and its valuable resources whether it be oil, coca or more
recently in some areas, African palms. The lives of young Government
soldiers, rebels, paramilitary fighters and civilians are being wasted
in a war that is not improving the lives of the poor as some claim, but
is rather enriching those who control the assets of each group. The gap
between rich and poor remains as vast as ever. Each year thousands are
killed, thousands more kidnapped and approximately 3 million are
believed to have been displaced by the conflict.
Since the conflict affects few beyond
the countries own borders it receives little international attention
despite being one of the world’s longest running civil wars and having
level of displacement that represents a humanitarian disaster.
In order to see beyond the statistics
and dry analysis Jason made several visits totalling 18 months in all to
the most troubled regions of the country. He lived alongside FARC rebels
in their makeshift camps, stayed in towns controlled by AUC and visited
paramilitary fighters in the field as well as going into the coca
plantations with workers and watching them process cocaine base. Whilst
accompanying the Police and Government troops the photographer was able
add other perspectives to his reportage. Finally he witnessed first hand
the living conditions of the displaced, many of who have been widowed or
orphaned by the fighting.
In 2007 Jason was honoured with a screenings of his completed project at the both the 18th Annual International Festival of Photojournalism 'Visa Pour L'Image' in Perpignan, France and at the 11th Annual 'City of Gijon' Festival of Photojournalism in Spain. Jason also received and Award of Excellence in the prestigious 6Oth Annual Pictures of the Year International (POYi) Contest. His images have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers in the UK, Europe, the US and Latin America.
Jason's book COLOMBIA: BETWEEN THE LINES was released in May 2008. For more infomation or to order a copy please click below:
Current work including General Reportage, Travel, Commercial, Advertising and Conflict Coverage can be found at the new website as well as tear sheets and print sales and all archived images.