Gideon Mendel is a talented photojournalist, who was born in 1959 in Johannesburg, South Africa and currently based in London, UK. Gideon studied Psychology and African History at the University of Cape Town. His “Drowning World” series is an ongoing global photography and video project about flooding. Since 2007, Mendel has photographed in the UK, India, Haiti, Pakistan, Australia, Thailand, and Nigeria, focusing on these extreme circumstances as his way of addressing the threat of climate change.
Drowning World is a visual attempt to capture the magnitude of climate change through portraits of flood survivors taken in deep floodwaters, within the remains of their homes, or in submerged landscapes, in the stillness of once lively environments. Keeping their composure, the photographed subjects pause in front of Mendel’s camera, casting an unsettling yet engaging gaze. These images, taken across the world, bear witness to a shared experience that erases geographical and cultural divides. They invite the viewers to reflect on our impact on nature and ultimately, on our own attachment to our homes and personal belongings.
– Gideon Mendel
In many of his portraits, flood victims stand inside their homes, water lapping at their waists, their faces conveying shock, or sorrow, or determination.
Amongst many accolades, Gideon Mendel has won the Eugene Smith Award for Humanistic Photography, six World Press Photo Awards, first prize in the Pictures of the Year competition, a POY Canon Photo Essayist Award, the Amnesty International Media Award for Photojournalism and he was shortlisted for the Prix Pictet Prize 2015 for Drowning World.
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