Photographer Gideon Mendel: Nigeria Under Water

Photographer Gideon Mendel: Nigeria Under Water

Photographer Gideon Mendel has spent much of his career documenting social issues around the globe and was one of the first to use photography to highlight the issue of HIV and Aids in Africa in the early 1990s. It was a piece of work that set out to challenge the stereotypical view of the struggle at that time, and broke new ground in terms of style.

One of his current projects, Drowning World, looks at the impact of flooding and on a recent assignment to Nigeria Mendel released a number of pictures via the photography app, Instagram, alongside his more traditional work. It is an interesting departure and yet the resulting pictures are still very much in his style.

Gideon Mendel said: "I have recently returned from two weeks spent photographing the impact of the recent flooding in Nigeria. Basing myself in Yenagoa in the state of Bayelsa I experienced at first hand the devastating impact of the recent flooding which killed 363 people and displaced more than two million.

I had chosen to travel to Nigeria to document these floods as part of "Drowning World" a long-term photographic and video project exploring the global impact of flooding. Since 2007 I have endeavoured to visit scenes of inundation around the world covering floods in the UK, India, Pakistan, Australia and Thailand. I have chosen to focus on these extreme circumstances as a way of responding to the threat of climate change.

Portraits of flood victims are at the heart of this project. I have taken my images so far in a way that lets the flood victims I locate directly address the camera looking outwards from an environmental calamity that has all but destroyed their lives. Their unsettling gaze challenges the viewer, questioning our communal culpability for their plight."

Source: Naij.com

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NAIJ.com
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