Gideon Mendel

(1959) South African


Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1959, Gideon Mendel studied psychology and African history at the University of Cape Town. In the beginning of his career as a freeelance photographer, he documented life in South Africa under apartheid. Many of his photographs focused on the political, ecomico, and racial struggles in the country leading up to Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990. Three years later, Mendel moved to London and starting photographing people living with AIDS, first in Africa and then around the world. He has won several World Press Photo awards, the 1996 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, and the Amnesty International Media Award for Photojournalists. Since 2007, he has been examining the impact of climate change on the world’s poorest people in a series titled Drowning World, which was featured in ICP's 2013 Triennial.
His work has been featured in publications including National Geographic; Fortune; Conde Nast Traveler; and The Sunday Times Magazine. His first monograph A Broken Landscape: HIV & AIDS in Africa was published in 2001. He has also worked with numerous non-profit organizations on photographic advocacy projects.
Mary O'Donnell Hulme
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