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Over the past three years this London-based South African photographer has traveled to flood events in the UK, India, Pakistan, Australia, Thailand, Nigeria, Germany, The Philippines, Brazil, Bangladesh, and the United States. At each location he outfits himself in waders and submerges himself into the floodwaters to connect with victims and document their stories. The result is a startling collection of still and video 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 viewers to reflect on our impact on nature and, ultimately, on our own attachment to our homes and personal belongings.
Gideon Mendel is the inaugural winner of the Pollock-Krasner Prize for Creativity, awarded in March 2016. Join us on May 12th to meet the artist and learn more about his creative process and arts activism.
John Muir Memorial Chair and Distinguished Professor of Geography, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Katharine Davis Reich
Environmental educator, UCLA Center for Climate Change Solutions
Associate Professor of Information Studies
Anurima Banerji (Co-moderator)
Assistant Professor of World Arts and Cultures/Dance
David Gere (Co-moderator)
Professor, World Arts and Cultures/Dance; Director of the UCLA Art & Global Health Center