Powerful Portraits Capture The Effects Of Flooding In Southern Nigeria

This week, South African photographer, Gideon Mendel, won the Greenpeace Photo 2016 Jury Award for his project called Drowning World – and deservedly so.

Drowning World explores the effects of climate change in a powerful and intimate way – using portraits – to take us beyond faceless statistics and into the individual experiences of its victims.

In 2012, Mendel traveled to Igbogene, a village suffering from intense flooding in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. He followed the subjects of his portraits through deep waters, working with them to create striking images in their flooded homes.


Mendel began working on his project in 2007 and has since visited flood zones around the world, travelling to Haiti, Pakistan, Australia, Thailand Germany, Philippines, and Nigeria.

On his Instagram, Mendel said about the relevance of winning the award and his plans for the project:

“This award will help me make more flood response trips and develop the project.”

Later this month Drowning World will be shown at the Lagos Photo Festival – the first and only international arts festival of photography in Nigeria running from October 22 to November 21.



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