Gideon Mendel

Photographer, South Africa

Born in Johannesburg in 1959, he studied psychology and African history at the University of Cape Town. Following his studies he became a freelance photographer, photographing change and conflict in South Africa in the lead-up to Nelson Mandela's release from prison. In 1990 he moved to London, from where his focus as a photographer has been on documenting social issues globally and, in particular, in Africa. He first began photographing the topic of AIDS in Africa in 1993 and in the past sixteen years his work on this issue has been widely recognized. His style of photojournalism, whether in black and white or in color, has earned him international acclaim. He has won six World Press Photo Awards, first prize in the American Pictures of the Year competition, a POY Canon Photo Essayist Award, the Eugene Smith Award for Humanistic Photography and the Amnesty International Media Award for Photojournalism. He has worked for many of the world's leading magazines, such as National Geographic, Fortune magazine, Condé Naste Traveller, Geo, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Guardian Weekend magazine, L'Express and Stern magazine. His first monograph, A Broken Landscape: HIV & AIDS in Africa, was published in 2001. Since then he has produced a number of pioneering photographic projects working with charities and campaigning organizations, such as The Global Fund, MSF, Treatment Action Campaign, The International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Action Aid, The Terrene Higgins Trust, Shelter, Leonard Cheshire Disability, UNICEF and Concern International. In his current practice he has been working on a variety of new advocacy projects often involving a mix of photography and video. He has started a new body of work on the impact of climate change on the world's poorest people and has also begun a major new engagement with the practice of collaborative photography in two different projects: He is the co-director of the Through Positive Eyes global project that involves working with groups of HIV positive people who use cameras to document their own lives with the goal of challenging stigma and the 3EyesOn project which is dedicated to finding innovative ways of working with young children, often from poor communities in the UK, to photograph their own lives.

World Press Photo involvement

Gideon Mendel

© Crispin Hughes

Contact details

Based in:
United Kingdom
Country:
South Africa