Gideon Mendel is widely regarded as one of the world's leading contemporary photojournalists.  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, documenting social 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 he has documented social issues in Africa and globally.


Gideon Mendel first began photographing the topic of AIDS in Africa in 1993- and in the past fourteen years his groundbreaking work on this issue has been widely recognized. His intimate style of committed photojournalism, whether in black and white or in colour, has earned him international acclaim. He has won six World Press Photo Awards, first prize in the 1995 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-among them National Geographic, Fortune Magazine, Condé Naste Traveller, Geo, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Guardian Weekend Magazine, L'Express and Stern Magazine. He has also worked with key charities such as Action Aid, MSF, Christian Aid, Crisis and Treatment Action Campaign.


His first monograph, A Broken Landscape: HIV & AIDS in Africa, was published in 2001. Since then he has produced a number of pioneering photographic advocacy projects working with charities and campaigning organizations organisations such as The Global Fund, MSF, Treatment Action Campaign, The International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Action Aid and Concern International. Many have included multi-media components such as recorded location sound, animated stills and panoramic images. The final products have ranged from poster sets, to booklets, to short films and website presentations. In 2003 he made a series of short films, entitled ‘The Harsh Divide' which were broadcast on Channel 4 in Britain.


He continues, in his current working practice, to work for some of the world's major magazines while also developing new advocacy projects. He has recently begun a major new body of work on the impact of climate change on the world's poorest people.





W. Eugene Smith Award for Humanistic Photography, 1996

Amnesty International Media Award for Photojournalism, 2003

Pictures of the Year, Award of Excellence and Canon Photo Essay Award, 2003

World Press Photo, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1994, 1992

Nikon Photo Essay Award, 1998

Pictures of the Year, First Prize, Canon Photo Essay Award 1995

Nikon Photographer of the Year, 1995





An Answer in Africa: The lives of five people on potentially life-saving ARV Medication (Lusikisiki)


In Their Voices: The stories of people on ARV Medication (Lusikisiki)


Eight Women-One Voice: The lives of eight African women who address the leaders of the G8


 Salvation is Cheap: The gulf between those people in South Africa with and without access to ARV medication


A short film on AIDS orphans in Swaziland, broadcast on BBC Newsnight

(click on 'this is their story' to view video)


The Children Left Behind: AIDS orphans in Mozambique


Soweto, Thirty Years After the Uprising of the Pupils,,1798392,00.html


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