KAUNAS PHOTO festival 09-26 artist talk by Gideon Mendel

On 26 of September, at Lithuanian educational museum Gideon Mendel (South Africa/UK) presented his exhibition and video project “Drowning world”. 

Kaunas Photo festival invites to the exhibition and film screening about the drowning world

On the 26th of September, Tuesday, 6pm KAUNAS PHOTO festival invites to the Lithuanian Educational History Museum (Vytauto pr. 52), where the famous photographer Gideon Mendel (Republic of South Africa/ UK) will give an artist talk and present his exhibition and moving image project the Drowning World.

© Gideon Mendel (South Africa/UK) “Drowning World”

Just a few weeks ago  Gideon Mendel photographed the floods in Texas, and is now coming to Kaunas. He will introduce his exhibition Drowning World, shown in Lithuanian Educational History Museum, as well as present the 40min video project of the same name, and will share his latest photographs from the flooded USA. Both in his photographs and moving image works the artist explores the personal impact of the climate change in the global context.

© Gideon Mendel (South Africa/UK) “Drowning World”

The series Drowning World was started in 2007, when Gideon Mendel photographed two floods only a few weeks apart from each other: one was in United Kingdom, another one in India. He was deeply shaken to discover how contrasting the impact was on the people affected by floods in these two countries, and also how this experience united people through their vulnerability. From then on the photographer is visiting different locations around the world affected by floods. He travelled to Haiti (2008), Pakistan (2010), Australia (2011), Thailand (2011), Nigeria (2012), Germany (2013), Philippines (2013), UK (2014), India (2014), Brazil (2015), Bangladesh (2015) and USA (2015). Drowning World series was nominated for the prestigious Prix Pictet award. This body of work is a personal response to climate change.

© Gideon Mendel (South Africa/UK) “Drowning World”

The Submerged Portraits are at the heart of the Drowning World project. Gideon Mendel’s subjects often invite him back to their homes, and to get there they travel together through deep floodwaters. In these dystopian and disconcertingly abnormal environments, photographer try to make the moment when he presses the shutter calm and connected as he engages with his subjects. Gideon Mendel’s intent is for their gaze to challenge the viewer and be part of a shared portrait of humanity in crisis in the face of natural disorder- a disorder that humankind has played a role in precipitating.

Gideon Mendel is a photographer from South Africa. His work engages with contemporary social issues of global concern. His intimate style of committed image making, and long-term commitment to projects has earned him acclaim.

Gideon Mendel has a career spanning over 30 years. Originally from South Africa, he is currently based in London. It was his work as a ‘struggle photographer’ during the final years of apartheid that first brought attention to his work.

Gideon Mendel has worked for National Geographic, Fortune, Geo, The Independent magazine, The Guardian Weekend magazine, The Sunday Times magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, L’Express, Stern and Rolling Stone.

KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest- running annual photography festival in Lithuania and the Baltic States. It is organised by the NGO „Šviesos raštas“ since 2004. KAUNAS PHOTO is one of the most important annual art events in the country. KAUNAS PHOTO is a member of „Festival Of Light“ organisation.

Main sponsors: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, Lithuanian Culture Council, Kaunas city council.

Patron of the festival is President Valdas Adamkus.

Events of the 14th edition of KAUNAS PHOTO festival, September 26-29

The 14th edition of KAUNAS PHOTO festival invites to the events during 26-29 of September. All events are free of charge!


September 26, Tuesday

6pm Artist talk by Gideon Mendel (South Africa/UK) and review of his video project; guided tour at the exhibition of KAUNAS PHOTO festival. The artists of the exhibition are: Matjaž Krivic (Slovenia) “Lithium, the driving force of 21st Century”, Christian Åslund (Sweden) “Glacier comparison – Svalbard”, Gideon Mendel (UK) “Drowning World”. Lithuanian educational museum (Vytauto av. 52).

© Romualdas Požerskis (Lithuania) “Hot summer”

September 27, Wednesday

6pm Artist talk by Romualdas Požerskis (Lithuania) and presentation of his work “Hot Summer”. Kaunas city council Vincas Kudirka public library, department of youth music and art (A. Mapų st. 18).

© Jussi Puikkonen (Finland) “Sauna Folk”

September 29, Friday

KAUNAS PHOTO festival final guided tours and photography projection night at Caffeine.

5pm Guided tour at “F gallery” (Aušros str. 6). Eugenijus Barzdžius (Lithuania) “VASK”.

5.30pm Guided tour at Multi-functional Study and Science center of Vytautas Magnus University (V. Putvinskio str. 23). Alex Boyd (UK) “The Land of Maybe”, Christine Osinski (USA) “New York City’s Archipelago”.

6pm Guided tour at Kaunas Artists’ House (V. Putvinskio str. 56). Jussi Puikkonen (Finland) “Sauna Folk”.

8pm KAUNAS PHOTO Caffeine Fridays Night – photography projections (Laisvės av. 72). On display “Water environment“.


All the listed events are free of charge and open to everyone. We are looking forward to seeing you!

KAUNAS PHOTO festival team.