Images capture making of climate change displays

Anyone walking in the side streets off London’s Oxford Street may come across a set of huge portraits highlighting regions devastated by climate change.

The enormous free display forms part of the second exhibition at the Soho Photography Quarter.

Called Fire/Flood, it features works by London-based photographer Gideon Mendel who visits hit areas by flooding or wildfires to document the destruction.

Photos shared with the BBC show how he created the works.

The blown-up images which make up the exhibition and have been on display since the end of November are taken from two series of photographs by the South African artist.

One set, called Drowning World, features portraits documenting floods in countries like Nigeria and Pakistan, while the other, named Burning World, looks at the increase in the extremity of wildfires across the world.

The free exhibition, which can be found just off Oxford Street, includes a 40m (131ft) long frieze of images, large-scale over-street banners and a large projection of a newly commissioned film which runs each night after dusk.

Speaking about the images, Mendel said the people included in each photo “have taken the time – in a situation of great distress – to engage the camera, looking out at us from their inundated homes and devastated surroundings”.

“They are showing the world the calamity that has befallen them.”

He added that his subjects “are not victims in this exchange”, but rather “the camera records their dignity and resilience”.

“They bear witness to the brutal reality that the poorest people on the planet almost always suffer the most from climate change,” he said.

Fire/Flood can be found on displays around The Photographers’ Gallery in Soho and runs until May next year.

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