Every time there is war in a region, the locals look for ways to ease their frustration in an effort to remain hopeful. Afghanistan has been at war for a long time and while most people are aware of the United States invasion in 2001, the Soviet Union had occupied the region in 1979. The Middle East region is renowned for its creative rug art and this trade was popular among the women. Up until the dawn of the 1980s, Afghanistan rug makers would dramatically alter the designs of the rugs. Instead of flowers, tanks, airplanes and rocket launchers would comprise the basic design of the rugs. Even though these new-age rug designs would be symbolic of hard and trying times, they would be among the richest art form as a result of war.
The art of rug making in Afghanistan for centuries past was practiced by women. As it was popular among the nomadic tribes, it was not long before various tribes took it up as an activity they would do with their hands. The presence of the Pazyryk rug believed to have been made in the 4th century B.C. is evidence of this deep-rooted tradition. The rugs were used a medium to preserve patterns and lessons as experienced by the artist. It is this inspiration to make art pieces to depict the life around them, which led to the rug images changing following the invasion of Soviet forces.
For a couple of years now, photographer Gideon Mendel has taken it upon himself to show the world what it is like in other parts of the world where the climate is very unfavourable to them. Mendel has not minded the dangers and lengths he has to go through to make sure he delivers the pictures in the clearest form possible. In his most recent project, Drowning World, he takes us round the world through his camera lenses and shows us calm portraits of flood victims in areas we would not expect. Drowning World shows the real picture of climate change around the world, the real picture behind the statistics and with real people the floods affect directly.