First Thursdays late opening
Gideon Mendel: Dzhangal

Thurs 2 February, 6 - 9pm

Rivington Place

London, UK

Free event, no booking required

Dzhangal is open until 9pm for First Thursdays. Photographer Gideon Mendel will give an informal talk and Q&A at 6:45pm. 

Free exhibition. Admission to the talk will be on a first come, first served basis.

Gideon Mendel has created a powerful installation using objects he gathered during visits to the 'Jungle' refugee camp in Calais.

By focusing on items such as toothbrushes, playing cards, worn-out trainers, teargas canisters, and children’s dolls, Mendel conjures alternative portraits of the 'Jungle' residents that also stand in for the plight of displaced people everywhere. 

The title of the project Dzhangal refers to a Pashto word meaning ‘This is the forest’, the origin of the contentious term 'Jungle'.

Mendel is noted for his long-term socially engaged projects. He initially went to Calais to teach photography to refugees part of a collaborative documentary project. He discovered that many refugees were hostile towards the camera and sceptical that it would ameliorate their situation. Many feared that being identified could undermine their asylum claims and lead to deportation.

Mendel’s response was to turn his attention to lost objects on the ground, collecting them and trying to understand the patterns that emerged. Through the display of discarded objects, Mendel highlights the residents’ humanity. Some objects evoke the daily violence many experienced, some reflect the banality and domesticity of lives there - including the plight of women and children - while artefacts from a deeper archaeological layer evidence the era before the camp existed.

This exhibition combines a series of large still life photographs of these objects with installations of found objects. Mendel regards his Dzhangal project as a way to create order from the disorder. It is an attempt to make sense of the complex relationships, politics, and situations found on the ground by restructuring the objects within the frameworks of art and photography. In these artefacts with all their ingrained grit and ashes, one senses the refugees’ struggle to live ordinary lives under extraordinary circumstances, while the stench of smoke evokes the fire that turned to ashes their hopes for better lives in England.

Part of the exhibition

Gideon Mendel:

6 January - 11 February 2017

Read more »

What the press says

From a precious teddy to recycled tear gas canisters, photographer Gideon Mendel tells the story of the Calais refugee camp through the items left behind

- The Guardian


- BBC World News

Additional Info

The exhibition is free and unticketed.

Autograph ABP, Rivington Place, EC2A 3BA. View on Google Maps >

The entrance is on the side of the building.

We are located in the heart of Shoreditch, a short walk from Old Street, Liverpool Street and Shoreditch High Street stations.
Buses: 26, 43, 48, 55, 67, 149, 205, 242 and 271

Children are welcome to the gallery with an adult.

  • Gideon Mendel, Woman’s tracksuit top
  • Gideon Mendel, Study for 59 toothbrushes. Collected on 21 May and 15 September 2016
  • Gideon Mendel, Fabric doll with vinyl face collected 21 May 2016