This project was something I wanted to create in uni until the pandemic, so when I was given funding from Getty Images x Creative Access x iStock (end of 2021); I was finally able to bring this ideas to life - creating this and managing 6 different teams for the last 5 months has been unforgettable!

Photography by Mathushaa Sagthidas Ⓒ


'NOT JUST BROWN, NOT JUST INDIAN', focuses on the lived experiences and beauty of some really incredible South Asian women as well celebrations, traditions and history of south Asian countries from a female perspective. As Eelam Tamil Woman, like most other south Asians just made the assumption I was Indian as if that's the only country to exist in South Asia and I feel our cultures and traditions are classed as one (hence the name). It was as if I was made to feel that my 'appearance' didn't seems to fit the expectation of what some outside and even with in the South Asian community believed a Tamil woman should be. Working with SA woman from their respective countries, I wanted show parts of their stories and culture from an authentic perspective - to give them a space and chance to celebrate who they are and everything they have been raised around; especially during South Asian Heritage Month to really amplify these stories.


Each country focus on different aspects of it's culture. For India, we focused more on the celebration of Holi by letting the models create a Rangoli pattern (colourful patterns made out of white and coloured rice powder) - something that they would do for festivals, given that all girls in shot are creatives it made sense to given them the chance to do this; Bangalesh focused on showcasing the beauty and celebration of their New Year - Pôhela Boishakh - fully traditional food and drinks that brought back some nostalgic memories for them; Afghanistan focused on celebrating family and little things, the girls in shot (who are also cousins) would do growing - such as have tea and catch up or even dance; Pakistan focus more on beauty traditions such as the influence or hair oiling and wearing Kajal; Nepal focuses on sisterhood but also the influence of caste in their culture - such as having traditional wear that reflects the caste their families are from; Sri Lanka/ Tamil Eelam focus more on the life of our grandmother and the way life was like for them back home whilst highlighting/ showcasing the beautiful differences between Tamil and Sinhala culture.



India (26th March 2022) 

Art Direction - 

Styling - @aaishah.p 

Make Up - @yasitskrishy 

Models - @shaw.22 @aaliya.choudhury @yasitskrishy 

Weave pieces by @by.sapna 


Afghanistan (9th April 2022) 

Art Direction/ Styling - @ha_ida 

Make Up - @saida_hoss 

Models - @fariaaa_r @susansherifi @farhat_draws @adria.pawz


Nepal (17th April 2022)

Art Direction - @suprinax 

Styling/ Make Up - 

Models - @reeyadarnalbk @ronisha_nal @rojinadarnal @suprinax 


Sri Lanka/ Tamil Eelam (23rd April 2022)

Art Direction - @bypeoni 

Styling for Sinhalese Models - @sahxni 

Styling for Tamil Models - @keertspleats

Make Up - @rebeccaraveendran

Models - @rebeccaraveendran @nirodha.perera @lourdesnavo @workbypree


Bangladesh (7th May 2022) 

Art Direction - @waheeda_art 

Styling - @asaaaa._.zz 

Make Up - @voidinayah 

Models - @asaaaa._.zz @mariakayum_ @tartine___ @waheeda_art 


Pakistan (22nd May 2022) 

Art Direction/ Styling - @armani_sy

Make Up - @mariumjeelani 

Models - @mariumjeelani @_bismahsaleem @henab30