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  • Writer's pictureMathushaa Sagthidas

South Asian Photography Inspiration

Nina Mangalanayagam

Image from The Folds of The Fabric Fall Differently Each Time (2009) by Nina Mangalanayagam

Check out more of Nina’s work on her Website:

Check out more of Nina’s work on her Instagram:

For me finding creatives, more specifically south Asian photographers in London, a city that claims to be diverse, can be rather difficult. Especially when creating projects where inspiration is needed and can be a key influence within my ideas. Hence why coming across, Nina Mangalanayagam, “a visual artist working with still and moving image”; who explores the “themes of belonging and hybridity, often using a semi-autobiographical approach”, through her Tamil-Swedish identity. I came across Mangalanayagam’s work when researching for my first south Asian project, ஒருதீவிலிருந்துஒருநகரம் meaning “A city away from an Island”. A project that triggered again my passion and care for creating projects reflecting my Tamil history and heritage through a more westernised perspective. I find that being able to resonate with Mangalanayagam’s identity being a strong inspiration for her work, helped figure out and understand my own perspective. I was and still am drawn to many of her photography works, but especially has video-graphic piece titled, We call her Pulle.

We call her Pulle “depicts a domestic environment in the aftermath of a violent conflict”, which refers to the effects the Sri Lankan civil war had on Jaffna. Something that I can understand on a personal perspective due to my own parents history with the Sri Lankan civil war. The video is a documentary/ nostalgic installation of Mangalanayagam’s and her aunt’s close relationship of “women from different generations in one family, who do not share language, culture or experience”. What I love about this piece is being able to see a very authentic perspective of someone who is very interested in the history that you are looking at; as an artist with Tamil Sri Lankan heritage this is very hard to find, especially in London. It’s every aspects of this very key and valuable to my own work, especially my research.

All quotes from Nina’s website.


Karishma, January 2018.

Photography, styling and makeup by Faiyaz

Check out more of Faiyaz’s work on his Instagram:

Faiyaz is a distinctive creative of many talents, range from make up artist, stylist and creative director to, skills to use to bring together his visual creativity through my favourite skill of his, (fashion) photography. When I came across Faiyaz work, I was strongly drawn to how he use his platform to bring authentic representation to various south Asians, of many different nationalities, ethnicities and even skins tone. Through his stunning imagery, he’s not created and found this beautiful aesthetic but also created another reference and community for other south Asian creatives to use for inspiration. When I think Faiyaz’s work, I am slightly reminded of Walker’s Cloud 9 (a body of work that I love and speak about in a previous post) and realise that Faiyaz’s take on south Asian culture, beauty and fashion is more genuine and it is disappointing that Faiyaz is not as publicised compared to Walker, something I hope will change; however this is something that is not surprising in this white run world.

Math x

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