Guyanese-born, London-based graduate Jamain Gordon’s interest in photography stemmed from an attraction to the arts at school. “I received my first camera (a Canon 1000f) at the age of ten,” Jamain tells It’s Nice That. “From that moment I began to capture images of people I knew and those who lived around the city where I grew up.”
Growing up in Georgetown, Guyana in South America, Jamain’s family relocated to London ten years ago. When attending Islington’s arts and media school the photographer was “introduced to a vast range of technical equipment in order to progress my skills and abilities in the art,” he explains. Later, Jamain studied at the City of Westminster College where he began to “make bigger steps towards a career in photography,” even having his work printed on the side of London buses when leaving college and assisting photographers at London Fashion Week.
Yet, despite his growing successes Jamain’s photographic style came into its own in his graduating project One People, One Nation, One Destiny. Beginning a few years back when the photographer travelled back to Guyana to visit family, he used his new-found skills to document people through portraiture, publishing them as a collection. “I created this book because I wanted to raise awareness of my home country of Guyana,” explains Jamain. “Not a lot of people have heard of us, so with this book my aim is to share my birth place through images in the hope that people can appreciate and pass on the knowledge of a place and a culture that is new to them.”
Each of the people featured in the book had a close connection with Jamain’s late grandmother, “and so meeting and photographing the sitters had a particular significance for me,” he says. “Many of the people that I met on my trip back home have also handwritten a message to share first-hand knowledge of the people and culture of Guyana.”
With a vast range of subject age (between 13 and 82), each note and accompanying portrait display a differing and warm perspective on the country and Jamain’s own family, “fathers, mothers, students, sisters and grandparents,” he says. “These are ‘real’ people and my photographs are a genuine documentation of Guyanese people which I wish to share with my newfound friends and family.”
One People, One Nation, One Destiny, is also only the first instalment as part of a wider series on Guyana as Jamain hopes to get the opportunity to document larger areas of Guyana other than his hometown. “I wish to continue a creative career, predominately in photography, and continue to inspire and educate people on the forgotten people of Guyana.”
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.