“Photography is a license to be nosy”: Nina Manandhar discusses her community-based projects Gurkha Sons and Thamesmead

“The camera can take you to far flung places”: Embark on an adventure into the beautiful multiculturalism of London with photographer Nina Manandhar.

18 November 2021


At October’s Nicer Tuesdays we were graced with a talk by a photographer that needs no introduction. The London-based Nina Manandhar is known up and down the industry for her combination of documentary and portraiture projects. She talked us through two beautifully evocative projects on the last Tuesday of October, sharing insights into Gurkha Sons and Thamesmead exploring two respective communities in the British capital. In her talk, Nina explained how her mixed heritage has influenced her creativity, allowing her to “slip into worlds that [she] doesn’t usually belong in”; an essential quality for a photographer. Shedding light on how she uses photography as a tool for investigation, the ensuing talk delved into how she encapsulates the essence of identity through powerful portraiture.

Gurkha Sons documents young Gurkha men that Nina met at a community centre. Interested in their unique expressions of identity which hint to both Britishness and being Nepalese, the community-centred series touches on issues of multiculturalism and belonging. In another series exploring similar issues, Nina showed us insights into her series Thamesmead, an area in south west London known for its criss-crossing canals and brutalist architecture. Telling us about the myriad of characters she met along the way, Nina’s charming and inspiring talk championed the great diversity of London, in turn, showcasing the city at its best.

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Further Info

Nicer Tuesdays is our monthly event of creative talks. You can find out more here.

About the Author

Jyni Ong

Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor.

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