London-based photographer Nina Manandhar has become known for her images and curated projects that explore youth identity and the meaning of style. Over the years we’ve featured many of Nina’s work multiple times, including What We Wore a people’s history of British style, a documentation of Nigerian style, Mexico City’s newspaper sellers and most recently her shoot of Wimbledon for Vogue. What these projects have in common is an interest in telling authentic stories and celebrating the people she meets.
With clients including Nike, Adidas, Tate and the British Council and editorial featured in Law, i-D and Riposte, Nina is a photographer who retains her sense of self what ever the project. So it only seemed right to ask her what sits proudly on her bookshelf – from a 20p children’s book about Eid to a photobook about Switzerland’s version of the Hells Angels, Nina shares yet more stories of interesting people.
Francesco Bonami, Maria Luisa Frisa, and Stefano Tonchi: Uniform: Order and Disorder
I bought this book alongside an exhibition I saw in PS1 in Queens, New York in 2001. I was quite young at the time, it was the first time I’d seen an exhibition and book which presented fashion, fine art, pop culture all together on the same level. There were Public Enemy music videos alongside Rosemarie Trockel sculptures alongside copies of The Face, next to Burberry Jackets.
Alyse Emdur: Prison Landscapes
I love this project and the sentiment behind it. Alyse Emdur came across a photograph of herself posing in front of a tropical beach scene while visiting her older brother in prison from when she was a child. This inspired the book, in which Emdur invited hundreds of American prisoners to send photographs for inclusion in this collection. The photos are taken against prison landscape mural backdrops which are used for self-portraiture in American prisons. Many of the photos are captioned in first person text which draws out the story of each prisoner.
Joan Solomon: Gifts and Almonds
I got this at a car boot sale for 20p. It says it was was made in 1980, I’ve not seen many kids books like it, illustrated by photographs of real people, it’s a cool concept. It tells the everyday story of a family at Eid. I think children’s books are really important things to look at sometimes, I would love to write my own one day.
Karlheinz Weinberger: Rebel Youth
By day, Karlheinz Weinberger worked in the warehouse department of a factory in Zurich, during his off hours he photographed Switzerland’s equivalent of Hells Angels. This is the first edition of Rebel Youth, it’s worth about 30 times more than what I paid for it at the time! I always say it’s my go to “sell” book. Fortunately, I’ve not had to do that yet as my bookshelf would shed a tear.
Larry Clark: Los Angeles 2003 – 2006 Volume 1
Larry Clark spent four years documenting teen Jonathan Velasquez and his friends growing up after a chance meeting on 4 July 2003. He also made a film about him walled Wassup Rockers. "Jonathan Velasquez is just a 14-year-old Latino living with his family in South Central LA. He is not a model. He is not an actor,” Clark writes in the intro. It’s mad that when Jonathan is 80 he will have this book about his young life and I will too.
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