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Nina Mangalanayagam’s Meditative Photos of Her Father’s Isolated Life

Nina_Mangalanayagam_Photography

I first saw Nina Mangalanayagam’s work in 2005 when she made Snötäckt, a project about her father. Originally from Sri Lanka, he moved to Sveg in Sweden more than thirty years ago. Juxtaposing wild landscapes with delicate portraits and objects present in his now isolated life, she examines her father’s identity. Nina says she thinks her father never wanted to return permanently to Sri Lanka after he left, and that this rejection led to the family following very Swedish traditions.

Nina’s new work continues to focus on her father’s side of the family in an attempt to understand how she fits in. In a country where she is seen as an Other, she recognizes their body language as being that of her fathers. In Sri Lanka people scream ‘white lady’ at her in the street. She says she has never been seen as white before.

Nina_Mangalanayagam_Photography

Nina_Mangalanayagam_Photography

Nina_Mangalanayagam_Photography

Nina_Mangalanayagam_Photography

Nina_Mangalanayagam_Photography

Nina_Mangalanayagam_Photography

Nina_Mangalanayagam_Photography

Nina_Mangalanayagam_Photography

Nina_Mangalanayagam_Photography

This post originally ran on Firecracker, an online platform established in 2011 by Fiona Rogers to promote European women working in photography through a variety of online features, networking opportunities and public events.

This post was contributed by Emma Bowkett, Photo Editor at FT Weekend Magazine.

  • james

    now that’s what photography is about…

  • sharon

    Hey,
    I quite like your idea recording the father’s life on daily basis I suppose. But rather consider this seires as the father’s long lonesome life and his identity, I see an old man lost his identity and spend a tranquil day that marks little importance in his solitary life. It seem the moment or moments that’s been frozen, or it could be the peaceful and vain atmosphere that filled with the father’s life. I like that colour and the calm feeling.

  • Manmathanayagam

    nice