Nina Mangalanayagam

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VIDEO: Nina Mangalanayagam discusses photographing "Morfar".

VIDEO: Nina Mangalanayagam discusses photographing "Morfar".

VIDEO: Nina Mangalanayagam discusses photographing "Morfar".

Nina Mangalanayagam was born and grew up in Sweden with a Danish mother and a Sri Lankan father. Using her personal experience and family as her starting point Nina's work explores the fluid nature of identity and in particular how our attachment to a sense of place contributes to an understanding of who we are.

In "Snötäckt" she follows the poignant story of her elderly father, one of the few non-white citizens of Sweg in northern Sweden. Challenging the visual representation of minority groups living in urban environments Nina uses the snowy landscape of Sweden to upset our idea of where an Indian-looking man is expected to live and portrays her father adapting to the culture he has moved to.

In "Morfar" Nina again looks to her family to produce a moving study of her grandfather's change in status from an independent market gardener defined by the cultivation of his plot of land to someone who having lost his ability to maintain his property so loses his understanding of who he is.

Nina has won a number of awards including the Jerwood Photography Award in 2005 for "Snötäckt" which was also shown in a group show "European Night" at Les Recontres D'Arles in 2008. In 2005 she was awarded the Photoworks Prize while at the London College of Communicattions and in 2007 the Magenta Foundation's Emerging Photographers Award. She has exhibited in the UK and internationally, including at the Contemporary Art Projects "Winter Exhibition" in 2007 and "Re-considered" in 2006, "100% East" at the Truman Brewery, London, 2005 and "Bac!" in Barcelona, Spain as part of the Annual Contemporary Art Festival in 2006; at the Festival de Video Arte Camaguey, Cuba and TanzFabrik, Berlin.

Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2009 Nina's project "Homeland" has been shown as part of the cultural programme of the 2009 Swedish EU Presidency and as part of the Free to Air Festival at Rivington Place, London.