ONLINE exhibition Nina Mangalanayagam

The tangled web of belonging

From November 29 until December 12 on Vizualizator website

The tangled web of belonging reflects on the complexity arising when a mixed heritage subject is included in an image of whiteness.

The tangled web of belonging raises awareness of the mixed subject in photography and in Europe; the subject who is both white and black, but at the same time neither black nor white. The mixed subject shifts positions in a Europe that has a self-image as white and experiences a unique position of in betweenness. Nina addresses the confrontation that arises when attempting to find belonging within a ‘white’ society, with her mother. It is from this position that this series is speaking from. From the experience of being both Swedish and Sri Lankan, but at the same time neither fully Swedish nor Sri Lankan. This work challenges binaries of black and white, which is currently used as polarizing identities. Instead this work proposes that that some people inhabit both identities and this position can be used to break down simplified categories of race.

The images are from a body of work combining still lives, portraits and nature into a metaphorical mix, highlighting the entanglement of narratives, myths, control and hybridity. They were initially commissioned and published by Raking Leaves for a book called A-Z of conflict. Nina has worked on this topic in a series of other works, and also completed a PhD by practice at University of Westminster in 2015. Nina currently run the BA in Photography at HDK-Valand, Gothenburg, which is the only undergraduate photography specific education in Scandinavia.

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