Nepali-British photographer based in Rugby-London, UK.
Tirtha Lawati was born in Nepal and raised in Britain. He grew up across a number of counties—Kent, North Yorkshire, and Warwickshire—before studying photography at Warwickshire College, and then fashion photography at London College of Fashion. His editorials published in Vogue Italia and Dazed narrate fashion collections designed by his peers, of models at ease in clothes worn with confidence; but his own portfolio documents the tentative experience of first-generation Asian youth in the UK, suspended between the worldview of their parents and the accommodation of British values.
‘HOMECOMING’ investigates the instance of returning home. A beautiful reunion with family and friends, and my homeland - Nepal. The diaspora politics discusses our relationship with the indigenous homelands, the host state, and the prominent role of ethnic conflict. Being first-generation immigrants, we had the privilege to settle in Britain from our parents, especially the Gurkhas who established a 200 years-old relationship between Britain and Nepal. In 2004 the Gurkhas won the rights to UK citizenship allowing Gurkhas who served before 1997 to reside in the UK along with their family. It was the younger generation of the Nepali immigrants who received an education, while the older Nepali generation focused intensely on working and trying to support their kids aka the young Nepalis, the new generation of British-Nepalese. However, after coming to Britain the young Nepalis were forced to grow up quickly and get used to the shock of cultural differences while supporting the older generation due to the language barrier. This transitional period is a collective trauma experienced by the young Nepalis who balanced cultural expectations of home with a new life and a new language. That is why this series showcases an inner child through playful, tender, and intimate portraits, trying to relive the childhood hopes and dreams that we missed out on, because of high expectations and intergenerational traumas. This series documents the tentative experiences of first-generation Nepali youths in the UK. Suspended between the worldview of their parents and culture and the accommodation of British values. The true meaning of being British-Nepali.
PUBLICATIONS: DAZED, APERTURE, VOGUE ITALY, DAZED FASHION, VOGUE CHINA ETC.