“A culturally diverse world, for now and for generations to come”


The Jimmy Nelson Foundation finances projects that capture the beauty of our world in photography and film. We nurture talent and offer a sharing platform for everyone to partake in. The goal: encouraging people to find pride in their cultural heritage and to celebrate cultural diversity!


The projects supported by the Jimmy Nelson Foundation take place during cultural festivals around the world and are designed to inspire people and create understanding.  This also means we have put the view of the indigenous cultures themselves central in all the project. We want young adults from the cultures themselves to be empowered, share their own stories and document their own traditions.



Our world is changing rapidly. Through this inevitable process, the world’s cultural colours are fading and extraordinary knowledge is on the brink of being lost. Therefore, it is important to encourage people to find pride in our cultural heritage and celebrate diversity, for future generations to come.


UNESCO director Irina Bokova calls cultural diversity: “the promise of renewal and dynamism, and an engine of innovation and development.” In the world of today, original and traditional knowledge of indigenous societies can contribute to the planet’s modern vision on technology, science, medicine and provide outstanding examples of sustainable living.


The Jimmy Nelson Foundation was set up in 2016 to bring people from different worlds together. We believe in the power of putting individuals on a pedestal, to support and admire them for the beautiful individuals they are. By inciting confidence and pride in cultural heritage, we wish to empower the new generations of cultures around the world.


The Jimmy Nelson Foundation empowers cultural expression. Within our philosophy we want to celebrate culture and give indigenous peoples worldwide the positive  visibility they deserve.

So when are cultures at their most celebrative? Cultural festivals are fireplaces of people coming together in celebration of their heritage. Therefore, we will start documenting cultural festivals worldwide to represent the pride within cultures. What is new however,  is that the portrayal of each culture will be directed by the indigenous people themselves. Young adults from the community are empowered to create their own creative project. After the festival’s visit, we will bring back the material in pictures and film to share these on a digital platform (ownership of the material remains with the indigenous photographers).


Cultural Festivals are not only about celebration, but also about bringing people together. So, we are investing in connection. The outcome of the project is a “digital fireplace” of stories and images: a testimony of celebration for future generations to see. This also means that by the technological means we can assist in and bring along, we can make the festivals an interactive place for people around the world to feel part of.

“Completing the Circle”. The idea of the circle of cultural connection began when Jimmy started using the 360-camera on his journeys in 2017, at the central point of cultural festivals. People in their most colourful appearances would be dancing or sitting around the camera together, creating a circle. Once back home, you would be transported back to that place as a ‘digital traveler’. The powerful part of it was that the people of the circle were connected  not only in the moment, but also in their heritage and in their mutual celebration of it.


We found the circle to be symbolic for culture on itself. Culture bonds and unifies people and centres them. It also represents that what is inherently part of each other: the circles of life, birth to death, to life again. Circles represent movement and time – the abyss of time.


The circle is a continuation, it represents remembrance, tradition and heritage: the part of us that is eternal. Being human means we go through circles of traditions, birth ceremonies, initiations, marriages and funerals. And at the end of the day, we sit in a circle around a campfire – to share our memories and our stories with the next generation.


Each projects takes place in a different area of the world and costs on average  €10,000 to realise. By the help of our Friends of the Foundation, Sponsors, volunteers who apply to come along on the projects and other donations, we will realise a minimum of three projects in the upcoming year (2018).



The Jimmy Nelson Foundation enables the documentation of cultural festivals through the eyes of indigenous people. We finance cultural projects world-wide and give indigenous cultures a platform to share their stories and promote pride, celebration and positive self-image.


By making a contribution you are fostering an appreciation for cultural diversity and help to connect people from different cultures to learn from each other’s knowledge.


We need your involvement. You can join Jimmy today. By donating or becoming a Friend of the Jimmy Nelson Foundation, you enable our projects. Let’s celebrate the world’s cultural diversity.


Have you ever felt the urge to do what Jimmy Nelson is doing? Are you passionate about indigenous cultures and photography? We might be looking for you.


In the upcoming year (2018) the Jimmy Nelson Foundation will create festival projects that document indigenous cultures through the eyes of the culture itself. For this, we are looking for young talented individuals around the world, who master film, photography and/or 360°cameras.



We like you to be involved. That’s why we share with you why and how we do what we do. We’ve explained this in our public policy plan. The Jimmy Nelson Foundation is naturally closely linked to Jimmy Nelson Pictures bv. We have carefully defined this relationship. We are committed to transparency and share our financial statements with you.


If you feel you have any reason to be aggrieved by any undertaking by the Foundation or its representatives, please send your complaint to info@jimmynelsonfoundation.com. All complaints will be logged and responded to within 4 weeks.