Jimmy Nelson (1967) has worked for over thirty years as a photographer and is the initiator of the Jimmy Nelson Foundation.


Jimmy Nelson was born in Seven Oaks, the UK. At the age of 16, he was prescribed the wrong medication and lost all of his hair overnight. On the Jesuit boarding school he attended, his baldness was mistaken as a sign for right-wing affiliation. He became socially isolated.


Jimmy started his quest for a place where he would fit in as an 18-year old. His first choice was Tibet, where according to his own research, everybody was bald. This first trip set off a never ending series of wanderings that continues to this day.


On his own search for self, Jimmy discovered the world’s variety of peoples  with their own cultures, looks and languages. He decided to pay homage to them by photographing the people he met on his travel. His work is characterized by it’s romantic and celebratory style.


Jimmy Nelson is now an award-winning photographer. He still cherishes the ambition to document indigenous cultures and leave visual heritage that will stand the test of time. He aims for his work to act as a catalyst for further discussion about the globalizing forces that put these cultures in peril.


The Jimmy Nelson Foundation was founded in 2016.  The foundation presents a platform to foster appreciation for cultural diversity and connect people from all over the world in a celebration of polychromatic cultural identity.


“Maybe, from learning from each other, we can come to the realization that we are one.” – Jimmy Nelson



The Jimmy Nelson Foundation helps to shape a world that celebrates its polychromatic culture. We fund projects that capture and share cultural diversity. With your support we can keep realizing fantastic ideas.


By contributing you are helping the Jimmy Nelson Foundation to raise awareness on the way globalization affects our cultural heritage. Your support fosters an appreciation for cultural diversity and connects people in learning from each others’ cultural knowledge.


Let’s celebrate the world’s polychromatic cultural identity. Help others to achieve their dreams and donate!


Jimmy has spent the last three decades documenting and celebrating indigenous culture. Now it’s your turn to take action!


We use the funds we receive from businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to realize your ideas and dreams. We urge you to apply for project funding. Relevant projects support a celebration of the world’s polychromatic cultural identity.


If you would like Jimmy Nelson foundation to consider funding your project, please submit your idea via the web form below.




  • Jimmy Nelson Foundation Ambassador: Henk Bakboord Henk Bakboord is a Dutch dance pioneer and facilitator of youth empowerment workshops in Amsterdam. For Henk, dance brings people closer together. This is why dance can be such an important influence on people and on the way they perceive each other....

  • ‘They Came From The Water While The World Watched’   The Jimmy Nelson Foundation is proud to announce its support for the photography project “They came from the water while the world watched” by Giya Makondo-Wills. This project is the first of many to be funded in relation to the f...

  • The Jimmy Nelson Foundation had a great board meeting & brainstorm-session with some of its new board members last week. The new cultural projects of this year have been discussed and selected… But we are also very eager to introduce the new board members to you soon, who have joined our t...

  • The Jimmy Nelson Foundation is excited to share the winners of the music competition ‘Jimmy’s Jukebox’! With the new year, the Jimmy Nelson Foundation also launched a new call. This time for musicians in particular, the competition ‘Jimmy’s Jukebox’ was created to find the new Foun...


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