Interview by CHE KOTHARI
Recorded by JAWN TABOIKA

2013 marked 40 years since Hip Hop’s inception in The Bronx. To pay respect, as part of the Contact Photography Festival, Che Kothari reached out to 13 photographers who have focused their lens on documenting artists in the culture and presented an exhibition at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto — one of them was Jonathan Mannion.

2016 marks another milestone. 20 years of Mannion. A student of photography who has earned the title of world renowned. Surviving the test of time is no easy feat, but Mannion does it with the same passion and hunger he started with; still shooting today among the culture’s changing tides. As part of the exhibition’s opening night, Kothari had the chance to sit with Mannion and talk about everything from his parents and upbringing, his early apprenticeships, loading 8 x 10 film, and capturing some of the most legendary images in the game – while also providing a space for him to flex Jay-Z and Shabba impressions. Stream the conversation below.



“20% of what I do is technical, and 80% is psychological.”

“I threw myself in the deep end, just to see if I could do it.”

“I’m really about the elevation of culture.”