Indian identity (in a postcolonial context) has been undulating in a space of hybridity since independence. Forms of visual culture in India represent the internal conflict in Indian society which is straddled between “Indian-ness” and furthering the nation by looking to “western ideals.” Based in the space of hybridity, India, and much of the rest of the world it seems, are going through sessions of extreme nationalism. Unfortunately, this nationalism comes at a cost. There is a pushback against everything that is not pure “Indian,” posing the question, what makes something or someone “Indian?”
As Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, said, “[India] was like some ancient palimpsest on which layer upon layer of thought and reverie had been inscribed, and yet no succeeding layer had completely hidden or erased what had been written previously.”
Society seems to have forgotten the beauty and diversity which makes up India. In order to counter this, I created an archive to shed light on and to raise awareness about the many layers of India. The archive captures the culture of the different states, languages, religions, and groups of people that have added to the overall “Indian” identity. The Indian Arts + Design Collective was designed to foster the idea of the “Indian” identity and to serve as a reminder to continue with the tolerance that helped shape the nation into what it is today.