Toons to the Future As India increasingly becomes part of the global village, the cultural evolution is obvious, especially amongst urban society. India now has its own Comic Con, a festive event celebrating all manner of comic book culture and geekdom, complete with fanboys and fangirls in costume competitions, portraying their favorite cartoons and superheros. But its not just Hollywood imports and western icons that are omnipresent. Indian heritage offers a universe of possibilities, just as a new breed of creative talent are unleashing a rich variety of homegrown characters, thus powering toon culture into the future. Move over Superman, here comes Superkudi ("Kudi" being the North Indian Punjabi word for girl). Dressed in a striking blue salwar kameez - a traditional Indian outfit - with a flourishing red chunni (scarf) styled as a cape, the buxom Superkudi served as the mascot for Comic Con India and easily bedazzled Superman who posed in front of his female avatar. But when I spotted a lone worker cleaning the shiny display stall for The Avengers, I wondered, can the magic of toons take him to the future too?
A self-taught photographer and film-maker, I have always strived to celebrate both the moving and the still image in my visual expressions. Born in Kenya and raised in India, I am also influenced and inspired by cross-cultural artistic endeavors. My film-making activities have included four short films (and some commissioned films) made for Filmaka.com, a global initiative promoted by Hollywood-based producer Deepak Nayar (Bend It Like Beckham). My photography has featured in promotional material for the Swiss Arts Council's India office. Awards - 2012 PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris: Bronze winner - book (series) - other category. 2011 International Photography Awards: seven Honorable Mentions for my three entries in four professional categories. 2010 PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris: First place, People's Choice Award, fine art - books - category. www.nyaybhushan.com