Avinash Veeraraghavan’s I Love My India:Stories for a City (2004) caught my attention while I was looking for photography from India. Avinash Veeraraghavan is a young graphic designer who runs a design studio in Bangalore, India. He trained under and went on to work with the Italian designer Andrea Anastasio.
I Love My India is a visual journey through Indian cities from a rare non-western point of view. A witty and original account of street life, kitsch and popular culture, it combines the eye of the ironic insider with that of the curious traveller. The book moves through the spaces and signs of the city — both imaginative and physical — commenting on the complex and often surreal forms of human arrangements.
Using digital cut-and-paste techniques, he ‘collected pictures from all over and reconstructed an imaginary, generic city’, resulting in a campy Indian city. India is often photographed (I think most places are anyway) and one could easily conjure up streets of milling human mass, the smiling street urchin, beggars etc. Taking a more light-hearted approach to how India is portrayed, I think that Veeraraghavan’s approach is refreshing.
I Love My India: Stories for a City is available on sale at Amazon.