Indian Photographers Re-create Gods With Dark Skin And The Pictures Are Divine!

Divine2 min


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India is the most diversified country in the world. With 29 states and a population of 1.2 billion living in these states, the culture and traditions are followed by 9 religions.

But, there’s one thing in common. Every God or Goddess has been portrayed  to us as White Skinned when majorly the population has a darker tone.

And thus, these Chennai based photographers- Naresh Nil and Bhardwaj Sundar,  break all the stereotypes and re-create the same image of Gods with a dark tone in their beautiful photographs.

Divinity has many forms, and colours have been used in various ways to depict the Divine. The jury is out, but in common culture, we still find godliness being depicted through ‘white’ or ‘fair’ skin, right from the small photo of God in the neighborhood store, to the big framed photo hanging inside a house.

By depicting Gods we revere as dark-skinned, this initiative aims to celebrate a different view of their divinity, serenity and all pervasive beauty by going beyond perceptions.

1. Goddess Lakshmi 

2. Goddess Durga

3. Goddess Saraswati

4. Lord Shiva

5. Lord Krishna

6. Bala Murugan, form of Lord Subrahmanya

7. Mother Sita

Dark is not just beautiful, but divine.


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  1. This isnt empowering at all since these models are fair and were PAINTED black for this!! This is blackface and completely misses the mark and the point it could be making about colorism since it could have used darkskinned indiand, what the hell.

  2. Fascinating.  But a clarification is requested re ”Every God or Goddess has been portrayed  to us as White Skinned”.

    Krishna is usually shown blue and as Srinathji is always shown almost black.
    Vishnu is usually blue.
    Parvati is both Shyama and Gauri
    Shiva is ash-gray – the colour of the crematorium ash
    Kali is usually black
    Lakshmi is golden – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakshmi
    And Saraswati being associated with white – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saraswati#Symbolism_and_iconography  
    [Draupadi was Krishnaa – black, dark-skinned]  
    As for Ganesha –
    Ganesha is often described as red in colour.[75] Specific colours are associated with certain forms.[76] Many examples of color associations with specific meditation forms are prescribed in the Sritattvanidhi, a treatise on Hindu iconography. For example, white is associated with his representations as Heramba-Ganapati and Rina-Mochana-Ganapati (Ganapati Who Releases from Bondage).[77] Ekadanta-Ganapati is visualised as blue during meditation in that form.[78] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganesha#Common_attributes

    Are not the colours of symbolic significance? To make them all the same dark is to make a contemporary political statement – but does it not divorce the divinity from their dharmic significance?

    There are representations of whiteness, but there are as many if not more (in bhajans too) of not-whiteness.

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