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An Artist Re-imagines How Indians Would Look Like As Aliens, In These 16 Amazing Cartoons

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By Charbak Dipta:

In every film or books that involve aliens, it is shown that the aliens are always very interested in landing in USA or in some European country. I find it ridiculous. How do they know that this is the most powerful country on earth, so let’s land here and this is a third world nation, so let’s avoid it! In a short story by Satyajit Ray, an alien space ship landed in a remote Bengal village and the alien befriended a village school teacher. My thought process behind this series started from that story. I just turned the whole concept upside down by injecting Indian sentiments into aliens on their own planets!

‘Indian Aliens’, as I call this series, is about a parallel alien world in a distant planet somewhere in space. The artworks portray how these aliens are mimicking human cultures and more specifically, the Indian culture. They are all aliens, yet Indian in a unique way. You can consider this my way of spoofing the Indian culture. Throughout the series, I have chosen various quirky Indian themes, while mixing them with aliens in different planet backgrounds.

The inspiration came from Plato’s theory of Ideas which says that there are ideas of everything that is eternal. The earthly things are only a copy of those ideas. Similarly, I imagined that somewhere in the universe there is a parallel world and everything we do or things that happen in this world are just a copy of that Alien world.

Thus for the artwork called Alien Babu, I borrowed the Babu culture that flourished in 18th century colonial Bengal. The Babus’ affection for girls, alcohol and fish are portrayed here.

Alien Babu

Again, I always found the timeless Indian classical love story of Radha Krishna and their ‘Rasleela’ is Vrindavan very interesting. I thought about the rasleela of Radha Krishna taking place in some planet, galaxies away, and thus Alien Rasleela came up.

Alien Leela

Similarly, I picked up various Indian themes like an Alien incarnation of 17th century Lalon Fakir Shah from Bangladesh, of the classic song Ei Poth Jodi Na Sesh Hoy from a Bengali film starring Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen, of RGV Ki Aag where the alien RGV is putting all his film rolls into the ‘Aag’ in frustration, an alien selfie from of the Taj, and more.

Alien Lalon
Alien Uttam, Alien Suchitra
Alien RGV Ki Aag
Alien Selfie (in front of the Taj)
Alien Apu, Alien Durga
Alien Bela Bose
Alien Dancing Ganapati
Alien Durga Puja
Alien Kamasutra (Mughal)
Alien Mahabharata
The Sad Alien
Alien Rajini
Ghosts of Aliens
Alien Ponchishey Boishakh

I have also started experimenting with some international themes. Here are 3 additional artworks from the international series.

Alien Frida
Comrade Alien
The Alien Beatles
You must be to comment.
  1. aiman

    Creative in a very quirky way..I loved it!

  2. Garima

    What’s funny ……, the “big daddy” of these alien movies; the Steven Spielberg movie, E.T. ; was actually based on Satyajit Ray’s story — Bankubabur Bandhu (Banku Babu’s Friend or Mr. Banku’s Friend), a Bengali science fiction story he had written in 1962 for Sandesh. Hollywood gained the “friendly alien” genre based on that ; and now Indian movies like ( Koi mil gaya ) turns to Hollywood for “inspiration” !
    Awesome artwork by the way … 😀 . Loved it !

  3. Maharshi Desai

    Nice imagination!!! Lovely attention to details while keeping the Indians alive in the Aliens. We have more of the Bengali genre of Indian-Aliens… We would also like to see Indian-Alien Garba (Gujarat), Lavani (Maharashtra), Rajasthani Ghoomar, Bhangra, Typical Indian-Aliens Wedding!!!
    This creation is mind blowing and we would like to see more of such work.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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