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Wieden+Kennedy’s ‘Motherland’ focuses on Skin, the colour issue

In India the skin colour bias is so deeply ingrained in our formative years that it spills into personal histories, quietly shaping daily rituals

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | March 13, 2014

Cover-Skin-motherlandThe eleventh issue of Motherland sits close to the bone, touching on the border between the world and ourselves: Skin. It is clothed, painted, pierced and inked, but it is also the envelope in which our pain, pleasure and identity resides, an expanse that is far from a blank canvas, but is instead subject to shifting social definitions of health, or beauty, or regarded for external identity markers, like colour.

In India the skin colour bias is so deeply ingrained in our formative years that it spills into personal histories, quietly shaping daily rituals. And it is these rituals around which this issue circles, looking at the social commentaries that can be derived from any idea of beauty and a conflicted relationship with one’s own skin.

Debuting in this edition is V Sunil’s ‘Dark & Lovely’ project. The Executive Creative Director at Wieden+Kennedy Delhi rewrites the notion of a “black list” into a chronicle of achievement. Part art-project and part call-to-arms, Dark & Lovely addresses this colour complex through a series of portraits that form a springboard for an ongoing, unfolding art project. The project will culminate in a rich media exhibition later this year.

Also featured in the issue are:

Berlin-based photographer Andreas Deffner’s remarkable series of portraits takes a closer look at albinism in India.  Michael Edison Hayden looks at Mumbai’s issues with racial discrimination, and at the Africans who travel to that city for business, for whom tangles with police are now structured into their daily lives, while elsewhere an essay by Kerry Harwin throws up the other side of white privilege in India, alienation.

Aruni Kashyap revisits a childhood tale, the bittersweet tale of Koli Bou, whose own self-loathing is rivaled only by her loathing for others with similarly hued complexions; and Himanshu Bhagat allows us a glimpse into the world of artist Mithu Sen, whose works are the texture of conflict. We’re also delighted to include the work of Ben V and Aindri Chakraborty, whose fictional graphic story looks at what it means to be a quarter Indian, with skin that provokes one familiar refrain: “Oh, but you don’t look Indian?”

This is Skin: the colour issue.

About Motherland

Motherland is a quarterly magazine on contemporary and emerging Indian cultures.Each issue focuses on a single theme, and explores that theme through essays, art, photography, and reportage. Featuring up-to-the-minute visual material, fresh faces and original voices, the magazine covers and uncovers new Indian trends and talent.

Motherland is founded, edited, art directed and published by Wieden+Kennedy Delhi.

Launched in August 2010, Motherland is available on and at premium newsstands in Delhi and Mumbai.  The magazine is also on sale through a network of more than 110 partner outlets across 25 cities in India. These partner stores include: Bombay Electric (Mumbai), Evolv (Delhi, Pune, Chennai), CMYK (Delhi, Mumbai and Pune), Play Clan (Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Kochi, Chennai, Pondicherry), Good Earth stores (Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad), and specialist magazine stores internationally.  A complete list of stockists is available on ourwebsite at

About Wieden+Kennedy Delhi

W+K Delhi work reflects an India that is finally comfortable in its own skin. Campaigns combine regional flair, values and tastes with global aesthetics and pop culture.

W+K Delhi's client list includes Heineken® India, Audi, Procter & Gamble (Old Spice), Bhartiya City, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, InterGlobe, Forest Essentials, Arvind Mills, Godrej, the Indian Air Force as well as several new 'tiger brands' from India's fastest-growing market categories, including Royal Enfield Motorcycles, and IndiGo (India?s #1 airline).

About Wieden+Kennedy

Wieden+Kennedy, founded in Portland, Oregon, in 1982, is an independent, privately held international advertising agency with offices in Amsterdam, Delhi, London, New York City, Portland, São Paulo, Shanghai and Tokyo.  A full-service, creatively led communications company, Wieden+Kennedy has helped build some of the strongest global brands, including Coca-Cola, Chrysler, Delta Air Lines, Electronic Arts, ESPN, Heineken, Honda, Kraft, Levi’s, Nike, Procter & Gamble and Target.

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