Photographer Craig Nunn travelled for seven weeks through India without a goal; the result of his wandering is his terrific book Hindustan Zindabad published few months ago, a book we really appreciated. For this reason, we decided to ask Craig some questions, just to know a little bit more about this project.
M: How did you come up with the idea for this project?
CN: Hindustan Zindabad is the upshot of a summer spent traveling in India. Whilst there I was buying up a lot of expired 35mm colour slide film that had spent most of its life in sun-roasted shop windows. Serendipitously, once the films were cross-processed, the vivid and vibrant colours of the photographs in some way reflected the technicolor of India.
M: How long did you stay in India? Did you follow a particular itinerary? Can you describe it?
CN: We arrived in India with a return ticket, no itinerary, and seven weeks to fill. We spent our first few days in Mumbai, shooting a Bollywood film amongst other things. Once we got to grips with the Indian Railways ticket-purchasing system, we headed North to Rajasthan and the Punjab, where we spent time camel-trekking in the desert, celebrating Independence Day on the Indo-Pakistani border, and sleeping at Sikhism’s most sacred site, the Golden Temple in Amritsar. From there, we travelled cross-country to see the Taj Mahal in Agra, and the burning ghats of Varanasi on the banks of the Ganges. We then spent a few days amongst the tea plantations in and around Darjeeling, then headed to Kolkata to sample the delicious Bengali food before taking a flight to spend our last week riding up and down Goa’s beaches on motorcycles.
M: Is there any advice you’d give to somebody traveling to India?
CN: I often get asked travel advice, and the only advice I ever give is this: Go. Absolutely go. Create your own itinerary and memories. Don’t retrace someone else’s footsteps. Go and find out what is there.
M: Is there any place in India which disappointed you? Why?
CN: Nowhere in India disappointed me, because I didn’t go with expectations. I was constantly amazed by what I saw.
M: Why did you decide to publish your book independently?
CN: Because I have no idea how to go about finding a publisher to publish a book of my photography! Websites like blurb.com have really democratized publishing for photographers like myself, and it gives us complete editorial control, so for me it was a no-brainer
M: Where do you live?
CN: I currently live in Ely, which is the second smallest city in England.
M: Recommend us places to visit in your city/town?
CN: For architecture enthusiasts, the magnificant 11th Century cathedral is a must-see. Oliver Cromwell’s house is worth a visit, too. My two favourite places are Toppings & Company, a true book-lovers’ bookshop which offers free tea and coffee to customers, and the award-winning Peacocks Tearoom, which serves teas from every continent except Antarctica!
You can purchase Craig Nunn’s book Hindustan Zindabad on blurb.com.