Against the backdrop of India’s 77th Independence Day celebrations, AI artist Divyansh Soni created a set of portraits that depicted how it would look if “Indian Revolutionaries had gotten their pictures and selfies clicked”.
So far, the old pictures of freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Subhas Chandra Bose, and Rani Lakshmi Bai include either grainy black and white photographs or handmade portraits. Divyansh Soni’s work offers a more colourful and expressive look into the lives of legendary figures.
These pictures were posted on Instagram on Independence Day. So far, they have gained over 2,000 likes.
An Instagram user equated Mangal Pandey’s look with a Hollywood star and wrote, “Mangal Pandey played by Oscar Issac ”. Another Instagram user bleakly observed, “If freedom fighters were Gen Z. They had to post selfies to remain valid on social media. Otherwise it is not required.”
This is one of many times that AI artwork has tried to reimagine what historical figures would look like. In January, artist Madhav Kohli created AI-backed portraits of some of the most powerful rulers in Indian history, such as Bindusara, Prithviraj Chauhan, Ashoka, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Ranjit Singh, Shah Jahan and Sikandar Lodi.
However, many people noted that almost all portraits had features like sharp noses and that there were rarely any differences in their complexion, even though the rulers were from geographically diverse places. People also wrote that many Mughal rulers who had mixed ethnicity were portrayed with Mongoloid features only.