New York: Vishavjit Singh is publicly known for his Captain America persona — a Sikh man equipped with his turban and beard — fighting against bigotry, intolerance and perceptions of what an American should look like.
But Singh, the only member of his family born in the US, didn’t always feel he could embrace his identity this way.
Singh took off his beard and turban and gave up his Sikh identity while in college after experiencing bullying and stereotyping when he moved back to the US from India.
Now, an animated feature, “American Sikh,” is set to chronicle his life, from his time in India, where his family survived the 1984 anti-Sikh bloodshed, to his move back to the US, where he rediscovered his Sikh identity, only to be tested once again while working near New York City after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Singh, on his website, said that while in college in California, he fell in love with reading about Eastern philosophy, especially Buddhism and Taoism. “That finally led me to the faith of my parents, the Sikh path,” he said.
Then 9/11 happened, which Singh said, “profoundly altered the course of my life.”
It was in this aftermath that Singh, who was working as a software engineer, started drawing cartoons focusing on Sikh experiences and contradictions, and from that emerged the turban-wearing Sikh Captain America.
“American Sikh” is being created in partnership with Singh as the producer and Los Angeles-based director Ryan Westra. It will be animated by Studio Showoff, a Melbourne-based production house founded by Ivan Dixon and Sean Zwan that has produced work for Childish Gambino, HBO and Cartoon Network.
Through a Kickstarter, the creators are aiming to raise money to cover the expenses of making an animated film and to cover original music and sound design, as well as marketing and outreach.
The film also highlights the violence Sikhs experienced in the aftermath of Sept. 11. (Source: religionnews.com)