The 1980's Indian Living Room & Bollywood VHS Rental Shop Experience
A multifaceted immersive exhibition emerging from a nostalgic time in artist Dawinder Bansal's childhood in Wolverhampton. The project is influenced by her time growing up as a young girl in her parents' electrical shop, Bansal Electrical, which also rented VHS Bollywood films. It draws upon her memories of watching Bollywood films with her Sikh extended family, pays homage to her Kenyan roots, and explores the social history of South Asian home entertainment in 1980s Britain.
The Birmingham 2022 Festival iteration will feature a new short film called Asian's Don't Kiss (but we know how to make babies) inspired by the classic film Cinema Paradiso (1988) and the humorous musings of Dawinder's life growing up as a young Indian girl in the Midlands during the 1980s. Additionally, Dawinder will draw on her experiences of attending 'daytimers' which were daytime discos for young South Asians. This underground moment meant that teenage South Asians had a safe space to experience the nightlife they were forbidden to engage with due to cultural traditions and in some cases, safety from racial abuse. Nightclubs were taken over in the daytime, starting at midday and finished at 6pm. One Birmingham nightclub to hold these daytime gigs was The Dome. Dawinder will exhibit posters and material not seen by the public before and it is her hope to make this an exhibition that represented the lived South Asian experience in Birmingham and beyond.
Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Creative Black Country (2017).
We Found Love In The 80s, commissioned by Barbican, Future Arts Centres (HERE & NOW) and London Borough of Waltham Forest (2020).
This year, Dawinder paired up with musician Martyn Ware - founder of The Human League and Heaven 17 - to celebrate couples who found love in the 1980s.
A new film and online archive has been launched. The film features eight diverse couples from around the UK who share their stories of long lasting love. At a time when romance and relationships are often presented as being as simple as a right or left swipe on a dating app, couples were invited to share their love stories and show what it takes to find each other and stay together. They share stories of falling in love in the 1980s and explore how they overcame obstacles to be together.
The film 30 minute premiered as part of Barbican's produced festival, Leytonstone Loves Film on 2nd October 2020, 7.30pm as an online watch party. The film was followed by a live Q&A with artists Dawinder Bansal and Martyn Ware.
To find out more about the project or take part, click here.
This project is a new multimedia exhibition celebrating the lives and experiences of first generation South Asian migrant women living in Sandwell and the Black Country. Using oral histories, film, photographs and sound, Dawinder explores the relationships between the women and their cars.
The installation highlighted the positive impact of these stories on future generations of British Asian women who now benefit from the sacrifices of the first generation who battled against patriarchy and traditional family structures to gain independence.
Join Dawinder Bansal and special guests at London's Victoria & Albert Museum to present her film, Asian Women & Cars: The Road to Independence.
Explore the independence and designed identities, discover cars as caskets, journeys of privilege and liberty, driving in segregated America, indulge in lights, spoilers and dashboards, against a motor city soundtrack.
This special event is part of V&A's current exhibition: Cars: Accelerating The Modern World.
Friday 7 February 2020, 18.30 - 21.30
Tickets £7, £5 concessions
Invisible Voices Series: The Art of South Asian Activists at Wolverhampton Literature Festival 2020.
Audiences joined a lively panel discussion hosted by multi award-winning artist and producer Dawinder Bansal featuring Raj Kaur Khaira, founder of the global Pink Ladoo project and author of Stories for South Asian Supergirls. Shareefa Energy, a young British Muslim spoken word poet, writer and workshop facilitator. Shareefa’s poetry has been featured on BBC One Show, Channel 4 and ITV and is the author of her debut poetry collection Galaxy Walk. Sarvjit Sra is a male artist who will exhibit his latest photographic and thought-provoking exhibition called Girl Child Project.
Listen to these fascinating British Asian artists sharing how they use art and writing to empower and raise the invisible voices of South Asian women and girls across the UK and around the world.
Audiences joined Dawinder Bansal in conversation with a dynamic and lively guest panel of South Asian women who are passionate about cars, driving and influencing social change for South Asian girls and women in the UK and India.
Special guests included Anita Goyal, Patron of Binti International. Bharulata Kamble, the first South Asian women to drive through the Arctic Circle and Jagdish Khaira, one of the participants interviewed in the making of Asian Women & Cars film.
Location: TOWN HALL, WEST BROMWICH, B70 8DY
Dawinder produced a national touring theatre show called Mother Tongues from Farther Lands for London's Southbank Centre and it's annual South Asian festival called Alchemy in 2017.
South Asian women (150) from across the UK participated in interviews and creative workshops held in London, Manchester, Doncaster and Wolverhampton. The show was inspired by a collection of the stories gathered in the workshops. Written by Sajeela Kershi and performed by known television and stage performers/actors; Shobna Gulati, Shyama Perera, Ayesha Hazarika and Shobu Kapoor.
This was a spoken word/theatre show full of fascinating, fearless and funny stories, representing marginalised South Asian women from different faiths and backgrounds.