Asian Women and Cars: Road to Independence

Rupanjana Dutta Tuesday 21st May 2019 12:17 EDT

Dawinder Bansal, is an award winning producer and artist whose performances and immersive installations are informed by cultural heritage and contemporary community stories.

Her current exhibition, called 'Asian Women and Cars: Road to Independence' which will run at the British Muslim School, in West Bromwich from 24 May till 29 June, talks about first generation of South Asian women who generously shared their stories about driving and how it changed their lives. You can see and hear some of these stories in a brand new film, as a part of an installation exhibition for Blast Photo Festival 2019 by Multi story.

Dawinder is passionate about unearthing hidden stories to amaze, entertain, inspire and provoke audiences. Speaking to Asian Voice, she told us what inspired her to decide on the subject of her exhibition, “It was through a heartwarming conversation with a female relative who shared what being able to drive enabled to do in her life. She revealed personal information which I had never heard before and I'd never known the important role of her car in her life and of those around her.

“This work is not just about cars, it's also about valuing the significant contribution of Asian women and I am also looking to highlight inspirational role models.

“As a British-Asian woman, I see and appreciate the sacrifices of my mothers generation. These are the hidden heroes who I am celebrating in this new work. These are the women who paved the road to independence, not just for themselves, but for future generations of Asian women like me.”

They also have an 'In Conversation' event taking place on the 26th June, where Dawinder will be hosting a conversation with women who have gone beyond the road to independence. One of their guest speakers is Anita Goyal, the patron of Binti International. Anita recently completed a car rally with CEO of Binti International, Manjit Gill to provide education workshops and awareness of menstruation in schools and also distributed free menstrual products.

Looking for contributions from the community, she told the newsweekly, “I am looking for photos and stories around the world too which is why the website has been launched to submissions from around the world. I'm particularly looking for those hidden photos of women in private photos collections. But then not just photos, I'm also looking for the story behind the photo - however brief that may be. I want to know who all the South Asian women are out there who are not just the trailblazers of the past, but also of the present and future.”

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