British Asian artist to celebrate 1980s VHS video shop cultures

Tuesday 24th September 2019 12:02 EDT

Jambo Cinema, is an immersive art installation and film taking audiences back in time to the by-gone era of Bollywood VHS rental shops and celebrates British Asian lives. London’s Barbican Centre has commissioned Jambo Cinema to feature as part of Leytonstone Loves Film festival, which is a FREE weekend of films, music, arts, workshops, markets and more in unexpected places around Leytonstone. It is also the birthplace of world famous Director and Producer, Alfred Hitchcock and his centenary year of birth. 

This project is inspired by the personal experiences of Dawinder Bansal, who grew up in her parents’ corner shop, Bansal Electrical (closed in 1989) which sold electrical supplies and also rented VHS video films to the newly arrived and established Indian and Pakistani migrant communities in Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton.

Dawinder told Asian Voice, I’m so delighted and honoured to present Jambo Cinema at Leytonstone Loves Film festival this year. Jambo Cinema began in 2016 as a passion project, mainly as a tribute to my late father. After my father died, our shop closed down but we retained majority of the original VHS tapes, artwork, fixtures and fittings. In fact my garage is busting with stock! In 2015 I explored the old shop stock and realised it was an important part of South Asian social history.

"Jambo Cinema is a working class story, about me, the humble beginnings of my family moving from Kenya to the UK and our love for film. While it is a very personal story, people from all walks of life can resonate with the story or be curious about British Asian lives in the 1980s.”

Dawinder will be welcoming guests on Saturday 28th- Sunday 29thSeptember, 11am – 6pm at Leytonstone Library at the Octagon Room. They will be transported back in time and be greeted as guests at aunty and uncle Bansal’s residence during the 1980s. The guests are invited to explore the Indian-Kenyan living room, complete with family photographs, memorabilia and original Bollywood VHS films.

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