Jambo Cinema at Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Celebrating the by-gone era of VHS Bollywood video culture and British Asian lives in Wolverhampton during the 1980’s Jambo Cinema comes to Wolverhampton Art Gallery for Funny Things comedy festival from 26th October to 26th November.

Jambo Cinema, produced by by award-winning British Asian producer and artist, Dawinder Bansal,  is an Indian-Kenyan living room installation. Audiences are invited to walk through the gallery doors to be transported back in time, to aunty and uncle Bansal’s residence in Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton. Audiences, who become guests in the space can explore the authentic living room complete with family photographs, memorabilia and original Bollywood VHS films. 

The 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 is exploring the story of South Asian communities and the importance of Bollywood VHS shops in the UK. She retained most of the original stock when the shop closed and after 29 years, is bringing the past back to life through this installation, reflecting the stories and lives of so many South Asian families from across the UK. 

Dawinder Bansal, artist of Jambo Cinema: As a young girl, I remember going with my father to his shop ‘Bansal Electical’ most weekends. Renting Bollywood films was, for many the only way to access part of their own culture, language, identity and entertainment so these shops were hubs of the community for years. 

Selecting and watching videos was a communal experience and it brought people together, especially for Asian communities with limited programmes for them on terrestrial television channels. It’s great to be presenting a local story inside my local art gallery, a place I visited often and was inspired by as a teenager”. 

Jambo Cinema is presented as part of Funny Things comedy festival in collaboration with Flatpack Film Festival and Wolverhampton Art Gallery and is free to attend.

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