Jambo Cinema is an immersive art installation where audiences are invited to enter the world of Dawinder Bansal and her childhood of growing up inside 1980s Wolverhampton, inside her parents Bollywood VHS rental shop. 

It comes complete with original artifacts and photographs from her time growing up reflecting her heritage of Kenyan-Indian decent. Artist and award winning theatre producer, Dawinder Bansal has installed a complete recreation of her childhood Indian-Kenyan living room and fathers electrical shop at New Art Exchange in Nottingham and you are invited to step inside.

Bansal Electrical closed in 1989, and the stock was put into storage, until Dawinder began to discover the archive of materials, VHS tapes and fixtures and fittings.

Dawinder  said, "Around 2015, I began asking myself questions about my heritage and identity. I started exploring my parents belongings, including their passports and my late father’s briefcase which is ultimately how this project idea came to me. 

"As I looked at his belongings (left inside exactly as they were when he passed) I also explored all the shop stock which comprised of nearly 400 VHS original tapes and their artwork. I thought to myself, this is my story and the social history of the South Asian community in Britain. 

"I wanted to tell this story and I wanted to also celebrate the generation of my parents who migrated to the UK from Kenya, who sacrificed their lives for my generation of British Asians to have all the life opportunities they never had.” 

Audience walks into the living room, and is immediately struck with a sense familiarity. 

Dawinder said, "On the vintage TV set, my film is playing – the story of my life and how film played such an important part of my youth and now as an artist – the role of watching countless Bollywood films and later on Hollywood films that led me to telling stories of people in my artistic work

"After my father passed away, the shop closed down but my mother insisted on retaining all of the VHS original tapes and their corresponding art work. They have been in storage since 1989 and I started looking through them all around 2015. 

"That’s really when I had the idea for this project – because I was not only exploring my own identity but I realized that I had an archive of material that was valuable to the South Asian community and it’s social history. 

"So, I started off by testing out a small idea in 2016 over a weekend and it was received so well that I developed it further and in 2019 it was commissioned by Barbican Centre for Leytonstone Loves Film Festival and this year, the extension of this work at New Art Exchange in Nottingham. 

"While my other iterations of Jambo Cinema have been the re-creation of my living room and this is the first time that I have created my parents video shop alongside the living room. 

"I’m so very proud of this iteration of the project, because it’s so accurate to how life was and people who have engaged with the installation have said how grateful they are for the creation of this piece and for my honesty. "

The piece of work speaks to all age groups and communities. For young people, they can see how life used to be for their grandparents and how limited South Asian TV programmes were.

Dawinder added, "My parents shop allowed me to watch so many films – some of them were very old black and white Hindi and Punjabi films. Posti is one to mention here, that’s definitely one of my mum’s favorites. 

"For me, those older films have a sense of romanticism and innocence that I feel has completely disappeared in Bollywood today. The comedic script writing is also so very pure and simple and there will always be a place in my heart for these kinds of films. Also Sholay and Shaan have some very hilarious dialogues but the actors also deliver them with such conviction, you can’t help but to watch those old classics over and over again.  

"Making this project has been healing for me in so many ways and I feel so very proud of this iteration. There were people who did not believe in this project and I was once told by an artistic director “this is just a bunch of stuff” 

Skinder Hundal, CEO of New Art Exchange said: “Jambo cinema brings a massive memory to the fore. 

"A memory of warmth where the heart flutters and eyes fill with emotion. The installation is an incredible life like feature, that has been meticulously thought through to reflect the lives of a South Asian family living in Britain in the 80s. I thank Dawinder Bansal the artist, curators and brilliant tech teams in bringing this unique, and often untold, period in our social history to life.”

The installation is a warm and fun space for people from all backgrounds. Visitors will imagine what it means to be a second-generation child growing up in a British South Asian home in 1980s Britain. It is open until 15 March 2020 and entrance is free.

Dawinder Bansal will present her film, Asian Women and Cars: Road to Independence followed by a discussion with other on 7th March, 12pm – 1.30pm to mark International Women’s Day.

Free, book online click here or call 0115 924 8630.