South Asian exhibition with large vinyl collection opens at Manchester Museum

today20/07/2023 16

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Manchester Museum has opened an exhibition dedicated to the South Asian diaspora. ‘Request Line,’ is an exhibition made up of vinyls and other significant objects that were recovered by the True Form archival project when Birmingham-based label Oriental Star closed down in 2017.

Oriental Star was founded in 1970 by Mohammed Ayub and his son Dr Abdul Mohsin Mian in Balsall Heath. Beginning as a record store and then growing into a label, the imprint quickly held a strong power over the Desi music scene, as it would import, promote and produce music from India, and nurture local Desi talent in the UK.

It helped promote the talents of artists such as Bally Sagoo, Ali Khan and Malkit Singh, and the brand grew to become one of the most influential and significant parts of South Asian culture, history and music in the UK and beyond.

Read this next: A guide to Mixmag’s South Asian Series

True Form Projects is a social enterprise dedicated to “representing and re-presenting cultural heritage”, preserving histories through collecting oral stories, anecdotes, and other archival artefacts. The rescued records and artefacts come as part of a 3 year project lead by True Form, to immortalise the label and its influence.

The free exhibition comes as part of South Asian Heritage Month, and began on June 19.

The launch party’s agenda included a conversation with Faisal Hussain – the project’s lead archivist – talking about the collection, the project as a whole and revealing some of the discovered archive so far. It included cover art, request letters and other memorabilia.

After the conversation, guests were treated to a DJ set from Rizmi & Chandé, with complimentary Dishoom Chai Tea, and also able to watch the video installation in the South Asia Gallery performance space.

Tiffany Ibe is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow her on Instagram

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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