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True Form presents ‘Request Line’

19 Jul 2023 6:00 pm -9:00 pm

South Asia Gallery, Manchester Museum

Come along to the launch of the True Form vinyl archive ‘Request Line’ installation in the South Asia Gallery performance space. This is the opening event for South Asian Heritage Month, and as well as the installation, which consists of videos, animations, archival imagery, listening stations, the launch night will also include talks and music.

Request Line’ is the first exhibition of the True Form Projects vinyl archive. The 3000 records and other artefacts were rescued in 2017 from the Oriental Star Agencies store in Balsall Heath, Birmingham by Faisal Hussain before it was forced to close. The records were initially played at BBC Radio WM at Pebble Mill by Mohammed Ayub, Anita Bhalla and Farah Durrani as part of the ‘East in West’ radio show. As part of this exhibition, we are playing and showing some of the vinyl covers and the requests people sent in throughout the 1980s to the presenters.

True Form Projects are currently archiving the collection and will be exhibiting at Manchester Museum and The South Asia gallery in July supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

‘In 1970 Mohammed Ayub founded Oriental Start Agencies in Birmingham. This record store and then label became one of the most influential and important parts of South Asian history and diaspora in the UK and world wide. Before the store had to close in 2017, True Form Projects rescued much of the record collection and other artefacts in order to archive them and keep them protected for future generations. As part of a 3 year project we are archiving over 3000 records and artefacts and will be collecting memories of the music and culture contained in these important records. As part of the Manchester Museums’ South Asia Gallery reopening, we shall be talking about the collection, the project and exhibiting some of the archive and it’s highlights that we have discovered so far including request letters, the artwork of the covers, memorabilia and much more.’


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