The largest collection of vinyl archives of South Asian music in the UK will go on display at Manchester Museum. Request Line, by artist Faisal Hussain, is a new installation at Manchester Museum’s South Asia Gallery and will open on 19 July.
The collection features 3,000 records rescued in 2017 from the Oriental Star Agencies Store in Balsall Heath, Birmingham, before it was forced to close.
Back in the 1980s, the records were initially played at BBC Radio West Midlands by Mohammed Ayub, Anita Bhalla and Farah Durrani as part of the ‘East in West’ radio show. This new installation will play a selection of records alongside their vinyl covers, whilst revealing handwritten requests people sent in throughout the 1980s within the vinyl sleeves – providing an intimate look at the South Asian community in Birmingham at this time.
The exhibition will also feature videos, animation, archival imagery and special listening stations. The installation will be launched with a talk from the artist and performances from DJ Rizmi and Chande and will open South Asian Heritage Month 2023 at Manchester Museum.