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Zimmers: From Southall To Venice
Institute of Contemporary Arts
Zimmers of Southhall dir. Hark1Karan

Born from an ongoing photography project of the same name, this short documentary series by British Punjabi documentary photographer Hark1Karan celebrates the Indian car community that thrives throughout the West London borough of Southall and their love of classic BMWs. With a bass heavy-soundtrack accompanying VHS footage, Zimmers of Southall (2021) takes a look at the Southall Punjabi community’s affinity for both classic car culture and dub music.

Zimmers of Southall 2 continues the series, highlighting the experiences of female drivers and what the subculture means to them in terms of autonomy and heritage. The significance cars take on in a diasporic context as a means of self-expression, key to forming identity and community, is explored through archival and recent photography, and intergenerational interviews. 

The programme concludes with Dancing Before the Moon for which footage from Zimmers of Southall was re-worked to feature in this film which acted as the centrepiece of the British Pavilion at last year’s Venice Biennale of Architecture. Dancing Before the Moon observes rituals performed by the global diaspora in Britain, demonstrating an appreciation of land, community values and sharing space. Through dance, procession, games, growing and worship we are reminded that, irrespective of race, culture and socio-economic circumstances, we are all capable of inventing and transforming what's around us.

Hark1karan is a community photographer, whose work between South London, Southhall and the Punjab spans the breadth of the Punjabi experience. He will be in conversation with fellow Punjabi-Brits; artist and creative director Deep K Kailey and curator at the V&A and British Pavilion Meneesha Kellay, for a conversation delving into the challenges of representation, archiving subcultures, and the cultural legacy of Southall.
06:45 pm
Fri, 26 Jan 2024
Cinema 1

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