Couples who met in the 1980s while studying at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are being asked to share their love stories for a chance to feature in an exciting new film.
Acclaimed artist and DMU alumna Dawinder Bansal is working alongside synth pop legend Martyn Ware – a founding member of The Human League and Heaven 17 – to produce a film called ‘We Found Love In The 80s!’
At a time when romance and relationships are often presented as being as simple as a right or left swipe on a dating app, couples are being invited to share their stories, photographs, music and mementos to celebrate their relationship and show what it takes to find each other and stay together.
Dawinder and Martyn are particularly keen to speak to those who have overcome obstacles such as racism, homophobia or class prejudice, to build their lives together.
“The 1980s was a memorable decade for so many reasons,” explained Dawinder. “Some of the most spectacular artists brought sensational music, film, art and fashion to people around the world. It was a decade where anything was possible.
“The 1980s has so much resonance to our current experiences and circumstances as a population. We had a Conservative government, industries were closing and we had high unemployment, we entered a recession, racism was rife, and the world was learning about a new deadly virus.
“But we still had love. People were falling in love and sometimes in secret, especially if they were gay or interracial relationships. As someone who has never found love myself, I am fascinated by stories of how people find love and stay in love.”
The stories will be collated for an online archive via Instagram and a selection of submissions will be featured in the short film produced by Dawinder, with an accompanying soundscape created by Martyn.
“Leicester is such a diverse and multi-cultural city and I know from my own time at DMU, that there are people from so many different walks of life I met whilst studying there,” continued Dawinder. “I’m sure there will be some really fascinating, inspiring and colourful stories to come from couples who met at DMU in the 80s.
“During lockdown, a lot of people have used their time indoors to get digging in those boxes in the attic or the cellar, or that suitcase on top of the cupboard. We know how evocative a photo of a day out, a record sleeve, a nightclub flyer or even an old magazine can be, and we’d love people to share their mementos with us.”
Having graduated with a BSc (Hons) Computing degree from DMU in 2001, Dawinder is now a multi-award-winning artist and producer whose work has featured on BBC and Channel 4, as well as at London’s Southbank Centre Festival Hall, Victoria & Albert Museum and the Barbican Centre.
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“The chance to collaborate with Dawinder on this project is too good to miss,” said Martyn. “As an artist with Heaven 17 in the 80s, we were lucky to be a part of an iconic era for music, fashion, politics and a melting pot of multiculturalism. But it was a time of Conservative government, high unemployment and uncertainty and unfortunately, open racism.
“Art acts as a conduit for empathy and feelings of all kinds, and our music has often been seen as a significant part of many people’s emotional journeys.”
We Found Love In The 80s is the latest installment of Here and Now, a National Lottery funded project examining communities hopes and dreams that is running across 40 arts centres in England.
Anyone who would like to share their story can do so by emailing email@example.com or by visiting: www.wefoundloveinthe80s.com/take-part. The submissions deadline to be considered for the film is Monday 31 August, while the deadline to be featured on the online gallery is Thursday 31 Dec.
For more information about Dawinder’s work visit www.dawinderbansal.com
Posted on Wednesday 12th August 2020