Alchemy is an annual festival celebrating the best of music, debate, film, dance, literature, fashion and design from India and South Asia - or influenced by them. It explores what these cultures are or can be and examines the wider debate about the social context in which art is made.
At Charity Shop DJ we love to work collaboratively with new partners, working to create something which reflects the input, experience and creativity of contributors – and which is the sum of its parts. So the Alchemy philosophy struck a chord here. We were delighted to be invited into this mix, and to bring some of our collaborators into the event.
Alongside the Southbank's 'making of a Bollywood film in a week' feature, we wanted to allow our space to be used to explore what the term 'Bollywood' actually means to those that matter most - the audience.
Working with a fantastic London-based outfit called Bollywood Bitesized and their DJ collective, we put together an immersive party space, dressed with our collection of genuine Bollywood posters, hand painted hoardings and film memorabilia and animated by the passion of our collaborators for all things Bollywood.
Situated in the foyer of the Royal Festival Hall, the space was a place to relax, reflect and to party. The focus of the space was boxes of vintage Bollywood vinyl, gleaned from UK charity shops and Mumbai street markets - vinyl once owned by individuals, each with a personal story to tell - if only we could find out.
Festival-goers were invited to flick through the records, to reconnect with the music – and to share the memories released by the music. Many people brought in their own secret vinyl, which hadn’t been played for years. Musical choices of people of all ages were played out by a collective of young London-based DJs, interspersed by mixes and interpretations of their own.
Visitors chatted, reminisced, danced – even had a go at DJ-ing themselves. Our very good friend, Shaikh Mohammed Ishaq also guested in the space, demonstrating the art of the film hoardings painter.
DJ Shubha Giri with Roop Tera Mastana (found on a market in Malaysia)
For more information about our work with Indian film and film music, please click here