Get to know your neighbours: Hassan Vawda

Get to know your neighbours: Hassan Vawda

Who are they?

Hassan Vawda is a local researcher, installation artist, painter and poet whose work looks to structures of communities for support, resistance and as a challenge to dominant cultures.

What are they up to at Leytonstone Loves Film? 

Hassan will be recreating the Asian Cinema Clubs of the borough's past showing the rarely screened Pyaasa this Sunday at 3.30pm, a defining classic of Hindi cinema's golden age.

He'll be taking over St John's Church - there are limited places so we recommend coming down early but just as with the clubs of the past, we will squeeze in as many as possible comfortably, watching the film communally with chai and samosas! 

What were the Asian Cinema Clubs?

​The Asian Cinema Clubs were a significant space throughout the UK in the 60's and 70's, particularly before VHS. They were truly community spaces, where local families and working people of the diaspora could convene over Indian cinema, and were unique in that the diaspora could here own their displacement and strengthen their collective and individual senses of community.

Waltham Forest had a few of these clubs, most notably the Apne Film Society - which AbdulMaalik Tailor discusses in his Walthamstow tours (a Hassan recommend!).

Why Pyaasa?

Hassan: "​My mum introduced me to Pyaasa 5 years ago, and I haven't really watched another film in the same way since. It was a truly moving cinematic experience, reflective of so many experiences in life - the world's harshness, the institutional forms of culture being so false, and money meaning so much that if you have an appreciation of true kindness and love, you're doomed. There is hope, you just have watch the film to find it..."

Hassan's favourite Leytonstone memory?

"I grew up down the road near Whipps Cross! My best memories are in the fields around Hollow Ponds, in the shadow of the Alfred Hitchcock Hotel."

How can I stay in touch?

Follow Hassan on Instagram and Twitter for all their news.