dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
Published February 5th 2021
Forbidden relationships in the decade of It's a Sin
Step back in time with We Found Love in the 80's – a film, podcast, 3D soundscape and photo archive which will be launched as part of Wolverhampton Literature Festival. The project has been created by Wolverhampton artist Dawinder Bansal and pop musician Martyn Ware, founder of eighties' sensations The Human League and Heaven 17.
Aiming to celebrate people who overcame everything to find love in the 1980s, it features relationships across cultural, racial and religious divides as well as arranged marriages and gay/queer relationships. A decade of pop culture and partying but also huge social change and the spectre of AIDS, interest in the 1980s is currently undergoing a huge revival thanks to the hit television series It's a Sin.
We Found LOVE in the 80's
During lockdown last year Dawinder and Martyn interviewed couples who faced adversity and yet have remained together despite all the apparent obstacles.
Dawinder explains: "As a child of the eighties this project is so personal to me. There were so many challenges in the 1980s that resonate with today – we had a Conservative government leading the country into recession and racism and intolerance were rife, while the world faced a deadly virus. But despite all the obstacles people were still falling in love, often in secret, especially if they were gay or interracial relationships. I wanted to find out about these relationships and what got people through."
And Martyn adds: "As artists in the eighties 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 high unemployment and uncertainty and, unfortunately, open racism. Art acts as a conduit for empathy and feelings of all kinds, and I'm proud that our music has been a significant part of many people's emotional journeys."
Couples featured include Ian and Ian who found love in 1984 and saw friends die of the AIDS virus, Geeta and Sabash who shared Bollywood mixtapes in the eighties and Seoj and Kamlesh whose inter-caste marriage broke through age-old traditions.
The We Found Love in the 80's podcast, 3D Soundscape and photographic archive launches this month at www.wefoundloveinthe80s.com and will continue to grow as more people tell their stories. The film has a special screening as part of Wolverhampton Literature Festival on Saturday 13 February followed by a post-screening discussion with Dawinder and Martyn. For more information and tickets see www.wolvesliteraturefestival.co.uk/events/we-found-love-in-the-80s.html Tickets for this event are £10.