Tape Letters

Wajid Yaseen


People's History Museum

Film screened at exhibitions in Rich Mix London and Manchester People's History Museum.

Events Exhibition

The Tape Letters project shines light on the practice of recording and sending messages on cassette tape as a mode of communication by Pakistanis who migrated and settled in the UK between 1960-1980.

Drawing directly both from first-hand interviews and from the informal and intimate conversations on the cassettes themselves, the project seeks to unearth, archive and re/present a portrait of this method of communication, as practised mainly by Potwari-speaking members of the British-Pakistani community, commenting on their experiences of migration and identity, commenting on the unorthodox use of cassette tape technology, and commenting on the language used in the recordings.

The project focuses on Potwari primarily because the majority of cassettes acquired and the majority of the interviews undertaken have been in this language, but also because it is solely a spoken language and its capture on cassette tape provides some insights into the traditions of an oral culture.

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