Published on 26/07/2022
  • Haider Ali - world-renowned professional truck artist - is outside the Students’ Union, turning a mini-bus into a piece of art
  • The bus will take art/s directly into Asian communities, playing a valuable role in addressing inequality of access
  • The event on 26 and 27 July is marking South Asian Heritage Month 2022 (18 July to 17 August).

Aston University welcomed the DESIblitz ‘truck art’ bus project to its campus in Birmingham on 26 and 27 July as part of South Asian Heritage Month.

Haider Ali, the world-renowned professional truck artist from Pakistan, has been commissioned by DESIblitz for this project. He arrived in Birmingham for two weeks on 21 July to externally decorate the bus into the traditional Punjabi ‘truck art’ style buses of India and Pakistan.

The bus will act as a mobile space for the delivery of arts activities directly into Asian communities, playing a valuable role in addressing inequality of access to the arts, whilst providing DESIblitz and other arts providers a platform upon which to build participation.  At the same time, the bus will provide exposure for British Asian artists to build their profiles within the community and support their career development.

Dr Céline Benoit, associate dean public engagement at Aston University, said:

“It is wonderful to see an event such as this taking place on Aston University’s campus.

“I would encourage everyone to head to the Aston University Students’ Union on 26 and 27 July to take part and see this great spectacle.”

Indi Deol, from DESIblitz, said:

“Our research shows that currently there are no other Punjabi trucks of this nature available for hire or to buy in the UK. Our project aims to empower aspiring artists and young people from communities in Birmingham who are representative of their South Asian heritage.

“Our artist is a world-renowned truck artist who,whilst learning new ways of working/new artistic techniques, will help to pass down vital, traditional truck art skills to the next generation of artists in Birmingham. We will also film and record the artwork as it is being produced along with the conversations between the artist and the community which will form a short film on the project.

“Whilst on the surface smartphones and other technological advances have normalised photography, filmmaking and digital journalism for younger generations, the absence of visible role models reinforces negative community perceptions regarding the achievability of, financial viability of and access to arts-based careers. 

“Additionally, as the majority of galleries, theatres and art spaces are situated in city centres, COVID-related restrictions and the disproportionate health impact upon BAME people have exacerbated the already low Asian engagement with mainstream arts.”

Find out more about the event here.

Notes to Editors

About DESIblitz

The term ‘Desi’ refers to a connection with South Asian subcontinent roots. It is derived from the word ‘des’ or ‘desh’ which refers to ‘country’ and in this case primarily India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. ‘Desi’ has emerged as a collective term that classifies culture and people from these countries. is the proud winner of the Best Publication/Website award for 2021 at the UK national Asian Media Awards, and the Best Website Award winner for 2017, 2015 and 2013. It is an Aidem Digital publication and as a social digital venture, the magazine aims to deliver quality rich content to primarily British Asian and Desi communities worldwide.


About South Asian Heritage Month

South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) runs from the 18 July to 17 August.

It is in its third year and exists in order to educate, celebrate, and commemorate South Asian history and culture, as well as to better understand the diverse heritage and contributions of South Asians.

This year SAHM is remembering the 50th anniversary of the expulsion of Ugandan Asians by Idi Amin; and 75th anniversary of the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan.

If you would like to know more about partition, join Aston University at Café Artum on Thursday 25 August for Society matters LIVE or come and visit our temporary exhibition, Children of the Railway: the partition of India 75 years on, at New Street Station between 6 and 25 September (main concourse)


About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Saskia Loer Hansen is the interim Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)74469 10063 or email:

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