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Glasgow Life: GlaswegAsians Exhibition at Scotland Street School Museum

Category: Industry News, BAME, community, exhibition, museums, glasgow life

Words Black, Asian & Minority Ethnicity (BAME) on VERCIDA branded background

A new exhibition that traces the influence and heritage of South Asian and Muslim Communities across Scotland and throughout Glasgow opened at Scotland Street School Museum in July.

The exhibition marked the start of a relationship between Glasgow Museums and Colourful Heritage, a community group based in Glasgow that has developed the largest online video archive recording the migration stories of people from South Asia to Scotland.

The exhibition will run for an extended period at Scotland Street School Museum allowing Glasgow Museums to explore how people came to Glasgow and how the city grew and changed as a result. Glasgow Museums also aims to shape future collecting by further reflecting Glasgow’s many diverse communities.

The exhibition is being supported through the loan of numerous objects by Colourful Heritage and through Museums Galleries Scotland and its partnership fund.

Among the exhibits are the copy of the 250 year old Quran Mohammed Sarwar used as he was sworn in as the UK’s first Muslim MP and the kilt and sherwani worn by Humza Yousaf MSP as he was sworn in at the Scottish Parliament in 2011. The exhibition also explores entrepreneurship and working life, politics, contribution of the Indian soldiers to the world wars, family and social life and schools.

A video booth and a community space have also been built into the exhibition to support the collection of further oral histories to help the work Colourful Heritage does and support Museums knowledge and generally improve representation of South Asian people in Glasgow’s collection.

The exhibition is the first step in establishing a South Asian community presence in Scotland Street School Museum and seeks to encourage wider engagement with, and from, the local communities around the museum. An activity and workshop programme will accompany the display.

Omar Shaikh, the Project Founder of Colourful Heritage said:

This exhibition has been 7 years in the making but tells the story of people's experiences of arriving and settling in Scotland for more than 150 years. It is a unique exhibition that highlights the contribution of and challenges faced by Muslim and South Asian migrants arriving in a new country for the first time. 

GlaswegAsians details how Glasgow became home for generations of people and along the way elected the UK's first Muslim councillor, MP and MSP. It is a timely reminder of how much modern Glasgow gained and gave by welcoming new citizens who have come to proudly adopt the Scottish identity.

Duncan Dornan, Head of Glasgow Museums said:

Glasgow has become home to people migrating from all over the world and has reaped huge benefits from the diversity that has brought. This exhibition will allow us to tell the story of the many Muslim and South Asian people who came to Glasgow but will also allow us to collect their stories and their experiences. In turn this will help us to add objects to the Glasgow Museums collection which will help generations to come understand the enormous role these communities have had shaping modern Glasgow.

Gillian Simison, Investment Manager at Museums Galleries Scotland, said:

MGS is delighted to see the Partnership Fund supporting a museum and an established community group to work together, not only to engage under-represented audiences, but to ensure that the museum is truly representative of the community in which it sits. This is crucial for the relevance, and therefore the resilience, of the museum but also demonstrates the important role that museums have to play in providing a place where all can explore their heritage and identity.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email info@vercida.com for more information.

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