Presentation on Lascar
Presentation on Lascar Research Project

BAG President Dr. Tareq Abdullah and Trustee Dr. Saif Khan talks about 'People' and the outcome of the Lascar Research Project on behalf of Bangladesh Association Glasgow and Glasgow Life at Museum Association conference 2022: Make change happen.

Lascars are seafarers who were employed by British Merchant ships during the colonial period. A large number of Lascars were recruited from Bangladesh. At the Glasgow Language Festival, 2019 Glasgow museums presented a metal plaque that was discovered at Stobcross quay near Queen's dock in Glasgow. It was scripted in English and Bangla. It says 'Lascars only'. Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Khan from Bangladesh Association Glasgow started research with Museum curators Isobel McDonald and Emily Malcolm. The contents of the research were used to produce a theatre production at the historic 'Tall ship Glenlee' built-in 1890s.

The play was written by Dr. Tareq Abdullah, artistic direction was provided by a Theatre academician from Dhaka university, Sudip Chakrabarthy. The research and play were highly acclaimed by the audience, academic historians, and theatre artists. This was followed by a conference attended by historians, academics, curators, mariners, and community participants. The delegates of the conference donated to a Late generation Lascar, Fattah to start a grocery shop. He named the shop 'Clanline stores' after the place he used to work called 'Clanline shipping line'.

The research started with 'people's relation to object' (the plaque); the researchers discovered 'People's relation to stories' which were mostly unheard and untold. Finally, The researchers went through 'People's relation to people' in the colonial past and present time with the intention to use the knowledge to bring a new perspective into the present time.