Migration Stories: Pakistan

  • 1st December 2011 − 14th October 2012 | Scottish National Portrait Gallery

For thousands of years communities from elsewhere have settled in Scotland while native Scots have moved abroad. From the Portrait Gallery you look out towards the port of Leith where the hopeful settlers of Scotland’s ill-fated colony at Darien set sail for modern Panama in 1698. Walking from here to Leith, you would pass through Picardy Place, a reminder of the Flemish weavers who settled in Scotland in the early eighteenth century; nearby Antigua Street and Baltic Street recall Scotland’s West Indies and North Sea trading connections.

Migrants both into and out of Scotland continue to shape the nation. Migration Stories explores the visual culture of Scotland’s migration history. Working with contemporary artists and local communities, the exhibitions, planned as an on-going series, consider questions of Scottish identity, encompassing issues of place, belonging, exile and tradition.

Migration Stories: Pakistan, our inaugural exhibition for this space, explores Scotland’s links with Pakistan through three contrasting displays. A Scottish Family Portrait features prominent Scots of Pakistani heritage photographed by Verena Jaekel.  Fragments of a Love Story is a personal film by Pakistani-born film-maker, Sana Bilgrami.  Isabella T. McNair provides a snapshot of the life of a remarkable Scottish teacher in Lahore.

(Image: Aamer Anwar with his wife and son, Glasgow 29th August 2010, Verena Jaekel)