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AUSA hosts walking tour of Old Aberdeen

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Tour explores the University’s and Aberdeen’s role in colonialism

By Leigh Wilson

courtesy of Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

As the University welcomes its students back for the new academic year, a series of walking tours have been inching their way around campus. The most recent, Empire and North East-Scotland, explored the history of the British Empire as well as the University's past colonial connections.

The tour was held in Old Aberdeen and walked people through North-East Scotland’s family histories and legacies of enslavement, the roots of colonial scientific studies in the university, and the current experiences of teaching and learning in the structures of coloniality.

Professors, PhD students, and elected student officers from the Students’ Union, whose research and work is related to the theme of the tour, led the walk and were all able to offer their expertise and research to the discussion content.

At the conclusion of the tour, a discussion took place on the role of the Powis Gateway in the community’s history and present, which will feed into the draft version of the interpretative panel that will be installed at the site next year.

The walk built on a two-day conference that took place last year, Colonial Connections and North East Scotland, which discussed the legacies of Scots who migrated to the Empire’s colonies in the 18th and 19th centuries; as well as imbedding the willingness to examine and reflect contemporary attitudes to colonialism more deeply into the University’s ethos.

Karolina Kubala, AUSA’s Communications and Digital Media Coordinator, said, ‘Collectively, we felt the tour was successful and we hope to continue the tour - perhaps applying for funding from the Development Trust Fund to make it into a permanent tour, with visual aid and an online presence. We hope our audience enjoyed the tour; we had a great feedback and many inquisitive questions from those who attended. We hope to organise another tour very soon.’


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