Trauma, Resilience, Recovery

Online workshop on Indian indentured labour

BAATN in collaboration with The National Archives 

Saturday 17th October 2020 – 10:45 for an 11:00 start till 13.00



BAATN in association with

We are living through very significant times, where history is bearing down on us. We are now presented with an opportunity to engage, both with the challenges and opportunities presented in front of us.

This page is a space where we can begin such an exploration.

This autumn, BAATN will be in collaboration with The National Archives to present an online workshop on Indian indentured labour.

People of all heritages are welcome. You do not need to be a therapist to attend.

In this initial online workshop, we will be reflecting on the story of the 83 years of Indian indentureship from 1834 to 1917. Iqbal Singh and Michael Mahoney from The National Archives Outreach Team (the official archive of the UK government) and Vidya Maharaj (BAATN member), will be introducing us to the topic of Indian indentureship, including by using documents stored at The National Archives.

At the heart of the workshop, there will be an exploration of the competing views of indentureship illustrated through visual material, diary entries, colonial reports and testimony. What do we make of these competing narrative accounts and what can we learn?

Case studies will be also be presented, which may include looking look at themes such as indenture suicide as well as bringing a focus on women’s voices during this time.

There will be time for reflection and discussion led by BAATN director, Eugene Ellis, on the differing perspectives and thought will be given to how we remember and teach about this particular time in history. It will be an opportunity to learn and bring our attention to this much-needed area of history.’

Trinidad Coolies arrived from India at depot c1890, The National Archives CO 1069/392 pt2 (14)

Trinidad Coolies arrived from India at depot c1890, The National Archives CO 1069/392 pt2 (15)

Spring Garden & Chepstow tramway, indentured labourers at Spring Garden Buildings, Portland, Jamaica 1880, The National Archives CO 137/497/29 (519)

The term ‘coolie’ was used in the past to describe Indian indentured labour and has pejorative connotations. In more recent times there has been a movement to re-appropriate the term and use it more positively.

People of all heritages are welcome

You do not need to be a therapist to attend

Date: 17th October 2020  Time: 10:45 for an 11:00 am start – end 13.00  Online Zoom event 

Legacy Area

Content to be added after the event

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