Friday, 8 March 2019
Has the time arrived that Liverpool Chinatown, once home to the oldest Chinese community in Europe, has been subject to Disneyfication? Is Chinatown now a carefully controlled entertainment environment?
The heritage of the merchant seamen is lost in a half empty street of closed restaurants and a pub that shut its doors over ten years ago, framed by a derelict building site. Once a year a celebration of pyrotechnics, illuminations and a fun fair fill the street with thousands of people standing behind barriers eager to participate in Chinese New Year celebrations.
This year an enormous Disney style cartoon pig has been stuck to the wall of the Chi Kung Tong, one of the most historically important buildings in the seafaring history of Liverpool.
Tourists come and tourists go, take a photograph under the arch and walk down Nelson Street in search of Chinatown. Driving in the area is restricted as the roads were blocked off many years ago.
Liverpool Chinatown is an historical neighbourhood the heritage needs to be protected with a new area designated to build a world class Chinatown.
'Opera for Chinatown' was a public art installation that adorned three Georgian terraced buildings in Duke Street and was taken down last year to develop the buildings. Designed by The Sound Agents the images told the visual stories of the Blue Funnel Sailors, the forced deportation of over 2000 Chinese seamen over a period of two days in 1946 and the 200 Liverpool Chinese children who played a role in the 1958 film 'The Inn of Sixth Happiness'
The Sound Agents are designing a 'Museum in the Street' detailing the heritage of the area by public demand funded by s106. The application was submitted in February 2018 due to problems within the Cabinet the funds have not been released. Consultation has taken place in Chinatown and the design will be informed by the Chinese leaders.
For fifteen years The Sound Agents have worked in Chinatown on Arts and Heritage projects which promote good health and wellbeing through participation and inclusion helping to reduce social isolation.
Conversations and consultation during an oral history on what people would like in Chinatown have included :
(In no order of importance)
A Bank of China
Site specific Museum/Heritage Centre
To teach heritage skills to wider communities and oral history techniques
Chinese Cookery School and top class Restaurant
Casino and 5* Hotel with swimming pool, sauna and gym
Community Centre with dance floor and stage
Residents of Chinatown social activities and luncheon groups.
Shops and Travel Agency
Affordable quality housing for local families and young professionals
Social club for the 15000 Chinese students studying in Liverpool
Peace Park and Buddhist Temple
A Youth Club and Apprenticeships for local residents
Break down barriers and open up Nelson Street and connect Chinatown with the Baltic and the city
Young BBC Group and Spokesperson to represent Chinatown
Friends of Chinatown Group
Monday, 4 February 2019
A short film capturing projects designed and delivered by Moira Kenny working in collaboration with the Wah Sing Chinese Community Centre Liverpool 2004 mapping the Diaspora, movement and settlement of Chinese communities based in Liverpool.
Monday, 7 January 2019
Tuesday, 20 November 2018
Image courtesy Blind Veterans UK
The talk will be based on Dulce et Decorum Est public art installation installed on The Lycuem Grade II* listed building in Bold Street Liverpool 2014 to present and a new project: An Exploration of the Human Face of WW1 an installation of the Pantheon de la Guerre WW1 painting and memories of blind and visually impaired veterans. The Agents will be delivering workshops to record individual personal stories with people who have had a comparable experience of losing their sight and of the rehabilitation procedures, therapies and techniques.
By recording memories and experiences of blind and visually impaired veterans today, the public will have a true understanding of the blind and visually impaired forgotten ones of WW1 and a comprehension of how the men rebuilt their lives and how their families were affected.