Sunday, 2 June 2019


The Artist Duo Moira Kenny and John Campbell are revisiting their Irish roots with a 5 year project to capture the heritage of The Liverpool Irish by recording the hidden histories and everyday stories to pass on to future generations. The pilot project will include a site specific website to upload recorded stories and a Ceilidh Event to bring people together in St Georges Hall in the Autumn.

Having recorded the Liverpool Chinatown Oral History working with Chinese organisations for the past 18 years, The Sound Agents Ltd. are planning a series of Events and Oral History projects and short stories based on the Irish culture and heritage they were born into.

"Below the only photograph of my Grandfather and my father when they arrived in Liverpool.



My family migrated from Arklow, County Wicklow, in the late 1930’s and settled in South Liverpool, my Dad’s first language was Gaelic. His father was coming to Garston in the 1920’s on the Coaster ships. We had a great time growing up in a massive family and my Nan lived over the road. My Mothers family were from Northern Ireland and most of the people who lived near us had Irish ancestry. Many were neither one thing or the other, not seen as English not seen as Irish - somewhere in between. John's family came from Sligo his grandfather settled in the Mill Town Rishton in Manchester. It is time to map the journey of people like us" Moira

Tuesday, 26 March 2019


 Festival opening speech: David Olusoga 

The Sound Agents paper focussed on their Public Art Installation in Bold Street Liverpool and a new project based on hidden stories of Merchant Navy boats lost at Sea, The Chinese Labour Corps and Blind and Visually impaired soldiers working with Blind Veterans UK using the Pantheon de la Guerre painting to illustrate stories of diversity  
Dulce et Decorum Est 
An Exploration of the Human Face of WW1

Monday, 11 March 2019

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 tell the stories of the oldest Chinese community in Europe, The Blue Funnel Shipping Line, the history of organisations based in Nelson Street,  Duke Street and Nelson Street. A gallery to exhibit a time-line of the history of China providing educational visits to schools and researchers across the world.

To teach heritage skills to wider communities and oral history techniques

  • Chinese Cookery School and top class Restaurant

To bring chefs from China with temporary visa's to teach young chefs how to cook authentic Chinese food and provide top Chinese food at a fair price

  • Casino and 5* Hotel with swimming pool, sauna and gym

To cater for weddings and important celebrations in the Chinese calendar

  • Community Centre with dance floor and stage

To provide a much needed space for activities in Chinatown including Dance Groups, Cantonese Opera, Supplementary schools, Tai Chi, Quigong, Lion and Unicorn groups.
Residents of Chinatown social activities and luncheon groups.

  • Shops and Travel Agency

Units for small business and start ups

  • Car Park

Much needed in the area especially as The Baltic is expanding

  • Affordable quality housing for local families and young professionals

Apartments big enough for families not student accommodation

  • Social club for the 15000 Chinese students studying in Liverpool

Including Karaoke and noodle bar

  • Peace Park and Buddhist Temple

Inner city space to relax and contemplate and take part in leisure activities and outdoor exercise. A Pagoda for Chinese elders to congregate and play chess and marjhong and socialise to combat social isolation and affordable café selling light refreshments.

  • A Youth Club and Apprenticeships for local residents

To combat anti-social behaviour and provide opportunities for young people to work in construction and other industries. To encourage young people by providing training and somewhere to go instead of hanging out on the edges of Chinatown.

  • Outdoor Market

Sunday market selling street food and fresh fish and vegetables

  • Road Infrastructure

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.