In 1945-6, hundreds of Liverpool’s Chinese seamen were ’rounded-up’ and forcibly deported to China, Singapore or other locations.
Official evidence has been hard to locate; with documents strewn across the world; often deliberately hidden from view, making the story difficult to confirm. Prior to their forced ‘repatriation’, many of these men met and married English and Irish women; creating Chinese-English and Chinese-Irish communities; a legacy that continues today.
What of those left behind? Of the men severed from their families and homes? Where did they end up and how did it affect the communities involved?
In 2014, The Sound Agents undertook interviews with remaining members of the community. From verbatim accounts of lived-experience of the trauma and aftershock, they crafted an incredible play, which played at Unity. This year, as MP Kim Johnson asked the Government’s Home Office for official recognition and an apology for this “shameful stain on our history”, we resurrect the piece using the original players –Tina Malone and Simon Wan- to create an online version of the piece, available for international viewing from China, Singapore as well as homes locally.
For more, visit: liverpoolirishfestival.com/chinese-forced-repatriation-event
This event is run in partnership with The Sound Agents.
Image © Judy Kinnin. Judy Kinnin’s father was forcibly deported from Liverpool in 1946. Judy pictured with her mother circa 1949. NB: The Festival would like to apologise for an inaccuracy in the spelling of Judy’s family name, given in print previously and acknowledge the correction to “Kinnin”.
The play will be broadcast on YouTube (search for the Liverpool Irish Festival channel), which requires no tickets. If you would like to be part of the live Zoom transmission, and take part in the online Q&A, you will need to book. Ticket numbers are limited. Once you have booked, Eventbrite (the booking system) will send you all the necessary links to gain access to the event on the evening.
We are proud to state this event is linked with Black History Month and the Cuture Liverpool programme.
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