A Celebration of Chinatown


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  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
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Discover the history of Chinatowns across the UK.

This event will take place at the British Library. It will be simultaneously live streamed on the British Library platform. Tickets may be booked either to attend in person (physical), or to watch on our platform (online) either live or within 48 hours on catch up.  Viewing links will be sent out shortly before the event.

The online version of this event will be live captioned.

Cities across the world have thriving hubs known as Chinatown, often in their centre. Join us for an evening celebrating Chinatowns as unique urban spaces across the UK and exploring the history of these famous enclaves. We explore what it means to live and work in these different Chinatowns today while considering the social and economic challenges facing urban Chinese communities across the country.  

Xiao Ma is the Cultural Projects Manager and Researcher of China Exchange, a London Chinatown based charity. Xiao has co-produced several heritage-making projects to provide diverse and nuanced ways for people to explore the contested history of Chinatown. Xiao is also a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Westminster. Taking an anti-essentialist approach, her research explores the cultural complexities of London Chinatown and challenges the homogenising portrait of London Chinatown as a bounded urban space essentially containing an “ethnically other” Chinese community.

Lisa Yam is the Chairman of the Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester (FCAM) - one of the largest Chinese community associations in the North West of England. Over the last 30 years the association has organised the City of Manchester’s Chinese New Celebrations which are held in China Town each year.  In recent years the event has become of the largest Chinese New Year celebration in Europe, regularly attended by over 60,000 people. Lisa is also a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester and a Member of the Independent Advisory Group to Greater Manchester Police. 

David Yip is a Liverpool born actor and writer with an extensive career in theatre, film, television and radio. He is still best known for creating the role of Detective Sergeant John Ho in The Chinese Detective for BBC Television.  He also wrote and acted in Gold Mountain a multi-media theatre piece which looked back at this relationship with his father, a Chinese seaman from the Canton area of southern China, who arrived in Liverpool aged sixteen years old in 1942. David has also presented a documentary on the history of Liverpool’s Chinatown.

James Wong is the managing director of Chung Ying, a Cantonese restaurant established in 1981 in Birmingham.  The restaurant was a catalyst for the development of Birmingham’s Chinatown. Born in Birmingham, James travelled to his family's native Hong Kong aged four, but returned just three years later when Chung Ying was established by his mother and father. James is now dedicated to working within the Chinese community and is chair of the Chinese festival committee which organises Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival and is patron of the Chinese Community Centre.

Dr Lucienne Loh (chair) is Reader in English Literature at the University of Liverpool. She is co-curator, with Dr Alex Tickell, of the British Library exhibition, Chinese & British. With Alex, she is co-founder and co-director of the British Chinese Studies Network. She works closely with the Liverpool Chinese community and is particularly interested in oral history projects by Chinese community groups from across the country.

Supported by:

Blick Rothenberg a part of AZETS

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Name: A Celebration of Chinatown
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546

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