Wednesday 26 September 2018

34,361 Deaths

 Great George Street pedestrians heading into Liverpool centre will have noticed a sobering use of the black hoardings which are hiding their view of the overgrown waste ground to their left. This is where the amazing New Chinatown is supposed to have been built (see previous post).

Whilst developers, lawyers and city council attempt to sort out the mess,  an Amsterdam based organisation, UNITED for Intercultural Action, have posted a list of '34,361 documented deaths of refugees and migrants due to the restrictive policies of "Fortress Europe".

UNITED have facilitated up-to-date and translated versions of The List in several countries using public display structures such as ad-boards and newspaper supplements.The Liverpool list was produced by London's Chisenhale Gallery and Liverpool Biennial. It was printed and distributed by The Guardian for World Refugee Day  (20th June, 2018).

The 34,361 death toll is from 1993 to May 5th, 2018. The 2018 list can be downloaded from

All of the images in this post were photographed in Great George Street within the last few weeks.

Sunday 23 September 2018

New Chinatown?

Let's take a walk down Liverpool's Great George Street. We'll start at The Wedding House (by the St James Street junction) and head into town with the Anglican Cathedral ahead to our right.
Something is happening on the left as we begin the walk. We can't see what because it's fenced off with 8ft high black paneling. Naturally this has been used as poster boarding for music events and other entertainments. (See the next post for a much more important use of a section of the boards)

If you were able to look over the fencing you might be disappointed to see 5 acres of overgrown waste ground. This was the site for New Chinatown - trumpeted in 2015 as a world class development of homes, retail and leisure facilities. A city within a city. The paneling originally showed glittering artist impressions of the New Chinatown.

An artist's impression of Liverpool's New Chinatown from 2015. Image:
 Sadly, plans have foundered. The contractor went into administration in 2016 and no building has taken place on the site. The photo mock-ups have now disappeared, leaving the 8ft high black boarding to hide the waste ground. There might still be some hope that the ambitious project can be rescued - a new consortium is hoping to fight through the legal tangle and has entered into discussions with Liverpool City Council. They optimistically hope to start a  14 month building programme before the end of the year. We will watch with interest.

A good place to view the waste ground is from the Cathedral tower. For a fiver you can go up to the top for the best view of the city - I thoroughly recommend it!

A view of Great George Street from the Cathedral tower. Look hard and you can see the black paneling (one third of the way up from the bottom of the frame) which hides the waste ground above it. 

Part of the 5 acre plot - nothing much has happened there in 3 years!