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Life in Toxteth celebrated in new exhibition

TOXTETH LIVES: One of the images from the L8 Unseen exhibition

A NEW exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool will tell the untold stories of one of the city’s most diverse communities.

L8 Unseen will highlight the lives of people in Toxteth through photographs and filmed interviews.

The exhibition challenges preconceptions about the area which have built up over the years since the riots that took place there in the early 1980s.

There are at least 54 nationalities living in L8, the local name for Toxteth.

The show, which has been part-funded by Heritage Lottery, features young local entrepreneurs, faith leaders, international sports champions and people from different faith communities who live in the area.

Marc Boothe, of B3 Media, who produced L8 Unseen and worked extensively with local community groups over several months in the run up to the exhibition’s launch, said: “Liverpool has been home to Black, Asian and Ethnic minority communities for as long as the city has been established.

This offers an alternative to national stories of post-war ‘Windrush’ British immigration and outside of the city is a hidden story in itself.”

L8 Unseen features striking large-scale colour portraits taken by leading photographer Othello De’Souza-Hartley.

Images of individuals and groups set in significant locations reflect the city’s history of global trade, with the portraits described as 21st century representations of race, culture and identity against a foundation of 300 years of immigration and settlement.

Booth’s team uncovered a wealth of stories dating back more than 60 years during their research in the area.

Kay Jones, curator of community history at the Museum of Liverpool, added: “L8 Unseen reveals the extraordinary shared stories and experiences of a diverse range of people from the L8 community.

Significantly, they are stories we can all relate to, be inspired by and learn from. The exhibition aims to uncover the real spirit and heritage of the area, and we want people to get involved and share their photographs and stories of L8 for a chance to feature in the exhibition. We are also keen to collect objects, photographs and stories relating to the area for the museum’s permanent collections.”

The multimedia exhibition will give visitors a number of ways to access the content. A free smartphone app will play extracts from the oral history interviews as visitors view the large portraits.

There will also be a continuous screening of the oral histories, complemented by archive photography and stories from the Liverpool 8 Old Photos Facebook group, while visitors will be encouraged to add their own L8 tales via a video booth.

L8 Unseen will run until September 6

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