We interviewed, filmed and took photographic portraits of the L8 community – hear the stories of people who had grown up, lived, worked in the area.
Zi Lian Lao
Imam Mohamed Alawi
Father Iakovos Kasinos
Reverend Canon Bob Lewis
Dr Peter Grant
Malik Al Nasir
Edward Reeves and William Charles Dumbell
Ramon ' Sugar' Deen
Liverpool 8 spoken word artists celebrate iconic Granby Four Streets on film and online. They recorded their poems inspired by Toxteth on those same streets as part of the L8 Unspoken film and web project.
L8 Unseen is about you and your stories. You can find content submitted by people who currently live or have lived in Liverpool 8. Some stories were submitted via the exhibition interactive kiosk.
Behind The Scenes
Watch footage from the photoshoots behind some of “L8 Unseen” exhibition’s iconic portraits.
Assistant Director and Youth Arts Manager at the Black-E. A community artist, director, actor and youth worker, Maria currently works as the assistant director and youth work manager at The Black-E. She runs drama workshops and projects for people of all ages. Her current ongoing oral history project, ‘Married in Black’, focuses on the historical experiences of local white women in mixed race relationships.
Born in Somaliland, came to Liverpool in the 1960s. When Adan settled in Liverpool, he became very involved with the Somali community. He was an activist who helped new Somali settlers when they first arrived in the 1990s following the Civil War in Somalia/Somaliland. He also founded and chaired the Merseyside Somali Community, one of the first of its kind to be established in Liverpool.
Born in Nigeria and now lives in Liverpool. Having trained and worked as an architect in Liverpool, Tayo gave architecture up to travel the world performing his one-man play about Paul Robeson. He performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and on London’s West End, to name but a few. He continues to tour internationally, working on new plays that positively depict the sons and daughters of Africa.
Musician and Artistic Director. A leading exponent of Chinese music, Zi Lan’s career on the international concert circuit has resulted in her being the most widely heard and appreciated Guzheng (a form of zither) performer. She’s captivated global audiences as a soloist with leading orchestras, as a recitalist and through the bubbling enthusiasm of her workshops. In 2013, Zi Lan was appointed the artistic director for Pagoda Arts on Henry Street.
Al Taiseer Mosque. With an entrenched love for religion, the Imam Mohammed studied the Islamic faith from a young age with the help of his teachers in Yemen. After giving a guest sermon on his first visit to the Al Taiseer Mosque, Imam Mohammed was invited to take up a permanent position. He now shares his belief of the importance of respecting other faiths, which he says is achieved by being open-minded and participating in religious activities and celebrations.
This family portrait dates from 1961, it was taken at a professional photographic studio in Bold Street when Bold Street was the Bond Street of Liverpool with all the poshest, classiest shops in Town, today that studio is a second hand clothes shop.
The picture is of me Mum and Dad with our Martha and our Peter sitting on me Dad’s knee.
That’s me on the right aged 9, today I’m 62.
We lived in Kimberly Street which, back then was one of a series of tree lined streets, terraced housing with owner-occupiers and multi-lets flats which linked Selbourne Street to Upper Parliament Street.
The whole family lived in two rooms on the top floor of number 31, with a gas cooker as our kitchen on the landing between the rooms. I recall Kimberly Street as a happy place, playing outside with the other kids in the street.
Mum – everyone on Granby knows her as Eva – was a local girl, her father was from Barbados while her mother came from Liverpool’s Irish community. Mum worked at Brough’s making oil barrels at the bottom of Upper Parliament Street. Mum was a talented seamstress she made all our clothes, everything we kids are wearing in that picture – apart from the socks and shoes – Mum made, as well as making her own dress. At one time Mum had a small business at home, making new clothes out of old clothes – trousers and jackets resized for other members of a family, overcoats made into suits. Mum went on to work at Scott’s the grocers on Granby Street and latterly as a caretaker at the Rialto Community Center and the Adult Education Centre in Canning Street.
Dad was a seaman. He had run away to sea from his home in Eastern Nigeria when his family wanted him to marry a local girl. Starting out as a galley boy on the merchant ships that traded between Britain and West Africa. He worked his way up through tenacity and study via Head Cook to become a Chief Steward. During his time at sea he worked on Elder Dempster, Black Star, Palm Line and Nigerian Line shipping lines. Dad stopped going to sea at the time of the Biafran war (1967 to 1970). He worked at Mother’s Pride factory in Long Lane, Aintree, before becoming the manager at the Nigerian social clubs in Liverpool 8 – The Nigerian Social Club then at -‘The Federal‘ – the Nigerian Federal Club and finally manager of the Ibo Club, in the Deaf Centre in Park Place just off Princes Avenue.
My sister, Martha went to Windsor Street Primary School, while my brother Peter and I went to St Bernard’s Primary School on Kingsley Road, which closed in 1998.
We moved from the two rooms in Kimberly Street to a three bedroomed house the other end of Granby Street – 55 Beaconsfield Street – in 1959.
Today there are over 25 in the Ohajuru family including Mum’s seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, most still live within Liverpool 8 and its surrounding districts.
Michael I. OhajuruApril 2015
L8 Unseen photography Behind The Scenes
L8 Unseen photography – Hector Peterson Court Behind The Scenes
Exposition Behind The Scenes
L8 Unseen exhibition set-up Behind The Scenes 1
L8 Unseen exhibition set-up Behind The Scenes 2