Exhibition explores identity and belonging in Liverpool 8

Toxteth Library

A new exhibition exploring the relationship between neighbourhood, place identity and belonging in the area of Liverpool 8 (‘Toxteth’) is being hosted at Toxteth Library from Wednesday, 7 June, for two weeks.

The Pride of Place exhibition features a series of posters which include detailed narratives from in-depth interviews with residents of the area, as well as an innovative mapping exercise where residents were asked to draw ‘their’ Liverpool 8.

The exhibition draws on a recently-completed research project funded by the British Academy conducted by Dr Diane Frost (Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology) and Dr Gemma Catney  (Department of Geography and Planning) with assistance from PhD student Leona Vaughn.

The project explored how residents define their community – who and what makes a place and why is this important? Why is Liverpool 8 significant to many of those who live in, have lived in, or hold an association with the area through family and friends or work? And what is the basis of this identity and allegiance? What is the relationship between the geographical borders of L8 and the social boundaries that people recognise? Do residents’ identities affect their lived experiences, and do they impact on inequality and exclusion?

Through a series of in-depth interviews across three generations and the use of creative and engaging mental mapping methodologies, the project found compelling social relationships with particular physical and spatial areas, including streets that symbolise significant social and historical boundaries.

Dr Frost commented: “Our research demonstrates that place identity with Liverpool 8 is rooted in a number of historical, social and political developments that mark important legacies for the area and which contribute significantly to the making and strengthening of community solidarity and identity.”

An exhibition launch is being held on the evening of Tuesday, 6 June, including a short talk and hot Caribbean food from a local restaurant. The launch is invitation only, but there are a small number of places left. Please email Dr Gemma Catney [g.catney@liverpool.ac.uk] if you wish to attend.

Visit the exhibition in Toxteth Library between Wednesday, 7 June and Tuesday, 20 June. Please check the library’s website for opening days and times. The exhibition will also be shown on the large digital screens of the Museum of Liverpool from 4-17 September.

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