SOAS University of London

SOAS China Institute

British or Chinese? Stories of Migration, Family and Identity

British or Chinese?

Date: 23 May 2017Time: 11:00 AM

Finishes: 27 May 2017Time: 4:00 PM

Venue: China Exchange, 32A Gerrard Street, W1D 6JA

Type of Event: Exhibition

When Britain commenced maritime trade with Qing dynasty China in the late 17th century, the first Chinese migrants came as sailors aboard East India Company ships and lived in London near the docks. Since then, the Chinese who have come to make their home in Britain have journeyed from the expansive Chinese Diaspora, with diverse origins, and distinct dialects and customs. This exhibition builds upon the interviews with people of Chinese ethnic origin in the UK and documents their stories in migration, family and identity making.

Admission is free.

Please note the exhibition will be open Tuesday 23 May to Saturday 27 May, 11am - 6pm (4pm on Saturday) at the China Exchange. The talks will take place at the China Exchange.

Due to popular demand, we will be bringing the exhibition to the Cloister area at SOAS, University of London, Senate House, Paul Webley Wing, North Block, Torrington Square, London WC1E 7HX  from Tuesday 30 May 2017 for three weeks.

Reconstructed life history interviews

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Reconstructed life history interviews from the, SOAS China Institute exhibition titled "British or Chinese? Stories of Migration, Family and Identity"


  • Tuesday 23 May 2017 5-6pm, PENG Wenlan, The Chinese Labour Corps: Forgotten Faces of the Great War

    Register for this talk here

  • Wednesday 24 May 2017 5-6pm, Eona Bell, Education and the Social Mobility of Chinese Families in Scotland

    Register for this talk here

  • Thursday 25 May 2017 5-6pm, Roman Kierst and LIU Jieyu, Identities Making among Ethnically Chinese Londoners

    Register for this talk here


Organiser: SOAS China Institute

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Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4832