What Objects Tell Us: Engaging Chinese Canadian Histories Through Primary Materials

Every object tells a story, especially the personal belongings of those who came before us. Filled with traces of identity, these items can serve as powerful tools for sparking curiosity, empathy, and critical thinking amongst students. In this workshop, we’ll share how the Chinatown Storytelling Centre is developing its educational programs (for grades 4 and up) around a “touchable” collection of primary materials related to the Chinese Canadian journey, including archival photographs, documents, and objects. We’ll explore how the collection is brought to life through interactive learning activities regarding anti-Asian racism and the diverse experiences of Chinese immigrants.

 

The Chinatown Storytelling Centre (CSC) is a newly opened cultural space that documents and shares the cultural stories of the Chinese Canadian community as experienced and witnessed through its historic epicentre, Vancouver’s Chinatown. This workshop will be presented by Dr. April Liu, a member of the CSC programming and education team.

 

Target Audience

Any

Sessions

Friday 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Room LIB 7301

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Presenter

  • Chinatown Storytelling Centre
    April Liu

    The Chinatown Storytelling Centre documents and shares the cultural stories of the Chinese Canadian community as experienced and witnessed through its historic epicentre, Vancouver’s Chinatown.Our centre celebrates Chinatown’s contributions to the development of Vancouver and highlights the roles of Chinese Canadians in the building of Canada as a nation. We believe when we look back on stories of adversity, resilience, and triumph, we reveal our shared history. And we believe this common ground is where we can build a more inclusive society moving forward.

     

    Dr. April Liu is a researcher and cultural programmer who is currently developing educational programs for the Chinatown Storytelling Centre in Vancouver. She has organized numerous festivals, exhibitions, and other educational initiatives across North America, Asia, and South America. Liu served as the Curator of Public Programs and Engagement at the UBC Museum of Anthropology. She also served as an expert consultant for UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage section (Asia). A specialist in Asian art history, Liu recently authored Divine Threads: The Visual and Material Culture of Cantonese Opera (2019).

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