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Looty's Lives: Call for Paid Participants

30 January to 13 February 2022

Chinese version below / 中文版在下方

Join Chinese-Canadian artist and writer Amy Lam for a series of participatory storytelling workshops about experiences of migration and home. Through three sessions, Amy will guide participants in ways of sharing their personal experiences through discussion and writing exercises, as well as in a collaborative storytelling project based around the historical story of “Looty” the dog. The workshops are for diasporic Chinese people, of all ages, currently living in the West Midlands. 

“Looty” was a small Pekingese pet dog that was taken from the Summer Palace in China at the end of the Second Opium War in 1860 and gifted to Queen Victoria. It was re-named “Looty,” after the English word “looting,” which means stealing. What might it have been like for Looty to suddenly find herself in England all alone? What might a dog in the royal palaces see and feel? How is a dog’s life shaped by immense human histories? 

Through prompts and exercises over the three weeks, we will dream up possible events and details in Looty’s life—funny, strange, or sad—that draw from elements of our personal experiences. Amy will lead conversations about the histories that have formed patterns of Chinese migration, and workshop participants will learn tips on how to structure and build vivid stories. No formal storytelling or writing experience, nor any knowledge of British history, is required. 

Following the workshop, Amy will produce a publication about “Looty” with Eastside Projects as part of the Commonwealth Games’ Birmingham 2022 Festival. The publication will be distributed across the city as part of Amy’s project that connects Birmingham to the histories of the Commonwealth. It will launch with a live event / public performance in the summer of 2022. 


Workshops will tentatively take place on Sunday afternoons online (over Zoom), starting at 4pm (GMT) for 1.5 hours. Based on participants’ availability, the dates may shift. 

30  January  — 4-5.30pm GMT 

6 February  — 4-5.30pm GMT 

13 February  — 4-5.30pm GMT 

  • All ages are welcome.
  • English and/or Cantonese speakers are welcome. A Cantonese-speaking facilitator will be present along with Amy, who speaks both English and Cantonese.
  • To help create a relaxed environment for sharing stories, there will be a maximum of six participants.
  • Participants will be paid an honorarium of £50 per workshop.

To participate: 

Please send a short expression of interest about why you would like to participate in the workshops, in either English or Cantonese (150 words max). Audio recordings (2 mins max) are also welcome! Please indicate if you will be able to attend all three workshops; priority will be given to those who can complete all three. All interested participants should be of the Chinese diaspora, currently living in the West Midlands. 

Please send your expression of interest, or any questions, to:                        Application deadline: Wednesday 12 January, 5pm GMT 

Applicants will be notified by 19 January. 


Amy Lam is an artist and writer born in Hong Kong, and based in Toronto, Canada. Her work examines colonial legacies as seen through the lenses of the personal and the absurd. She has exhibited projects internationally, including at the 11th Seoul MediaCity Biennale, South Korea and the High Line, New York City. She has a Master’s in Creative Writing from Concordia University. Her first book of poetry is forthcoming in 2023.




加入華裔加拿大藝術家和作家林靜昕(Amy Lam),一齊參與一個與移民和家庭經歷相關的參與式故事敘述研討會。通過三場會議,在林靜昕的指導下,參與者將通過討論和寫作練習,分享他們的個人經歷,以及圍繞一隻名為洛蒂的小狗的歷史故事展開故事敘述。本次活動面向目前居住在西米德蘭茲(West Midlands)的各年齡段的海外華人。



研討會結束後,林靜昕將與Eastside Projects藝術空間出版一本關於「Looty」的出版物,作為2022年英聯邦運動會「伯明翰節」的一部分。該出版物將作為林靜昕將伯明翰與英聯邦歷史聯繫起來的項目的一部分,屆時將在全市分發。出版物將在2022年的夏季以現場活動/公開表演的方式正式發佈。


研討會暫定於週日下午在線(通過 Zoom)舉行,從格林威治標準時間(GMT)下午4點(即美國東部時間上午11點)開始,每次持續1.5小時。日期可能會根據參與者的時間改變。




  • 歡迎所有年齡段的人參與。
  • 歡迎講英語和/或粵語的人參與。屆時一名講廣東話的主持人將會與林靜昕一同出席。
  • 為了營造輕鬆的故事分享環境,每次會議最多只有六名參與者。
  • 每位參與者每參加一次會議將獲得50英鎊的酬勞。


請用英語或粵語(最多150字)提交一份簡短的意向書,說明您想參加本次寫作坊的原因。您也可以選擇提交一份錄音(最多 2 分鐘)。請在你的申請中說明您是否能夠參加所有三次作坊;能完成三次作坊的申請人將給予優先考慮。所有感興趣的申請人都應該是目前居住在西米德蘭茲(West Midlands)的華裔僑民。





林靜昕是一位出生於香港的藝術家和作家,現居加拿大多倫多。她的作品通過個人和荒謬的鏡頭審視了殖民遺產。她曾參與國際性展覽,包括韓國第 11 屆首爾「媒體城市」雙年展和紐約市高線公園。她擁有滿地可康考迪亞大學的創意寫作碩士學位。她的第一本詩集將於2023年出版。