Ukrainian and Liverpool singers, artists and cooks will come together in a series of Solidarity Disco Banquets in the run up to the Eurovision Song Contest.
Commissioned by Liverpool City Council’s Culture Liverpool as part of the host city’s EuroStreet programme, the Solidarity Disco Banquets are a joyful celebration of unity devised by award-winning arts and community organisation Squash.
Supported with funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Department for Culture, Media & Sport, Spirit of 2012 and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, EuroStreet provides a unique opportunity for communities across the region to get involved, take part, deliver events, and celebrate all things Eurovision.
At the banquets, guests will be invited to cook authentic Ukrainian food such as varenyky (stuffed dumplings) and borscht (beetroot soup) alongside Ukrainian chef Olha Dudarchuk and Squash cooks, before sitting down and enjoying a meal together. Live music will be provided by a choir of local singers lead by Ukrainian singer/songwriter and Rock Choir leader, Christina Dmytryk and composer & Sense of Sound Singers leader Jennifer John, with extra vocals from Hope Street Harmonies choir.
Artist Tabitha Moses will collect messages of solidarity at the banquets, which will inspire embroidery workshops taking place in May and June, resulting in a beautiful collaborative tablecloth, which will be a poignant message of strength and unity.
Squash’s artistic director Clare Owens said:
“We have been very moved by the many expressions of solidarity that have come about through this project, from sharing different cultural foods, to voicing stories of struggle, to trusting in the magic of hospitality. The banquets themselves will be a joy to take part in and we’re so looking forward to meeting and cooking, singing, dancing and eating with many people across the city. We’re also excited to begin work on the legacy solidarity tablecloth, which will be an enduring demonstration of the welcome and support that Liverpudulians have shown Ukrainians arriving in the region and will also share a universal message of solidarity. Beautifully crafted by many hands, it will be an illustration of people working together and standing side by side with those facing oppression.”
Alicia Smith, Manager ofArts, Heritage, Libraries and Participation at Culture Liverpool, said:
“The Solidarity Disco Banquets will harness the power of gathering around a table of food to share stories. As the breadbasket of Europe, we know how important food is to the people of Ukraine so this is a wonderful opportunity to take a culinary journey through the country while making some new friends along the way.
“Food and music are great unifiers, connecting people from different backgrounds and experiences. Chatting over a meal can help bridge cultural divides, bringing different nationalities and generations together. Sharing recipes, cooking and eating together allowing us to connect with one another and develop our understanding of different places, cultures and traditions.”
Squash’s patron, chef and television & radio broadcaster, Andi Oliver said:
“As patron of Squash, I’m really excited for the upcoming Solidarity Disco Banquets. Standing in solidarity with others is at the heart of Squash and we are proud to stand side by side with communities across Liverpool and our Ukrainian friends, sharing good food, song & companionship, during Eurovision and for many years to come.”
The workshops will be taking place at:
Lister Steps at the Old Library in Old Swan on Sunday May 7 between12-3pm
Liverpool Lighthouse in Anfield on Wednesday May 10 between 5-8pm
Squash in Toxteth on Friday May 12 between 6-9pm
Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain in Fairfield on Saturday May 13 between 12-3pm