The Solidarity Tablecloth project was Squash’s joyful contribution to the Eurovision Song Contest that took place in Liverpool in May 2023. This participatory project of unity, standing in solidarity with Ukrainian people, was part of Eurostreet: Culture Liverpool’s unique education & communities programme, to celebrate all things Eurovision.
Throughout the project, artist Tabitha Moses led creative workshops and sessions during the banquets* exploring symbols of solidarity, unity and support. These ideas and artworks have informed a collaborative embroidery legacy artwork; the Solidarity Tablecloth, sewn by many hands of stitchers from across the city.
The Solidarity Disco *Banquets were super-friendly and fun gatherings, full of music, singing, cooking, disco-dancing and eating, and took place in the week leading up to the Eurovision song contest at venues across Liverpool inc. LISTER STEPS AT THE OLD LIBRARY, LIVERPOOL LIGHTHOUSE, THE ASSOCIATION OF UKRAINIANS & AT SQUASH.
The Squash team took the wealth and energy of Eurovision into communities. Disco tunes, beautifully curated by DJ Lady Spice, filled the air as visitors were invited to ‘dance while you cook’, having a boogie whilst cooking delicious dishes alongside Ukrainian cook Olha Dudarchuk & Squash cooks. Together we cooked Ukrainian foods; delectable varenyky dumplings & borscht plus hearty scouse, and Windsor Street-grown rhubarb cake, and then we all came together to share in the wonderful co-created banquets!
Also in the music mix there was wonderful singing, lead by Ukrainian Rock Choir leader, vocal coach & singer/songwriter Christina Dmytryk & award winning composer & manager of the vocal ensemble, Sense of Sound Singers Jennifer John, with extra vocals from Hope Street Harmonies choir.
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 were such a joy to take part in and the Squash team of artists and cooks felt so honoured to meet and cook, sing, dance & eat with so many people across the city.
The legacy solidarity tablecloth artwork is an enduring demonstration of the welcome and support that Liverpudulians have shown Ukrainians arriving to the region and will also share a universal message of solidarity. Beautifully crafted by many hands, it is an illustration of people working together and standing side by side with those facing oppression.’
Solidarity Disco Banquets was part of EuroStreet, a unique educational programme curated for schools + non-school educational settings, to celebrate all things #Eurovision. Everyone’s invited to get involved. A mixture of events + resources find out more here.