Eurovision cultural festival commissions revealed
A Blue and Yellow Submarine parade, concurrent raves across two countries, an epic outdoor opera and a poignant cinematic railway journey installation are among the special EuroFest commissions revealed today.
More than 700 people and organisations responded to a call out for cultural commissions to form part of the wider two-week festival taking place around Liverpool’s hosting of Eurovision this May, with 50 applications shortlisted.
Now organisers Culture Liverpool have unveiled 24 successful commissions, 19 of which are collaborations between UK and Ukrainian artists.
They include The Kazimier’s Blue and Yellow Submarine Parade, a giant outdoor underwater sea disco which will involve UK and Ukrainian designers, musicians and community groups; a joyful and epic outdoor music performance as English National Opera Does Eurovision, and Rave Ukraine – a collaboration between Jez Collins, UAME I Music Saves UA and Open Culture - featuring concurrent events in Liverpool and Kyiv.
Meanwhile Ukrainian artist Katya Buchatska will transform Liverpool Cathedral into a train carriage replicating the 730-mile journey from the eastern Ukrainian city of Izyum to the border with Poland. Filmed in real time, it offers an extraordinary window into the landscape of Ukraine as it is today and also serves as a reminder of the spirit and resilience of the Ukrainian people.
The artist says: “Izyum to Liverpool is about the fragility of our environment, our lives and of the landscape surrounding us. It’s about the loss of certainties, of home, without knowing if you will ever be able to return. It’s a one-way journey. It provokes a shift in the state of mind.
“Even if you are farther away from the front line, and in a safer environment, this feeling of loss and uncertainty stays with you."
Liverpool Cathedral will host artist Katya Buchatska's Izyum to Liverpool as part of EuroFest.
The other commissions are from - Amigo & Amigo, Svitlana Reinish, Anton Dehtiarov, M3 Industries, Black_Box; Artists on the Front Line and Parade-Fest; BBC Storyville Live; Black Gold Arts, First Take, Homotopia, Hackney Showroom and RubyLemon; Bluecoat and The Jam Factory, Lviv; Go Fly Your Kite and the Junior Academy of Science, Kyiv; Invisible Wind Factory; Jamala; Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and Sheep Soup; Port and Katya Taylor; Natalie McCool, Stealing Sheep, Krapka, KOMA and Helleroid; National Museums Liverpool; Northern Town and Jennifer Jean-Charles & Associates; Open Eye Gallery; The Reading Agency and BBC Arts; Slukh Media, Sonia Chapman and Perfectionist London; Tate Liverpool; Unity Theatre and Yurii Radionov, and Whispered Tales and Denys Kashchei.
EuroFest has been made possible thanks to support from the DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport).
Claire McColgan, Director of Culture Liverpool, said: “A programme like this with its complexities and depth would take at least a year in development. A huge amount of credit needs to be given to the artists from the UK and Ukraine who understand the speed at which we are working and have opened their hearts and minds to create something truly brilliant.
“Even in these early planning stages the positive response has been overwhelming and incredibly exciting – and of course with a project of this size and scale there will be some unexpected twists along the way, but we have to remember this is Eurovision – so anything can happen!”
And Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson added: “The planned projects are joyful, hopeful, ambitious and moving - as you would expect from the unique circumstances in which we're hosting this event. Once again, Liverpool is using its incredible creative credentials to tell a story, and in doing so, engage a wide audience in a narrative that impacts us all."
The Eurovision final takes place at the arena on Saturday, May 13 with two semi-finals on May 9 and 11.
EuroFest runs from May 1-14.