Youngsters unite for Eurovision kite-flying display in New Brighton

Children from across Liverpool City Region will unite with youngsters in Ukraine in a poignant kite-flying display, representing their soaring dreams and shared aspirations.

On Friday 5 May, as part of Liverpool’s Eurovision host city programme, 450 primary school pupils will gather on The Tower Ground, New Brighton, to fly a kite at exactly the same time as 450 children in four Ukrainian cities – Kyiv, Lviv, Khmelnytskyi, and Poltava. These cities have been chosen as when connected, they form a rhombus shape on the map, reminiscent of a kite.

In this moving project which is called Land & Sky, Home & Dreams, each pupil has designed their own flag during dedicated workshops, using their artwork to showcase what their hopes are for their future.

And although all 900 youngsters are working together on this powerful shared artwork, there will be subtle, impactful differences in the flying itself.

In Ukraine, not all 450 children can gather in the same location in case at any point they need to find safety in an underground shelter – as a result the children will be located in four regions across the country. Also, the kite strings in Ukraine are ten metres shorter than in Liverpool so that the kites do not enter the no-fly zone.

The Liverpool City Region schools taking part are:

  • Emmaus Church of England & Catholic Primary School, Croxteth
  • St Paul’s Catholic Primary School, West Derby
  • Matthew Arnold Primary School, Dingle
  • Childwall Church of England Primary School, Childwall
  • St Michael’s in the Hamlet Primary School
  • Woodlands Primary School, Formby
  • Woolton Primary School, Woolton

In Ukraine, the workshops have been facilitated by the Junior Academy of Sciences. The schools taking part are:

  • Taras Shevchenko No. 112, Kiev
  • European Collegium, Kiev
  • 3D school, Lviv
  • Poltava Gymnasium No. 25, Poltava
  • Volodymyr Krasytskyi Khmelnytskyi Gymnasium No. 1, Khmelnytskyi
  • Primary school No. 1 of the Khmelnytsky City Council, Khmelnytskyi

Land & Sky, Home & Dreams forms part of the EuroFestival strand of Liverpool’s host city offer which see 24 commissions – 19 of which are co-productions between UK and Ukrainian organisations – take over the city and promise to be thought-provoking, evocative, fun, joyful, moving and hopeful.

This particular project has been made possible thanks to the support of Spirit of 2012, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Ukrainian Institute. It is being delivered by Go Fly Your Kite – a family-run business based in Northern Ireland which specialises in delivering art kite workshops and projects linked to developing science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills in children and adults across Europe.

Please note this event is not open to the public and is also weather-dependent. The decision to go ahead with the kite-flying will be made on the day itself.

Director of Culture Liverpool, Claire McColgan CBE, said, “At its essence this is such a simple idea, but when it’s delivered it will be incredibly powerful and the synchronicity with Ukraine will really resonate.

“It really is a project that emits a real rollercoaster of emotions – you have the joy and the hope of these young people both in UK and Ukraine flying kites which symbolise the future, their dreams and ambitions.

“We’re so pleased Go Fly Your Kite applied to be part of EuroFestival – their creativity and expertise adds yet another dimension to what I’m sure is going to be one of the most memorable host city programmes ever to be curated.”

Glenn Heasley from Go Fly Your Kite, said, “This unique project allows us to reach out to young people from the Liverpool City Region and across Ukraine designing, building and finally simultaneously flying their kites on Friday, May 5 in a much-needed celebration for children during such a difficult time in Ukraine.

“The opportunity will cement the grit and determination shared amongst children impacted by the conflict in Ukraine, filling the skies with colourful, powerful messages of resilience and aspiration.”

Viktoriia Pokatilova, Ukraine’s Junior Academy of Sciences Project Manager, said, “In times of full-scale war in Ukraine, despite air raids and daily dangers, Ukrainian children – the generation that will build the future of Ukraine and glorify their homeland – do not stop making wishes and believing in their realization. The idea of the project is to understand what Ukrainian children dream about and show it to the world, along with their peers from the UK who are so supportive of them.

“Ukrainian and Liverpool City Region schoolchildren will hold their dreams – drawn on kites in the air – by symbolic threads. This is a sign of the connection between them – the young generations of Ukraine and the UK – and their unity to make their dreams come true.”

Eurovision Minister Stuart Andrew, said, “Ukrainians have shown incredible resilience and bravery in the face of Russia’s attack on their country.

“As schoolchildren in Liverpool unite with schoolchildren across Ukraine, this poignant display of kite-flying shows the UK’s solidarity with the people of Ukraine and represents young people’s soaring dreams and shared aspirations.”

Image: Liverpool City Council

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