“Ode to Mo” By Musa Okwonga – A Film Celebrating Liverpool Footballer, Mo Salah
To coincide with the Champions League Final between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid on Saturday 26 May the Rapid Response Unit commissioned poet Musa Okwonga and artist Guy McKinley to create new works about Egyptian International and Liverpool striker Mo Salah.
26th May 18
Mo Salah has become a cultural icon transcending sport and cultures.
He was initially taken to heart by fans of Liverpool FC because of his astonishing tally of goals. The chants of “If he scores another few I’ll be muslim too” and “He’s sitting in the mosque that’s where I want to be” went viral on social media channels globally.
But beyond the football pitch Mo Salah has come to represent a positive, friendly, polite, approachable alternative image of muslim masculinity at a time when young bearded muslim men have become subject to much suspicion and hostility.
Musa Okwonga’s ‘Ode To Mo’ poem celebrated all that Salah has come to represent as he was about to play in the biggest game in European Club football in front of a global audience of billions having just received the coveted Golden Boot Award.
The Rapid Response Unit with Alex Makes Films created a minute long film with Liverpudlians of varying ages and professions each delivering a line of the poem across city centre locations. The film was played at screenings of the live match at several venues in Liverpool and on the large screen outside Lime Street station.
Following a broadcast feature on the BBC millions have subsequently seen the film and hundreds of thousands have shared it via social media.