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7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope

28 February - 6 March 2014

Ukraine History

A Stronghold of Rulers and Rebels

With the recent death toll jumping to nearly 100 and 1,000 injured, Hrushevskoho Street, one of the strongholds of EuroMaidans three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the countrys stand against government corruption, abuse of power, and the violation of human rights turned from peaceful protest to all-out revolution. Having witnessed much over the years, Hrushevskoho is a street with a history, and not only care of recent days.


Ukraine Today
Acelebrity using their status and intelligence to influence public views and opinion is rarely seen in modern society, even less so in Ukraine. Here, the majority of celebs use their time, effort, and money to enhance or further their career rather than put their name to something that can do good for others. However, as EuroMaidan intensifies, some are making themselves heard and they fall either side of the EuroMaidan divide.
It used to be that when rebellion and revolution occurred, the intellectual, creative, and spiritual elite would be front and centre.


Ukrainian Culture

When Walls Can Talk

People have been writing on walls since the dawn of civilisation, we call it graffiti, and ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Sometimes it is merely the creator wanting to leave his or her mark; sometimes there is an underlying social or political reason. And it is due to the latter that graffiti has exploded across Kyiv in recent months. Anti dictator messages aside, we peel back a few layers of paint to look at graffiti in the city in general.


Kyiv Celebrities
Russian pop singer Anita Tsoy, she of the exotic Asian looks and stellar voice, has long been a shining star in the firmament of the post-Soviet music scene. (And no, shes not related to the legendary late Russian rock singer Viktor Tsoy, though she doesnt mind if you ask.) Here in Kyiv to play Palace Ukraine on 24 November, she took time out of her busy schedule to talk to Whats On.
Tsoy is currently on tour in support of her new album To the East, which is also the name of her new show programme. The tour is also dedicated to celebrating Tsoys 10 years as a performer. The new programme features a bunch of songs that long ago endeared themselves to her fans, including The Absolute Game, Lover, Panorama, La-La-Lay and the new albums title track, as well as Nebo (Heaven), another song off the new disc.

Is there anybody who hasnt heard of Yuriy Makarov, one of Ukraines most eminent residents? This journalist, TV critic and host, writer and editor-in-chief of Ukrainian Week took time from his packed schedule to meet Whats Ons Ksenia Karpenko in a coffee shop in Podil and tell her about his life, work and ambitions.
Having parked his Volkswagen Polo nearby, Yuriy Makarov, dressed casually, sparks a cigarette and says to me, The main thing for me during the financial crisis is to keep my team of subordinates at Ukrainian Week in high spirits. I know that some minor editions are being closed right now. As for me personally, if before the crisis I went with my wife to restaurants every other day, now I go out once a week. Also I was thinking about going to France, but now I realise it would be a rather tricky thing financially. So Ill make it through the financial crisis, even though Im down to one job from two.

In a Slavic pop scene that tosses out a new sexed-up girl band every couple of months, the most recent queens of the genre are the two young ladies who comprise the duet Nikita, the latest project from mega-producer and impressario Yuriy Nikitin. Dashas and Yulias lithe, semi-nude bodies are plastered on posters all over Kyiv, Dasha herself is completely nude in all sorts of publications, and their revealing videos are in heavy rotation. What gives?
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Theres hardly anyone interested in comedy around here who hasnt heard of Dima Tsarenko. A plastic surgeon by education, marketing expert by calling and currently chief executive officer of Comedy Club Productions UA, Dima tells Whats On about whats new in CC life, his competition and his co-workers.
I like your magazine, especially the escort pages. Sometimes they really help, Dmitry Tsarenko jokes, true to the mordant style of the Comedy Club UA troupe, of which he is chief executive officer. Hes agreed to meet me at the restaurant Belvedere, downtown. Even though he never performs himself, the comedians he manages respect his quick wit. When he attends their performances at Arena, says Dima, the guys from CC UA or Moscow never joke with me from the stage, as they know I can reply quicker than anyone.

When you think about journalism here in Ukraine, one name that stands out from the crowd is Mykola Veresen whos been doing the job since 1989. Having worked for the BBC, hosted numerous TV talk shows and current affairs programmes, and he was news anchor on Channel 5 during the orange revolution. We caught up with him recently to get his views on journalism in Ukraine and why its so important for him to stay here rather than seeking more money elsewhere.

DJ Move has been in the club game for 10 years by now, having founded the Open Air Villa party series and created the KISS FM programmes Pearly Voices and Settings. Hes also the co-founder of Xlib, the capitals only true alternative nightclubs. Whats On never misses a chance to talk to an interesting Kyivan and theres no doubt that DJ Move is one.
DJ Move isnt an easy person to catch up with. As a night person, he wakes up late every day. I met with him at about five in the afternoon at Marakesh, one of his favourite restaurants. Just the previous weekend Move had celebrated his birthday at Xlib, which he co-owns, and it was a real Xlib party and local nightlife aficionados will know what that means.

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Esthetic Education frontman Louis Franck is one of the most interesting people on Ukraines rock scene. A man of the world, hes in Ukraine much of the time doing the thing he loves most of all music. As he came off a recent performance as his musical alter ego Johnny Bardo, he talked to Viktoria Vasilchenko about crafty Ukrainians, the local scene, and more.
I met with Louis in the morning at one of the citys Double Coffees on Mikhailivska and found him in a good mood, smiling and full of energy. He was in the middle of breakfast, but that didnt stop us from having a very interesting conversation about Ukraine, its chances on the international scene, Russias influence, the local mentality, and lots more. Two hours later I walked out thinking Id just met one of the smartest, coolest people in Kyiv a real antidote to the typical local VIP mentality.

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Sean Carr, frontman with local rock band Death Valley Screamers (or DVS as they are more commonly known) is a very busy man these days. Having been playing loads of gigs in Kyiv, and in Kharkiv and Odessa, hes currently in Britain making an album with no less than Sir Paul McCartney and upon his return hes off to Moscow to open for Slash, then to Egypt to perform at the Hard Rock Cafe and he also has plans to open a recording studio and restaurant here in Kyiv. On top of all that hes turning 40. We caught up with him before he headed to the UK to find out what its all about.

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Shes not only one of Ukraines most popular singers but also an act with exposure in Europe and now in the United States thanks to her new collaboration with Grammy-winning hip-hop/rnb star T-Pain. And thats not all, as this energetic celeb is also involved with humanitarian work and spreading Ukraines image abroad.

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Karin MMG model agency head Vlada Litovchenko is far from your typical socialite and celebrity. The feline-eyed beauty is currently a student at Kyivs Diplomatic Academy, where she bones up on political science, constitutional law, and other weighty matters. Whats On caught up with her to find out what its all about.

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Ukraine Truth
Rights We Didnt Know We Had

Throughout EuroMaidan much has been made of Ukrainians making a stand for their rights. What exactly those rights are were never clearly defined. Ukraine ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1952. The first article of the Declaration states all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The ousted and overthrown Ukrainian government showed to the world they dont understand the meaning of these words.

Kyiv Culture

Pulling Strings
Located on Hrushevskoho Street the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades childrens favourite the Academic Puppet Theatre had to shut down in February. Nevertheless, it is getting ready to reopen this March with a renewed repertoire to bring some laughter back to a scene of tragedy. Operating (not manipulating) puppets is a subtle art that can make kids laugh and adults cry. Whats On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.


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