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¹7 (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 EuroMaidan’s three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the country’s 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.


Ukrainian Culture
If you’ve got the time, you can spend all day in front of a computer screen and never run out of topics about which to learn. If you don’t have the time, you can still keep track of global events by keeping up with just a few people in the know. These people are what the world calls bloggers and they’re the fastest route to getting a first-hand feel for what’s going on around the globe.
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Picture this. You enter a Kyiv bar and order a shot of vodka. Just as you’re about to gulp it down the barman snatches it away, puts a single drop of the vodka into a fresh glass and adds water. Still, he doesn’t give you your drink. More water is added to the droplet, until many dilutions later, he presents you with an almost entirely vodka-free snifter – then charges twice the price, on the grounds that it’s far more powerful than “conventional” vodka… What’s On looks into the mitigated world of homeopathy.

One of the youngest recipients of the state-conferred title Merited Artists of Ukraine, 28-year old Vitaliy Kozlovskiy may be adding to his titles with a nomination for the second Yearly Ukrainian National Awards (YUNA) in the Best Singer category. While there is huge competition in the category, with Svytoslav Vakarchuk, Ivan Dorn, Vlad Darwin and Max Barskikh also nominated, Kozlovskiy has every chance of winning. Read on to find out why.
Vitaliy Kozlovskiy had already made some inroads in the world of showbiz when he got his first taste of the big time. However, it was not courtesy of his voice, but his footwork.

Maslyana is like being transported back to pagan roots. Ethnic clothing, songs, dance, food and drink all designed to symbolise the end of the long, cold Ukrainian winter. As with all pagan celebrations, Christianity adopted it, making Maslyana week the last before The Great Fast, a lengthy period of abstention ending with Easter. Modern Ukrainians often skip the fasting part, instead celebrating Maslyana with gusto. Copious amounts of pancakes are synonymous with festivities. However, while pancakes are ubiquitous across the Slavic world, What’s On suggests you embrace some authentic Ukrainian traditions this year.

It has been a fixture on the fashion calendar for 16 years – Ukrainian Fashion Week. Since its inception, it has become recognised as a barometer of the latest trends in the capital Kyiv and wider Ukraine. Anna Bublik has taken her place among the names since 2002 and is one of the most in-demand Ukrainian designers both locally and abroad. What’s On goes inside her show-room to watch fashion week preparations and take a sneak-peek at the designer’s autumn/winter 2013–2014 collection.

Be it Scottish, Irish or American, spelled “Whisky” or “Whiskey”, this amber coloured elixir is known as a standard of good taste whichever country it originates from. It’s hard to find a person who has never had a glass of Scottish Jonnie Walker, Irish Jameson or American Jack Daniel’s on this planet. What’s On takes a tipple.

Book launches are seldom held in diplomatic circles, yet last month, the Embassy of Latvia to the United States presented Lenin’s Harem by William Burton McCormick. Set between 1905 and 1941, the novel looks at the turbulence that embroiled the Baltic State and Russia through the eyes of a Latvian aristocrat who loses everything in the workers’ rebellions of 1905, then becomes caught in World War I, the Bolshevik Revolution and Stalinist purges. McCormick now lives in Ukraine, so What’s On phones him up to chat about the lessons of history and the responsibility as a writer to record them accurately.

There’s something in the water in the southern city of Odesa, and it’s multiplying. Dubbed the “human Barbie” Valeriya Lukianov, who calls herself “Amatue”, has become a viral Internet sensation due to doll-like proportions that make her resemble Mattel’s most famous plaything. Not to be outdone, two more girls have stepped out of her shadow. What’s behind the phenomenon? What’s On goes to Anastasiya Shpagina and Olga Oleynik for some answers...or at least attempts to.

Admittedly, 2012 is going to be a tough act to follow. Ukraine co-hosted the largest sporting event in Eastern Europe since the 1980 Moscow Olympics – UEFA’s European Football Championship, or Euro 2012, the First Kyiv international biennale Arsenale 2012, and welcomed concerts from top international artists such as Madonna who performed in Kyiv in another first. Think it’s hard to imagine what could be on offer this year? Think again. 2013 features a jam-packed schedule of events. Check out our list.

The New Year typically marks the crescendo of the annual hangover season. We greet it with substantial amounts of booze as we raise our glasses and toast to our hopes and dreams for the coming year. If you happen to be ushering in 2013 in Ukraine, you should be up to speed with drinking rituals and traditions in this country – particularly if you imbibe in the potent home-brewed horilka. What’s On gets educational, offering you a crash course in the age-old Ukrainian brew – samohon – how it’s produced...and...how to deal with its consequences!

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Ukraine Truth
Rights We Didn’t 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 don’t 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 – children’s 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. What’s 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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