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On the cover
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.


Picture Perfect

Rear-view Mirror

An Epiphany
During my time in Kyiv, Ive noticed that each Ukrainian possesses two personalities. One has the typical local sitting silently on the metro with a disaffected scowl as the token busker reaches for that high note just beyond his vocal range. The other allows that same person to slug back mouthfuls of cognac and exhaust a shockingly large reservoir of curse words toward beloved Dynamo footballers while igniting all manner of small explosives in anger or ecstasy.

Both of these Ukrainians were on full display Thursday, 19 January during the Epiphany celebration    at Hydropark.
Epiphany, or Kreshsnie in Ukrainian, is the day on the Orthodox calendar when God revealed to the masses that Jesus was the true messiah. The celebration last week began with a solemn religious service by the steps of a small church not far from the shashlyk tents. Ukrainians gathered to pray and turn their bottled water into holy water by way of a short blessing. Then things got nutty.
Swarms of locals made their way, in typical Kyiv mob-style, past the fences to the beach for what would be a scene I could have only pictured in a Nat Geo documentary. A friend and I looked on in bewilderment as grown men and women in furry hats stripped down to their underwear (or less) and ran full speed into the icy waters of the Dnipro on what was one of the coldest days yet this winter. They splashed, laughed, screamed and did their best to pretend this ritual was anything less than completely insane.

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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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