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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.


Ukraine Abroad

A Battle of the Beats

The Euro is sinking like a stone, the European UNI0N itself is wobbling like a drunk man sitting on a fence. Still, theres one thing involving Europe that everyone loves Eurovision!
Come the end of spring, the eyes of almost every citizen in the world will be glued to their TV screens as the Semi Finals and Grand Finals of Eurovision 2012 are shown. Being one of the longest-running television broadcasts in the world, Eurovision has become the most respected song contest in Europe.

Since its inception in 1956, the audience has grown from 100 to 600 million people every year. 
Did you know that ABBA and Celine Dions success is due in no small part to their appearances on Eurovision in 1974 and 1988 respectively? In addition to these little known facts, what makes the show so interesting is that you cannot vote for the representative of your own country. The question is then have you already decided which country you will support? Are you partisan irrespective of quality of pop? If not, you still have some time to make your mind up this year as the contest is scheduled for 22 26 May. 
We take a look at a few leading participants seeking your vote: who will be getting the big 12, and who the dreaded nil punkt

This year, Ukraine will be represented by Gaitana, although her candidacy has provoked some unedifying ethnic disputes. Ukraine has been taking part in Eurovision since 2003, when Oleksandr Ponamarev debuted in the contest with his song Hasta la Vista taking 14th place. Next year, Ruslana went quite a bit better and won the contest with her Wild Dances, bringing Eurovision 2004 to Ukraine. Unfortunately, the next years representative, Gryndzholy, ruined Ruslanas marvellous victory with their, quite frankly, abysmal offering sinking to 19th place. A revival of fortunes in 2007 and 2008 saw Verka Serdyuchka and Ani Lorak bringing home the silver. Now its Gaitanas turn to do her best to emulate 2004. With her song Be My Guest, the singer seems to be inviting Europeans to come back to Ukraine next year, lets hope thats a winning formula!

Since 2003, Ukraine has been voting rather a lot for its closest neighbour Russia. This year, the country decided to impress the audience not with pretty boys like 2008 winner Dima Bilan or last years representative Oleskiy Vorobyov, nor with hot chicks like Anastasia Prykhodko or t.A.T.u, not even Russian pop kings and queens such as Alla Pugacheva and Philip Kirkorov. In 2012, Russia will be represented by Buranovskie Babushki (Buranovo Grandmas) a folk band created 40 years ago and who became popular in 2008 for their cover versions of Russian rock songs, sung in the Udmurd dialect. The oldest member of the band is a sprightly 86. Unfortunately, shes not going to Eurovision 2012, stepping (or perhaps shuffling) aside for younger members. The four competing grannies will hope to find your favour with their Party for Everybody. 

Last years winner, Azerbaijan, hosts the contest this year. It will be the 5th time Azerbaijan has taken part in Eurovision, and in its short history the country has managed to achieve a great deal. In 2008, Elnur Hüseynov and Samir Javadzadeh debuted in 8th place. Then the country took 3rd and 5th places in 2009 and 2010, before Ell and Nikki broke through and took top spot last year; Ukraine gave them 10 points in the process, while Turkey and Russia went the whole hog with the maximum 12. In 2012, Sabina Babayeva will represent her country in Baku, trying not to let that famous victory leave the country. The singer had hoped to she would be the Eurovision rep in 2011, but only came third in the process leading up, so this year is her big chance! Sabina has chosen a beautiful song, When the Music Dies the name sounds pessimistic but the song itself is life-affirming stuff! 

Being one of five countries that automatically heads into the Grand Finals each year, Germany has decided to send Roman Lob to sing Standing Still this year. The Germans have been taking part in Eurovision since the beginning in 1956, managing to win the contest twice, in 1982 and 2010 (with the super Satellite by Lena). The odds seem against Germany in 2012, but Lob at least will give it his best shot. His career started back in 2006, when he entered the popular contest Germany Seeking a Superstar, and later joined alternative rock band Rooftop Kingdom. So, hes hot, but perhaps dass ist nicht quite enough this year? 

France has won Eurovision five times all told, they also famously mix up their entries a bit some years going all classical, others all modern/street. Last year they just went plain dreadful. Total merde. This year, the Gallics have gone for a very hot singer, Indonesian Anggun, to represent her new motherland. She has already released 12 albums popular in Europe and her native land. Born in Indonesia, Anggun inherited her beauty and voice from her parents. Now though, her soul is seemingly French. For Baku, she has prepared a pleasing ditty called Echo (You and I), which has already conquered the   French charts.  

United Kingdom
Legendary British pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck, who started his career back in 1956 (coincidentally the first Eurovision year), is going to Baku to fight for the Grand Prize this year. After his application was chosen, Engelbert started working with Grammy award-winning producer Martin Terefe and co-writer Sacha Skarbek, aiming to better Blue last year and Britains slightly patchy record in the competition overall, with his Love Will Set You Free. He was thought to be the oldest singer at the contest at one point, being as hes 76, but Russian Buranovskie Babushki have easily out-aged him. The fact that he was chosen to represent his country at all proves that there is life in the old dog yet. How many votes that gets him remains to be seen, with many countries often choosing to shun Britain on political grounds. Try to listen past the not-really-part-of-Europe part, and hear what Engy has to sing! Maybe this old dog will have his day.

This year, Pastora Soler will be singing the beautiful song Quédate Conmigo in Spanish, mixing flamenco and pop in her performance. This very emotional song, translated as Stay With Me, will definitely touch the hearts of the audience, but will it be enough to win and take the contest to Spain next year? Pastora Soler started singing in her childhood and released her first album at the age of 14. Lets wait and see how this Spanish beauty represents herself in Baku. To be honest, just showing up and keeping her mouth shut would be a considerable improvement on the last two years excruciating offerings from Espanol. 

Italy was one of seven countries that took part in the very first Eurovision. Surprisingly, in 1997 the country took a break and came back only last year, taking second prize at the contest. This can really only have been a sympathy vote as Italy's song was about as enjoyable as driving on a bumpy road in an old Fiat Panda while drinking a warm carbonated beverage. To try and improve on that result, Italy is sending Nina Zilli to Baku. She has prepared a very feminine song called LAmore È Femmina (Love is Female), so all the lady votes will be hers for sure. Together with her band The Jerks, Zilli has released two albums and won a couple of worthy awards, including her recent victory at the San Remo Festival, which was her ticket to the 2012 gig.  

First Semi Final Group (22 May)
Albania: Rona Nishliu Suus
Austria: Trackshittaz  Woki Mit Deim Popo
Belgium: Iris Would You?
Cyprus: Ivi Adamou La La Love
Denmark: Soluna Samay  Shouldve Known Better
Finland: Pernilla Karlsson  Nar Jag Blundar
Greece: Eleftheria Eleftheriou Aphrodisiac
Hungary: Compact Disco  Sound Of Our Hearts
Iceland: Greta Salome & Jonsi  Mundu Eftir Mer
Ireland: Jedward Waterline
Israel: Izabo Time
Latvia: Anmary Beautiful Song
Moldova: Pasha Parfeny Lautar
Montenegro: Rambo Amadeus  Euro Neuro
Romania: Mandinga Zaleilah
Russia: Buranovskie Babushki  Party For Everybody
San Marino: Valentina Monetta  The Social Network Song (Oh Oh-Uh-Oh Oh)

Second Semi Final Group (24 May)
Belarus: Litesound We Are The Heroes
Bosnia & Herzegovina: Maya Sar Korake Ti Znam
Bulgaria: Sofi Marinova Love Unlimited
Croatia: Nina Badric Nebo
Estonia: Ott Lepland Kuula
Macedonia: Kaliopi Crno E Belo
Georgia: Anri Jokhadze Im A Joker
Lithuania: Donny Montell Love Is Blind
Malta: Kurt Calleja This Is The Night
Norway: Tooji Stay
Portugal: Filipa Sousa Vida Minha
Serbia: Zeljko Joksimovic  Nije Ljubav Stvar
Slovakia: Max Jason Mai  Dont Close Your Eyes
Slovenia: Eva Boto Verjamem
Sweden: Loreen Euphoria
Netherlands: Joan Franka You And Me
Turkey: Can Bonomo Love Me Back
Ukraine: Gaitana Be My Guest

Grand Final (26 May)
Azerbaijan: Sabina Babayeva  When the Music Dies
France: Anggun Echo (You And I)
Germany: Roman Lob Standing Still
Italy: Nina Zilli LAmore E Femmina
Spain: Pastora Soler Quedate Conmigo
United Kingdom: Engelbert Humperdinck Love Will Set You Free

Vadym Mishkoriz

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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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