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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.


On the Sofa with...

The Bandura: Remixed

Whats the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the bandura? An old grey-haired kobzar with a long beard singing Cossack songs? What about a young man with feathered locks playing rock hits, jazz variations, pop melodies and ethno-house? Whatever your preconceptions, Whats On sits down with Yaroslav Djuice, a talented, young bandurist who shatters all the old stereotypes about this ancient Ukrainian instrument with his unique, genre-bending performances.
Constantly challenging the old stereotypes about this folk instrument and his unique repertoire, which blends heavy metal, jazz variations, world pop-hits, classical music and any other genre of music one can imagine, Yaroslav Djuice first emerged on the music scene a few years ago.

Appearing on the Ukraines Got Talent reality TV show, he amazed the jury and the audience with his innovative approach to bandura music. 

My Kind Of Music 
When I ask how he does it, Yaroslav snaps his fingers and says, Like that! Music comes naturally to Yaroslav, who began taking bandura lessons as a teenager. It happened quite by chance, but it was then that my outlook changed. Bandura music has always been very limited, which is something that has always bothered me, so I started experimenting. At one of our year-end concerts, I decided I was going to play a little Metallica on my bandura. The audience went crazy! It was then that I understood there was a demand for my kind of music.
Presenting his musical innovation to a mass audience at Ukraines Got Talent was risky, but Yaroslav insists that he always believed in his idea. The only thing I worried about before the talent show was the technical stuff I wanted to perform as well as humanely possible. As for the idea itself, I never had any doubts!
The experiment paid off. Shpylyasti Kobzari, a band that Yaroslav himself created, has gone on to achieve overwhelming success in Russia. Their performance at one of Russias main talent shows, Minute Of Glory, brought them huge fame and even a little fortune: The band was fast-tracked into the super-final of the shows sixth season, and even won a nomination for one of the best-loved bands on the show. At the super-final show we performed a song from the legendary fairytale Brementown Musicians with two famous Russian actors, translating half of the song into Ukrainian. Can you imagine? The first Ukrainian-language song broadcasted on Russian television? It was amazing! 

Universal, Cool, and Modern 
Often booked to play at corporate parties throughout Russia, Yaroslav has himself become a regional phenomenon, performing all over Ukraine at festivals like Kazantip and Trypilske Kolo. The exceptional Ukrainian bandurist is also courting international fame with performances in Canada, France, Great Britain, and Belorussia. I dont know who signed me up for this mission, says Djuice, but I see my task as bringing bandura to the masses! First I want everyone in Ukraine to know that the bandura is complimentary to every genre of music. Then, Im planning to promote bandura as part of the Ukrainian brand its authentic, universal, cool, and modern! The only musical genre Yaroslav says he would never apply to bandura is blatnjak a genre of music about the hard life of imprisoned criminals.
As for future plans, Djuice is very ambitious. The young musician and composer dreams of featuring the bandura as a solo instrument in a Symphony Orchestra performance of his own music. In the meantime, he has already been involved in a number of very successful projects, one of which has him combining the bandura with DJ sets of house-music. Another fruitful venture saw the young bandurist performing for a Ukrainian yoga gathering: A group of Ukrainian yogis were meditating near Desyatynna Church at sunrise earlier this fall I was asked to perform meditative bandura passages. It was great; I felt as though we were all in a state of nirvana by the end. 
The success of Yaroslav Djuice and his band has already inspired swarms of young boys to enrol in musical schools around the country to learn to play the bandura, and if past experiences are anything to go by, his dreams of making the bandura a recognisable part of Ukraines national brand may well come true before we know it.  

Yaroslav Djuice and Shpylyasti Kobzari
Baboon (S Petlyury 10)
22 September at 20.00 
Tickets are 50hrv

Kateryna Kyselyova

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Comments (1)
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Anya | 18.11.2012 10:53

Comparing Ukraine with Russia it is clear enough that Ukraine's oippsitoon is prosperous. Partly,I can understand GB and its boycotting stance towards Ukraine,but what I really cannot conceive is the way how EU and GB build their policy towards Russia. We must make mention of saying that Russia has more problems with democracy than Ukraine but receives less rude words in answer to what it does. What an explanation of that can be? Power of Russia,gas price,different point of view within EU,especially that Germany's stance? Perhaps you heard of Monday's searchers of Russian oippsitoon leadears and the way they were performed(link below). How do you explain that? But I was unable,maybe you too, to hear GB's and EU's objections being addressed to Russian authorities. Does not it seem to you that it is the very definition of selective justice or,as you answered to me,case-by-case basis which GB and EU perform towards Ukraine? Is it democracy? The Timoshenko's case brought me hope,as for citizen of Ukraine, that at least half of high-profile Ukraine's politicians will be punished for their deliberate misconduct and their particular own interest in ruling by our country. Ukraine holds very shameful place in corruption perception index and this is our main problem. Timoshenko is just a hefty contributor to that index. As a citizen of Ukraine I am quite satisfied that she is in jail but not only she must be there! When she was in power she abused of office,bribed everyone judge to get she wanted,now those judges play against her. She is not angel as she was described in some EU newspapers. Beat corruption,not its consequenses. I am a bit off the trail but EU,USA and GB showed weakness in boycotting Ukraine and keeping silence on Russia. I am putting you in a most awkward position asking for answer on this message and I dont rely on full and clear but just dry answer. Thank you.rt.com/politics/opposition-searches-protest-rally-571/

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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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