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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.


Active Kyiv

Skin Deep

The spread of the art of tattooing is the result of the cultural collision of two civilisations in the 18th century. Tattooing was one of the wealth of discoveries made by explorer Captain James Cook, who brought it from Tahiti and New Zealand to popularise it in Europe. From a tribal rite of passage, to the domain of sailors like Cook, to outcasts like bikers and prisoners, to the mainstream tattoos bear testament to a need for individual expression that, literally, gets under many peoples skin.

 In Kyiv, the numbers of people casting off the uniformity of the Soviets and bearing etchings on their skin is on the rise. For those that take the step to be inked, their dreams of having a tattoo may have been harboured for decades or simply comes to them in a moment of spontaneity. Whichever way the decision is reached, next comes settling on the design and placement on the body, when thats settled, everything seems A-okay, right? Well, that assurance can fade away quickly when the buzzing of the tattooists needle comes into play. This was the case for Brent Kosteniuk, a Canadian with Ukrainian roots, who decided to fulfil his dream of having a trident on his right calf. Whats On tags along to live a vicarious tattoo experience.

Years Of Waiting
Kosteniuk is about to go under the needle for a three-hour procedure. However, these three hours are nothing compared to the years that have gone into the planning. He first drew a sketch of a Ukrainian trident or tryzub when he was 14 and had even mustered the courage to have it done before fear overtook him. Six years on he has more confidence, saying the symbol is a part of his cultural heritage and therefore means a lot to him.
Despite his large degree of planning he has chosen this particular tattoo studio by chance. As Kosteniuk tells it, he and friend Vince were taking a walk in the city when they met a couple of girls sporting tattoos. Enquiring where they had it done, the girls suggested Tattoo 3000 on Sophiivska Street. Following that advice, Kosteniuks dream is soon to be etched into his skin.
The tattooist works quickly and promises the design can be completed in three hours, which is fast considering the design will cover about 10 square centimetres of flesh. Half an hour later the design has been reproduced on tattoo transfer paper, Kosteniuks leg is shaved and treated with antiseptic before he is led in a room and told to lie on a bench. A large mirror on the wall allows the person to watch the process and, alternatively, there are hundreds of sketches hanging on the wall to divert from any needle-associated pain.
Kosteniuk is nervous at this point and admits he wants to puke, but this is tempered with excitement especially when he sees the design redrawn on his leg with black marker. The sketch involves interlocking elements as well as shading that adds dimension and looks very cool. The tattooist sets down a special anaesthetic cream on the table near his chair, along with tiny jars with ink, checks his tattoo machine is working properly, and then takes a new needle. He then tells Kosteniuk not to worry and to relax. Unfortunately, these soothing noises have the opposite effect and Kosteniuk begins to worry, his confidence starts to falter. But theres no going back.

The First Pierce
The tattooist dips the needle into the ink and starts inking in the outline of the tattoo from the base of the design moving up to the back of the knee or what could be described as the knee pit. Kosteniuk initially describes the sensation as similar to the pins and needles you get after sitting too long on your leg or arm a little unpleasant but tolerable. He quickly changes his tune when the tattoo artist reaches a very painful area on top of the design. Kosteniuks face reddens and the plastic bottle he has with him suddenly doubles as a bit when he bites down on it as hard as he can.
Two hours in and the ordeal is beginning to tax Kosteniuk, he asks for a break to stretch his leg. The tattooist agrees and Kosteniuk takes the opportunity to question him about his own tats, of which he has many. The line of questioning is simple: how did he bear the pain. In his easy English the tattooist replies: Im Ukrainian! and laughs out loud. It is a brief moment of levity that helps steel Kosteniuk for the finish line. A few moments later the outline is completed and shading is about to begin.
The tattooist explains that shading is not as painful as the outlining if done on a different day, but Kosteniuk wants his tattoo to be completed today. The shading is a much faster procedure than outlining, but speed does not translate as less painful. It is written on Kosteniuks face and we do not speak again until after the tattoo is completed.
Pain over, Kosteniuk is like a child at Christmas, unable to hide his happiness at having endured the needle to become the owner of his first tattoo. The tattooist gives Kosteniuk a special cream, wraps his leg in plastic film to protect it from dirt and aid healing and asks him to come back in a couple of weeks for any corrections to be made that service is included in the price of the tattoo and also allows the tattooist to ensure his handiwork is as good as it can be. Theres a generally held notion that tattoos are addictive and looking at Kosteniuk Im pretty sure his tryzub may not be the last time he goes under the needle.

Kyiv Tattoo Parlours
Tattoo 3000, Sophievska 18, 279-6786
Alliance Tattoo, Kovpaka 17, 232-8661
Glazur Tattoo Studio, Litnya 25, 353-4440

by Vadym Miskoriz

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Comments (2)
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RomschMoorb | 02.08.2017 17:31

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?????? ??? ??????????? ???????? ??? ????????? ????????, ????? ??? ???????? ?????? ??????????? ???????? ?????????, ? ??? ????????? ??????? ??????????? ??????? ?????? ? ???????? ????? ?????? ???????? ???????? ?? ??????? ?????? ? ???????. ?????? ??????????? ???????????????? ??????????? Centurion ? ???????? ??? ????? ???????????? ????????????.

Asenathi | 05.04.2014 20:31

They\'ve done some remodeling at the airoprt, and it\'s catching up to usual Western standards. They\'ve moved security checkpoints to what I thought was an unusual place right before you board your flight. I\'m used to customs after ticketing when you enter the duty-free area (which is where it was a year ago). Now its right before you walk onto the plane. I was at the point where I was wondering if they forgot about security altogether. As for customs, they now have a green zone where if you have nothing to declare you don\'t talk to anyone. So, it\'s a stamp in your passport and of you go!

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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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