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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.


Kyiv Culture

Treasures In Kyiv

Museums, galleries and exhibition centres become the centre of attention this season with a number of highly unique events taking place. We take in a couple of long-running but worthwhile exhibits recently opened in Kyiv – Titanic: The Exhibition and Mechanics of the Renaissance – and give you a preview of what your next weekend should include.

Titanic: The Exhibition
There is a lot of hype about the world’s first “dream boat” and for good reason: the Titanic comprised of “unimaginable luxuries” at the beginning of the 20th century such as electric lights, heated bedrooms, and all the comforts of the best hotels at the time. What was practically an unsinkable ship, thanks to new, waterproof doors fitted all over the ship, however, proved quite the opposite.
Here in Kyiv until March 2014, Titanic: The Exhibition is well worth the hour-and-a-half it takes to make it from beginning to end. Technically, you could go through the darkened rooms featuring photos of the ship’s makers, its launch, and the various items of clothing, dishes and other paraphernalia found on board in less time, but then you wouldn’t get the whole story as told through your own personal set of headphones in a variety of languages (English, German, Ukrainian, Russian).
In addition to various audio clips of accounts from survivors as well as the reaction of an exuberant crew upon discovery of the enigmatic ship, stories of passengers are also told and accompanying photos and personal items; one of which is the Heart of the Ocean necklace, made forever famous thanks to James Cameron’s film Titanic.
There are also replicas of some of the rooms, including a corridor, which is the only room you are actually allowed to enter, transporting you back to April 1912. In another room, a model of the ship lies in a display case with one its sides removed showcasing the inside of the ship. One of the most hands-on parts of the exhibition, literally, includes a simulated iceberg on which visitors can place their hands and test their willpower against the cold.
Brought to Kyiv by Spain’s Musealia, the same company that brought exhibition Human Bodies last year, the Titanic in various shapes and forms will be here in the capital until March of 2014. Take it in.

Titanic – the exhibition
Exhibition of relics, rescued items and personal artefacts
Until 16 March at 10.00 –21.00 (last admission 20.00)
Tickets: 130 –150hrv (adults), 50hrv (children), 100hrv (students and seniors)
Olympic Stadium (V Vasylkivska 55)

Mechanics Of The Renaissance
Da Vinci’s art of mechanics is what you will find at Kyiv’s Experimentarium: Museum of Popular Science and Technology currently. The Italian polymath, regarded as the epitome of the “Renaissance Man”, is most famous for his paintings such as the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper, but he was also a skilled engineer and inventor.
At the Mechanics of the Renaissance, Da Vinci’s inventive vision has been realised. During a guided tour, curator of the exhibition Olga Chernaia talks through the inventions and encourages you to interact. In Chernaia’s opinion that’s the point of the exhibition. “Here children can operate and understand these mechanisms. It is one thing to learn physics from books, and quite another to see it in action. Many kids are surprised that Leonardo Da Vinci is not only an artist, but also an inventor. They ask where they can read more about his designs.”
Those designs include a device used to move theatre sets still in use today. If you have a car or anything with gears, say “thanks” to Da Vinci who devised angle gears as well as rack and pinion gears; parallel linkage, lubrication systems and bearings. It was Da Vinci who first demonstrated the use of a screw jack for lifting loads, still recognisable as the principle we use today.
Da Vinci also predicted parachuting, although his intention was for safety rather than recreational purposes. Da Vinci’s parachute was triangular and was intended for escaping a building fire. In 2008 his parachute was tested and it was found a person could jump from 600 metres using it. And then there are some mechanisms on display not invented, but improved upon by Da Vinci: the catapult, the crossbar, the hammer and anvil being just a few.
Looking at exhibition visitors Vita and her son Sasha, it is hard to say who is more excited. As Sasha explores the exhibits, Vita comments on how many of the inventions are taken for granted. “It is funny, I have seen it all before, but never thought of the mechanics of any of these things.” Plucky youngster Dasha is firing some shots with a catapult. She looks very skilled: “I throw pillows all the time at my father at home,” she says proudly.
Aside from his inventions, Da Vinci’s famed anatomical study Vitruvian Man features, as does the Mona Lisa herself in the form of a frame to put your face in and become a Da Vinci masterpiece. Find out more about this Renaissance man at the Experimentarium.

Mechanics of the renaissance
Educational exhibition featuring inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci
Until 31 December at 10.00 –18.00
Tickets: 75– 85hrv (adults), 55– 65hrv (children), 60hrv (students)
Experimentarium Museum (Verkhniy Val 2a)

by Lana Nicole and Olga German

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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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