|On the cover|
Tunnelling Towards Hope
|28 February - 6 March 2014|
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.
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.
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.
Five Reasons to Love Tatariv
Ukrainian rock singer Alyona Vinnitskaya’s favourite place in Ukraine for relaxation is the small Carpathian village of Tatariv in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast. The peaceful landscapes, cuisine and traditions of the area are close to her heart, and it is these that make her favour the place over all other holiday destinations in the country. This week she wants to tell everyone what is so special about this little town nestling in the Carpathian Mountains.
1. Ukrainian Christmas is Best Here
The Carpathians have always been known as the place where the people maintain a strong sense of custom and tradition. I visited Tatariv for the first time three years ago and instantly fell in love with it. The date, 29 February, is marked in my memory because it was the first time I had ever been to the Carpathian Mountains. Since then I have been back many times, the most memorable visit being on Christmas Eve. It was like a fairytale with everyone dressed in bright costumes and singing carols. It was the best Christmas I’ve ever had. I came again to Tatariv in the summer and found it full of completely different emotions, and it had a wonderful little bazaar where all sorts of different handicrafts were on sale. I can’t help but mention the dialect spoken in the area because it is very different from other versions of Ukrainian I have heard, and it is beautiful to hear.
2. Carpathian ‘Kalyby’ Preserve Traditions
‘Kalyby’ are the little wooden cafes and restaurants you will find all over the Carpathian Mountains, and they are wonderful little places which preserve not only traditions on food and drink, but also in the wonderful hospitality our country is so famous for. The cuisine in the region is very special, and cannot really be compared to that of any other region of Ukraine, even when it comes to borsch. The dishes here always contain white mushrooms called ceps, and the land is so plentiful with them that gatherers come from all over Ukraine when they are in season. Winter is a wonderful time to sample the local cuisine here because it will always be accompanied by the best mulled wine you’ve ever tasted!
3. The People!
On our way here one time, we were driving a little fast along a very bad road when our car went into a ditch and turned over. Moments later another car screeched to a halt alongside and a group of young men from Ivano-Frankivsk came to our rescue. They helped get us out of the car then drove us to the nearest house where out minor injuries were lovingly attended too. Nobody was seriously hurt, but the experience showed us how eager people are here to lend a helping hand. I have to say that the people of Tatariv are the friendliest, kindest and most openhearted I have ever met.
4. Tatariv is for the whole year, not just summer!
Tatariv, being close to the ski resort Bukovel, is mostly known as a winter destination, and it was certainly for this reason I first came to the place. I loved that first visit so much I now come here every year in winter, but I never thought it would be a place for the summer. There is a belief here, however, that the Carpathian Mountains provide people with a warm and life-enhancing energy, and once you have been here you will believe it for yourself. And it is here all year long! When I came to Tatariv in the summer I loved it even more, because it is so beautiful and there are so many things to do. My favourite thing to do here in the summer is go horse riding, which is just a wonderful experience. It is true that the infrastructure here is underdeveloped, but that shouldn’t put people off coming as it is peaceful and exciting all at the same time. It might not be very glamourous but there is always something happening all year round. For example, last time I was here they were racing lorries across the highlands, through the bogs and rivers, and it was very exciting to watch.
5. A Land of Peace and Contemplation
Being in Tatariv always leads me to think philosophically about life, and to re-evaluate things. I don’t know why, but I always feel very spiritual here. The nature is very powerful and the mountains have a memory of eons. All you need to do is spend a few hours here alone and you will automatically become wiser. It is a place of great inspiration for me and my songwriting. Of course, you can write songs anywhere, but I always find it a lot easier to write here because I am inspired so much by the place. This is a place where you can watch the snow sparkle, and bathe under the warming rays of the sun. The winters are just perfect, and even in summer I prefer Tatariv to Crimea because it is quiet and peaceful, and my soul always gets well rested.
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|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|
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.