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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.


What's On Archive ¹ 22 (2008)

¹22 (2008)/2008
13 June - 19 June
Are you going to go my way?
Fly away with American guitar hero Lenny Kravitz

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From the Editor (?22) - Editorial
I suppose we should think ourselves lucky that Ukraine’s had a working if somewhat inadequate government for almost six months, but it looks like it’s over as two members of the ruling coalition upped and left, as sadly tends to happen here on a regular basis. The result of this move by these lawmakers – one from BYuT and the other from OU-PSD – is that the coalition now has 225 seats, exactly one less than is needed for a majority, and this probably means more political turmoil is in store for the country. However, that is by no means clear, as no one actually seems to know what’s going to happen now. Yulia Tymoshenko is of course saying that the coalition can continue to function, but other sources state that a new coalition with a majority must be formed within 30 days or Yushchenko has the right to dissolve parliament… Again! Winston Churchill’s over-used quote, “democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time,” has never been more relevant than here in Ukraine, and for a reason that in this humble man’s opinion is so easy to resolve – leaving the party under which one was elected and joining another should be illegal. I first came across this phenomenon when I was travelling across Canada a few years back. At that time the news was filled with reports of then leading Conservative Belinda Stronach crossing the floor to the Liberals for the promise of a cabinet position, a move that ruined her former party’s chances of ousting their opposition with a planned ‘no confidence’ vote.


Another Donbass Mine Blast - Whats Up?
In the sort of disaster to which it’s too easy to get accustomed in Ukraine, this weekend saw another mine catastrophe in the Donbass. As this issue went to press, 35 miners were still missing, trapped in Donetsk’s Karl Marx coal mine after a gas explosion. The Donbass’ mines are one of the more vexed things in Ukraine today. They’re holdovers not only from the Soviet era, but in many cases from the tsarist era: primitive holes that kill dozens of miners every year.


Goya Show Opens at the Khanenko - Whats Up?
The Khanenko Museum, up there on Tereshchenkivska across the street from Shevchenko Park, will until 31 July host one of the biggest art events of the year: an exhibition of some 160 works by the great Francisco Goya. (This counts as the greatest art event of the last year if you’re one of those rare contrarians who believes that Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and the other hipster international artists who set up shop recently at the PinchukArtCentre for the super-popular ‘Reflection’ show are overpaid media-inflated hacks).


Students Strip Down on Maidan - Whats Up?
In a grassroots civil society initiative we can get behind, dozens of students, almost all of them female, stripped down to their bathing suits and underwear last weekend and jumped into the fountains on Maidan Nezalezhnosti to bathe, complete with washcloths and soap. The point? To protest the beginning of the summer season of hot water turn-offs in Kyiv. The students are particularly peeved that the no-hot-water-period coincides with the university exam season.


Neo-Stalinist Pol Rants Amusingly - Whats Up?
It was just last week in this space that we were calling Rada deputy Nestor Shufrych Ukraine’s funniest politician. We take that back. For some reason Natalia Vitrenko had slipped our mind. In fact, she – the leader of Ukraine’s Progressive Socialist Party and a hardline neo-Soviet who’s earned the nickname ‘the Ukrainian Zhirinovsky’ – is the funniest politician in Ukraine.


Taking the Cure Using Kyiv’s Medical Clinics - Ukraine Today
One of the trends we Ukrainians have recently borrowed from the West is a concern with a healthy lifestyle and an extreme preoccupation with health. Nonetheless, we still haven’t gotten to the point where people are rushing into clinics for another breathless, hypochondriacal check-up.
I don’t know whether it’s a question of the now sky-high prices in the private clinics, a fear of catching a bug in a state facility and getting even sicker, or merely a reluctance to subject yourself to the mercenary attitudes of some private clinic doctors, who are always willing to ‘find’ some more ‘illnesses’ in you that they can expensively ‘cure’.


A Guitar Gently Weeping - This Week
‘Charming Guitar’, Goran Krivokapich in concert, National Philharmonic
(2 Volodymyrsky Uzviz), 14 June at 19.00
The winner of numerous international awards (14 of them, in fact), Montenegran Goran Krivokapich is an acknowledged guitar virtuoso. He’ll perform Bach, Scarlatti, and Haydn, as well as the modern composer Nikita Koshkin. The latter should be interesting, as the guitarist, who now lives in Germany, especially likes playing modern music. For more information call 278-1697.


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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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