|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.
|What's On Archive ¹ 18|
18 May - 24 May Bloom Town!
High Season at the Botanical Gardens as Kyiv Blossoms
Going Out Chef’s Corner
Just a Minute
On the Sofa with...
|From THE EDITOR - Editorial|
Verka was robbed! The whole nation was cheated! This year's Eurovision Song Contest sadly fell victim to Balkanisation, with the many splinter states of the former Yugoslavia offering olive branches to neighbouring Serbia in the form of twelve-point gifts, leaving the splendid Ukrainian entry languishing in second place. It was a victory for politicised pop, a defeat for classic kitsch. This was undoubtedly a shame for Ukraine in terms of the country's rising international profile, which could no doubt have used the headlines another Eurovision win would have guaranteed, but once the dust has settled on yet another Eurovision voting debacle there is little doubt that Ver-ka's heroics have done wonders for the nation's popular image. While many entries chose to sing about world peace or offer politically correct messages on everything from xenophobia to AIDS awareness, only Ukraine's entry got to the very essence of Eurovision, which ultimately is all about having a good laugh. As a piece of performance art Verka's garbled use of four languages plus her silver dancers, silly lyrics and infectious beat was altogether arguably the most quintessential^ Euro-vision composition of all time, and while it is a travesty that this brilliant effort did not bring the trophy home for the second time in four years, it at least left the impression of a witty, good humoured nation at ease with itself. While many emerging East European countries seem to take Eurovision far too seriously, sending their top pop performers to wow the audience with slick and soulless productions, Ukraine got it just right and had a whole lot of fun in the process. The end result is that Verka can now be added to the ever-expanding list of things foreigners tend to know about Ukraine. A few years ago this would have been limited to Chernobyl, Dynamo and Chicken Kiev, but now Verka will be up there with the likes of Princess Yulia, President Yushchenko, the Klitschko brothers and Andriy Shevchenko, which is progress indeed and in itself something of a 'Happy End'. Cheers, Peter Dickinson, Editor
|Europe Day Postponed - Whats Up?|
The presence of political protesters on the streets of Kyiv was cited by EU officials last week as it was announced that the planned Europe Days cel− ebrations, scheduled to take place this weekend, have been postponed until further notice. The announcement included praise for the restraint and good sense demonstrated by the Ukrainian people throughout the ‘momentous political events’ of recent years, but went on to state that the European Commission in Kyiv had taken the decision to postpone the festivities as it was unable to wait until the last minute to see if the holiday would coincide with mass demonstrations. Supporters of the gov− erning coalition have taken to the streets and set up protest camps since President Yushchenko dissolved parliament on 2 April and called for new elections following a string of defections from opposition MPs amid suspi− cions of massive bribery and backsliding on the democratic gains of the Orange Revolution. Plans to hold Europe Day celebrations in Kyiv remain in place once the political situation has stabilised, and Europe Day events will be held elsewhere in Ukraine in line with existing plans.
|Russia’s Eurovision Material Girls - Whats Up?|
The lyrics to Russia’s Eurovision entry did little to counter the coun− try’s reputation for producing gold−digging opportunist females as the three−piece group ‘Serebro’ (Silver) sang about exploiting poten− tial suitors for financial gain. ‘Oh, don’t call me funny bunny. I’ll blow all your money, money,’ ran the lyrics to their song, which finished in a credible third place thanks largely to some suspiciously high scores from former Soviet republics keen to demonstrate their lack of Russophobia in a display of partisan voting in the best traditions of Eurovision politics.
|Bush Praises Ukrainian Democracy - Whats Up?|
In a speech to mark the 400th anniversary of the founding of James− town US President George Bush found time to praise the progress made in Ukraine’s fledgling democracy, but the effect was some− what diluted by references to Iraq and Afghanistan in the same sentence. “The advance of freedom is the great story of our time, and new chapters are written every day,” the US head of state was quoted in the Washington Post as saying, before going on to men− tion Ukraine alongside Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq. The 400th anniversary memorial events have been the subject of much controversy due to the decimation of the native Indian population caused by the arrival of the English settler com− munities in 1607 and the legacy of African slavery that they brought to the Americas in general and Virginia in particular. Jamestown is named after England’s King James I of the King James Bible fame.
|Yulia Assassination Planned? - Whats Up?|
A senior representative of the Presidential Secretariat announced last week that plots had been uncovered to assassinate opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko and Head of the Presidential Secretariat Viktor Baloha. The plots were attributed to backers of the govern− ing coalition, which has long been accused by opposition forces of harbouring ties to organised crime and is led by two−time convict Viktor Yanukovich. There have been numerous claims over the past month of political instability that coalition forces plan to organise violent provocations using criminal elements, but any such attempts have failed to materialise.
|Janna Arendar Kyiv Girl Flying High - My Kyiv|
Janna Arendar is a cosmopolitan lady with a good sense of humour who works as a flight attendant with Ukrainian International Airlines. What’s On journalist Cosmos Okigbo Ojukwu met with the young jetsetter to talk about her love of Kyiv, her job, and her plans for the future.
|Kyiv Nightlife Laid Bare - Kyiv Arts|
What’s On photographer Maria Bykova has been covering the hottest par− ties in the Ukrainian capital for the past five years, and has shot literally tens of thousands of memorable photos that for one reason or another have not made it into the magazine, so as part of the on−going Photo Biennale this resourceful paparazzi specialist decided to make a selection of the brightest and the best of her unpublished work available for public display. Maria’s eye for the sexy, lurid and downright outrageous makes hers a per− spective that will offer an eye on contemporary Kyiv high society and low life excesses for generations to come. Catch this must−see exhibition this week in the Ukrainian capital.
|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.