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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.


What's On Archive 44 (2007)

44 (2007)/2007
30 November - 6 December

Rock Goddess Ani Lorak
Three simple words Dream about her!

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From THE EDITOR (44) - Editorial

One of the first things I noticed when I arrived in Kyiv for the very first time over 18 months ago, was the fact that culture oozes out of every pore of the place. Taking a walk down Andriivskiy Uzviz with all its art and souvenirs on display had a feeling something similar to strolling around Montmarte in Paris (especially as it was raining that first day), and amongst all the local art I even spotted a couple of Jack Vettriano copies which made me feel very much at home. And in the evening, because it was raining, I got tickets to go and see The Nutcracker' at the National Opera House for only 25hrv, and the following evening, because it was still raining, I went to the Philharmonic who were having an evening of Mozart, and tickets for this were only 20hrv each. Since then I have come to understand that the Ukrainian people are alive with culture, art and philosophy, that it is an intrinsic part of their makeup in the same way beer and pies are for the Scots. The art scene in Kyiv is as alive as an anthill, simply crawling with things to see and do from classical ballet, opera and music, to exemplary and stylish modern dance, and from abstract and obscure art to life enhancing photography. Nearly everyone I meet here has some sort of artistic bent, even if it is simply an interest in some of the wonderful contemporary Ukrainian writers. There seem to be theatres and art galleries everywhere, and everyone, whether theatre director or painter, seems to be more than open to experimentation and pushing back the boundaries. The cynical among us may say something like, "but the production values don't match those of the US or Britain," or, "there may be a whole lot of art around, but it is somewhat lacking in artistic merit," but this seems to me to be missing the point (and at least not even the most self-promoting Ukrainian artist has managed to dupe the public into paying a fortune for half a cow in formaldehyde). The point, as far as I'm concerned, is that art and culture are like the lifeblood of this city, and any city that has that pumping through its veins is alive and kicking. And where's the best place to find out what's going on in Kyiv? What's On, that's where!

Neil Campbell, Editor

World Cup Qualifying Groups Announced - Whats Up?

After a pretty dismal performance in the Euro 2008 qualifiers, Ukraine are out (along with England and Scotland), which leaves them free to start preparing for the World Cup in 2010 which will be hosted by South Africa. Ukraine have been pretty lucky in the draw which matched them with Croatia, England, Belarus, Kazakhstan and the little Pyrenean principality of Andorra in Group 6. Croatia and England will be tough matches, but if Ukraine manages to pull a result out of the bag against these two, then the rest should be fairly easy going, especially little Andorra, which with a population of just over 70,000 is just a little larger than the Faroe Islands which scored exactly 0 points in the Euro 2008 qualifiers. Scotland, having put in one of the best showings in years only just being pipped at the post by Italy in what many claim was a politically refereed game, have also done quite well in the draw sharing Group 9 with the Netherlands, Norway, Macedonia FYR and Iceland.


Will Renamed Streets Stick? - Whats Up?

In the wake of President Yushchenko's call for streets and other geographical points all over Ukraine to be stripped of their old Soviet-era names and given new ones more consistent with independent Ukraine's democratic culture, there's one outstanding question: will people in eastern Ukraine go for it? If recent news reports are any indication, they probably won't. Officials in Donetsk are already making clear they have no interest in renaming the local streets, which are named after Lenin and other heroes from the Soviet pantheon. These politicians' stance would seem to be an accurate reflection of the wishes of their constituents - who, reports say, also don't want to see their streets renamed after Cossack hetmans, nationalist writers, or anti-Soviet guerillas and dissidents like Stepan Bandera and Vyacheslav Chornovil. And so, despite Yushchenko's ineffectual pronouncements, it seems that eastern Ukrainians will continue to live in environments named after figures whom western Ukrainians consider morally equivalent to the Nazis, and vice versa.


Every Third Kyivite Gives Bribes - Whats Up?

Ukraine's culture of bribery is robust and thriving according to a recent poll by the Research & Branding Group, with a full one-third of Kyiv residents saying they pay bribes to get things done. The poll also asked Ky-ivans to give their opinions on what the most corrupted areas of life in Kyiv were, and judges came in first. That's not surprising, given the reputation the courts have in post-Soviet countries, with bleak rumours occasionally circulating that this or that sum, put into the hands of the right judge, will buy you indemnity to murder someone, if you so please.


Chess Legend Arrested in Moscow - Whats Up?

Former world chess champion and Russian opposition leader Garry Kasparov was arrested when he took part in a Moscow rally against the Russian government this weekend. Kasparov's Another Russia organisation is one of the main factions in the opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime, and the arrest was just the latest chapter in Kasparov's brazen - some would say foolhardy - defiance of the powers that be. The Azerbaijan-born Kasparov, who is not ethnically Russian but part Jewish and part Armenian, is one of the most vilified leaders of a Russian opposition movement that remains vastly unpopular in Ukraine's northern neighbour.


Yushchenko Calls for Private Mines - Whats Up?

Two more Donbass miners died this weekend when part of the mine in which they were working collapsed on them, giving more force to President Yushchenko's recent call for Ukraine's mines to be privatised. While selling off a country's state assets isn't always the good idea that some people say it is, Yushchenko's comments in this respect make a lot of sense, given what seems to be a low-grade crisis situation in the nation's mining sector. "Private business can invest more in development, modernisation, and security in mines than the government can," the president said. Yushchenko also said that Ukraine's low coal prices are a direct result of the low level of worker safely in mine facilities. He added that coal sales in Ukraine amount to a form of "dumping," and that not selling coal inside the country for its correct price means not adequately financing the mines. "And what does it mean not to adequately finance coal mines? Obviously, it means not to adequately finance safety equipment," he said.


Ani Lorak 15 Years on the Scene - Cover Story

Her mother asked her, Do you really want it? Of course I do, she answered, driven by her dream of making it big as a singer. Ani was 14 when she left home and, powered by hope and talent, started to conquer Ukraine. Fifteen years later shes succeeded.


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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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