|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 EuroMaidanís three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the countryís 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 Ė 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 Ļ 46 (2007)|
14 December - 20 December
You are What You Eat!
A startling new exhibition by Anatalia Peregudova may have you considering your lunch
Take me out!
On the Sofa with...
|From THE EDITOR (46) - Editorial|
There are people in this world who make loads of money and sit on it, and Ukraine, as with every country, has its share. In fact, all those oligarchs who shoot about in their black cars with their blacked-out windows and their entourages in tow have often been accused of stealing their wealth from the Ukrainian people and the best they can manage in return is to hand out teddy bears at a childrens' home while making sure there are lots of photographers around. On the other hand, this country has more than its fair share of people who genuinely feel for those less fortunate than themselves and are ready to do something about it. The likes of Margarita Sichkar who organises her annual Pig Parade which raises thousands of dollars every year for example, and of course the Kyiv Lions' Club and the Kyiv International Womens' Club. Both of the latter are a mix of Ukrainian and international people who truly want to make a difference and help those in need. And boy do they. The IWCK annual bazaar took place at the beginning of the month and raised a staggering $192,000 which will go to help children, women, the elderly and the disabled. 34 embassies took part in the bazaar, all of whom helped raise this fantastic total. Following closely on its heels, the Lions' Club President's Gala Ball took place on Saturday night and rasied over $40,000, bringing the club's total fund raising for the year to around $325,000. It is a sad fact of life here in Ukraine that the public hospitals are drastically underfunded and can barely afford to buy drugs, never mind the modern medical equipment we are used to seeing in the West. It may take years for this to change, and that is where the Lions' Club comes in. The infant mortality rate here in Kyiv is three times higher than that in the US, and the main reason for this is a lack of medical machinery such as incubators. The great people at the Lions' Club raise the money and use it to buy such machines, and this helps redress the balance. The money these two organisations are raising every year is rising at an exponential rate, and let's hope it continues and more and more people get involved and help make life a little easier for those less fortunate. Christmas is coming, and it is supposed to be a time of setting aside selfish needs and doing something for someone else. It's something we all think about, but often we don't act upon those feelings, so this week, let's all take our hats off to the men and women at the Lions' Club and the IWCK and give three cheers to those who get off their backsides and actually do something about it.
Neil Campbell, Editor
|Thank God This is Ukraine And Not Russia! - Whats Up?|
We may moan about Ukraineís politicians and worry about the corruption that seems to infect much of the countryís political system, but as the holiday season approaches, itís traditional to count your blessings, and hereís one thing all Ukrainians, and foreigners in Ukraine, can be deeply thankful for: this isnít Russia!
|French Police Thrash Ukrainian Choir - Whats Up?|
That certainly wasnít a very nice welcome that Ukraineís prestigious Dumka choir got in Clermont−Ferrand, the central French city thatís the latest stop on the prestigious singing groupís tour of France and Portugal. Apparently the cityís police bludgeoned and arrested several of the groupís singers in an absurd incident that one imagines wouldnít have happened if all the sides had spoken the same language, and if only slightly cooler heads had prevailed. The trouble started when the choirís administrators handed out per diem money to the singers in 500 euro notes.
|Skinheads Brutalise Indian Man - Whats Up?|
If itís starting to look like a pattern, thatís because it is: the series of vicious attacks on foreigners that started to be a problem in the typically very toler− ant independent Ukraine about two years ago and have lately been gathering steam. The latest attack happened on 8 December, when an Indian man was attacked in broad daylight by skinheads near the Libidskaya metro station, in full view of several people. The victim incurred ten head wounds and then was treated to another indignity when local public hospitals gave him the run− around, refusing to treat him and sending him to different facilities in whatís probably an example of institutional ineptitude rather than of malice. Taxis, meanwhile, refused to carry the bleeding man, as drivers were squeamish about his blood staining their upholstery. Finally the unfortunate man managed to contact a friend who took him to a branch of the private Boris clinic. This attack is of course the latest in a year thatís been a banner one for brutalisa− tions of foreigners Ė especially dark−skinned ones, who stand out and attract animus. The attacks are increasing as what seem to be two separate skinhead tribes take to Ukraineís streets. In the countryís west, they tend to be nationalist youths; everywhere else, they tend to be pan−Slavic thugs who take inspiration from their peers in Russia, where being a coloured person can be a dangerous thing indeed. Interestingly, the local media seems to keep mostly mum about these attacks, which is an enduring mystery and shame.
|Contretemps at Pechersk School - Whats Up?|
The Pechersk School International, attended by many of Kyivís ex− pat kids, has been dragged through the mud in the Ukrainian media lately after it emerged that one of its teachers was brainwashing his students with Nazi propaganda and trying to turn them into disciples of Hitler. Or was he? That was how the local media reported the story after photographs were leaked of the teacherís classroom decked out in posters bearing swastikas and pictures of the German dictator. The teacher, an Irishman, was roundly attacked and we hear the State Se− curity Service has even declared him persona non grata in Ukraine. Now, if youíre thinking that itís unlikely that a Pechersk School teacher should have been indoctrinating his charges with the tenets of National Socialism, youíre right. As might have been suspected, the Nazi dis− play was part of an admittedly boundary−pushing lesson on Europeís totalitarian movements of the 20th century, and was meant to teach students about the power of propaganda. These are relevant lessons in this day and age, and we hope the overreaction of the media, and perhaps of some Pechersk School parents, hasnít irremediably dam− aged this teacherís career. Reasonable people can certainly disagree over whether the teacherís methods were appropriate, but thereís no need to subject him, or the school, to an inquisition in the media.
|A Photographerís Fruity-Psychedelic Pictures - Cover Story|
Tired of winter? Stop by Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and take a peek at Natalia Peregudovaís stunningly colourful and delightfully surreal photo-collages. Whatís On caught up with the talented artist.
|Sweet and Gruesome Imagery Combine in New Art Show - This Week|
Fruit Portraits, photography by Nataliya Peregudova, KPI Cultural Centre (37 Pobedy Prosp.), till 28 December
Photographer Nataliya Peregudova calls her style ĎPhotoFunArtí, and itís a result of her conviction that modern photography lacks a light, positive vibe. Her stated intention is to make people feel good, comfortable and warm, which she accomplishes in this collection of photos that wittily depict men and women surreally bonding with fruit: a man both eating and turning into a melon, a girl wearing a gigantic raspberry as a hat. These are trippy, supersaturated pictures and weíll bet you smile at least once when you look at them Ė although, in the manner of the best fairytales and childrenís stories, like ĎJames and the Giant Peachí, theyíre also a little bit disturbing. For more info go to www.pam.org.ua
|Rights We Didnít 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 Univer≠sal 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 donít understand the meaning of these words.
| Kyiv Culture|
Located on Hrushevskoho Street Ė the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades Ė childrenís 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. Whatís On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.