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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 10 (2008)

10 (2008)/2008
21 March - 27 March

Kyiv`s Blossoming
Avant Garde

Contemporary Dance and Theatre Companies are Making a Splash

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From THE EDITOR (?10) - Editorial

Prices may be on the rise here in Kyiv, and you've often heard me complain about it too, but there's one thing here that remains far less expensive here than it is in the West - culture! In Europe and the US, opera, ballet and classical music have long been a luxury affordable only to the wealthy. In the UK, for example, you would find it hard to get tickets to a ballet performance for less than $100, and that would be for the cheap seats at a low budget performance. Whereas here in Kyiv, you can get seats at the National Opera House or for a performance at the Philharmonic for as little as 20 hyrvnia, more-or-less the price of a beer in many of the city's bars. Not only is culture affordable here, it is also of a fairly high standard, which is one hangover of the Soviet regime that we cannot complain about. In those days culture was exceptionally important and the state poured massive amounts of money into funding the arts, ensuring that the quality was kept at an exceptionally high level, and those high standards are still attained today. However, what has been lacking in Ukraine is quality contemporary theatre and dance. Until now, that is. Over recent years the avant garde has been making its mark, and many experimental Ukrainian theatre and dance companies have been performing to rave reviews not just at home, but in Europe and the US as well. Improvisational theatre is a fairly new concept in this part of the world, but not for the Chorny Kvadrat theatre company, which has been staging improvised performances for 16 years now and has been making a name for itself all over the world. Then there is Dakh Theatre which enjoys making a contemporary Ukrainian twist on Shakespeare tales, and Kyiv Modern Ballet with its outstanding director Radu Poklitaru which has been taking dance in a whole new direction. These young upstarts are shaking up the theatrical world, reinvigorating it and opening these forms of the arts to a new and youthful audience (see page 16). Not only is it affordable, but it is damn good as well, so take a break from the pub one night this week, and go and take in a show.

Neil Campbell, Editor

Cognac Tax Goes Through Roof - Whats Up?

Ukraines leaders promised that with the countrys joining the World Trade Organisation things would change and they already have, as prices for Ukrainian cognac have recently shot sharply upwards as a result of taxes slapped on the product. The taxes, say the government, are necessary if Ukraine is going to conform to WTO and European UNI0N norms, but theyve predictably got domestic cognac producers up in arms. Some booze−makers claim that theyll now have less money with which to innovate, improve their equipment, and in general reform an industry that in some ways is still back in the Soviet era.


A Politician You Can Trust? - Whats Up?

Residents of Ukraine are used to their politicians being young and theyre used to them often having what might be described as shady pasts, but rarely does the twain meet as perfectly as it does in the case of Dmitry Ivanovich Golubov, 24, who founded the Internet Party of Ukraine last September, not long after the parliamentary elections. The platform? Reform, modernisation, eliminating sectors of Ukraines huge leftover Soviet bureaucracy, and fostering the free market. All in all theres little for your average liberal Westerner to argue with there, until you get to Golubovs biography.


Bush to Visit Ukraine - Whats Up?

Its going to be not an April Fools joke but a reallife official visit when US President George W. Bush arrives in Ukraine on April 1 as part of an eastern European trip during which hell talk up economic development and democracy in Croatia and Romania as well as in Ukraine. Will Ukraines NATO accession status also be on the agenda during the talks that Bush is expected to hold with both President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko? No doubt they will be, front and centre. Theres been no word yet on whether Bush will even spend the night in Ukraine (probably not such powerful people usually fly in and out) or whether the Party of Regions antiNATO, anti-Western activists will organise protests to greet the spectacularly unpopular twoterm lameduck incumbent, but it is confirmed that Bushs wife Laura, considerably better−liked than he is around the world, will be coming along with him.


Poland Pushes Ukraine EU Issue - Whats Up?

In another gesture that will strengthen its post−Soviet status as Ukraines Best European Friend, Poland is announcing that it will support the French−conceived Mediterranean UNI0N project, but on condition that the European UNI0N gives Ukraine a clear shot at eventual EU membership. The Mediterranean UNI0N, EU−savvy readers will know, was a project thought up by French President Nicholas Sarkozy during the presidential campaign last year. It foresees an economic community of EU and other member states that border the Mediterranean Sea, including the obvious European candidates along with Israel, Turkey, Algeria, Egypt, and so on.


Gongadze Killers Sentenced - Whats Up?

Partial closure in the notorious case of murdered muckraking journalist Georgy Gongadze has been achieved, as the three police officers convicted of killing him were sentenced to prison last week. Mykola Protasov was sentenced to 13 years, and Valeriy Kostenko and Oleksandr Popovych to 12. Readers will remember that Gongadze, a loud critic of the government of then−President Leonid Kuchma, was found beheaded in a swamp in the fall of 2000; it then emerged that tape recordings existed of Kuchma and his cronies talking that implicated them in the crime.


Ukraines Comedy Capital Odessa Offers Humourina for April Fools - Ukraine Travel

April Fools Day is coming, and you should prepare yourself because its taken pretty seriously in this part of the world, especially in Odessa where the famous Humourina festival takes place every year. Weve worked up some information about the event and the quasi-holiday, to help you get the most from them.


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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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