|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 30|
11 August - 31 AugustYOUNG UKRAINE!
The Nation Prepares to Celebrate Fifteen Years of Independence
Whats on Promotion
Going Out Review
Going Out Chef’s Corner
Just a Minute
|Scandal of the Week - Just a Minute|
Organisers of a nationwide poll to find Ukraine’s top tourist destination had to suspend the promotion last week after a massive vote falsification that would have made the pre−Orange Revolution Central Election Commission proud. ‘Seven Wonders of Ukraine’, a state sponsored tourism promotion, was launched 21 July with great fanfare inviting Ukrainians to cast their vote for their favourite place to visit in the country.
|Six Years of Covering Kyiv - Opinion|
This week’s summer issue of What’s On will be the last ever from Chief Editor Peter Dickinson, who has been running the English-language weekly city guide for six years and is now moving on to become Chief Editor at Business Ukraine magazine. As he bows out Peter reflects on the changes he has seen over the years while covering developments in Ukraine’s capital city.
|Paparazzi People - Opinion|
As I look at the banks of photographers scrumming down to snap away at the lines of gushing celebrities and wannabes at any given party these days it seems almost inconceivable to think that there was a time not so long ago when it was difficult getting Kyiv people to pose for the camera. I always thought this camera coyness was some sort of KGB hangover, and part of the whole insecurity thing that also made people cautious about disclosing personal details to strangers. We’d often get people coming over and demanding our photographers handed over their film (this was before the advent of digital technology, obviously). They would generally be rude and sometimes aggressive, although as far as I know we always got away with promising not to publish the offending image. A common situation was for a man to be angry after being photographed with his female ompanion, who it soon transpired was not actually his wife! The fact that people are now so comfortable being photographed is an indication of a new openness that has come from the top down and is all part of a willingness to engage and a lessening of the desire to control every facet of human existence which I think drove society here for a long time.
|Passion for Politics - Opinion|
The only people who talked about politics in 2001 were the expat know it all types along with a few committed but isolated Ukrainian activists and social scientists. The criminality of the regime was considered a closed book and accepted with a huge slice of fatalism by the vast majority of the population. On the few occasions when I asked Ukrainians about their politics I was amazed by their utter lack of interest and equal absence of knowledge. I remember once memorably asking over ten otherwise educated people in a bar if they could name the country’s current prime minister. None could. Contrast that with the situation circa 2007, when everyone has opinions about a vast array of political issues, political talk shows dominate the TV schedules, and elections are widely seen as valid and representative.
|A Wealth of Options - Opinion|
Back in the day there were only about twenty places in Kyiv where anyone with money would consider going out, and on any given evening you could pretty much guess where the VIP scene would be. It was a lot of fun, but it was yawningly predictable. These days there are so many options that even being editor of a listings mag like What’s On does not guarantee that you’re aware of them all. There was a time when I could confidently say I’d been in every single decent Kyiv restaurant and nightclub, but that would probably be impossible to achieve now given the sheer scale of the capital’s leisure industry expansion. The past six years have seen the emergence of a whole strata of society with considerable disposable income comparable with the wealthier middle classes of Western Europe, and I think that people still don’t realise quite how comparatively wealthy Kyivites have become.
|The Rise of Euro Fashion - Opinion|
There was a time when you could guess whether someone was foreign or Ukrainian by looking at their shoes. The great fashion divide was so deep that in the absence of ethnic characteristics you could still tell from a distance where someone was from. That is emphatically no longer the case, both because of the ever increasing availability of Western fashions at affordable prices and the exposure to and adoption of Western clothing as part of a more integrated European lifestyle. One of the most striking areas of fashion fusion has been among young ladies, with the miniskirts and high heels which were worn with an almost religious intensity at the turn of the millennium now joined by punkier styles, trainers and baggy sportswear. There is a huge amount of colour and originality on the streets of Kyiv these days compared to the blacks and grays of the 1990s, when leather jackets were standard issue and many girls dressed in vulgar, revealing outfits and cheap animal prints.
|Breach - Kyiv Kino|
Drama/Thriller, USA 2007 Directed by Billy Ray Starring Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe, Laura Linney
Eric O’Neill (Ryan Phillippe), a computer specialist, is assigned to work with renowned FBI operative Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper), the sole subject of a long-term, top-secret investigation. Determined to draw this suspected double-agent out of deep cover, O’Neill finds himself in a lethal game of spy versus spy where nothing is as it seems. Inspired by the incredible true story of the greatest security breach in US history, Breach is a spellbinding thriller that will have you on the edge of you seat.
|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.