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7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope


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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.

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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.

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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.

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Kyiv Culture

Cutting-edge digital interactive art from the West and elsewhere is on display at one of the citys leading exhibition spaces. Natalia Marianchyk gives us a tour.
Until the end of next week Kyivites have the chance to enjoy a fascinating digital interactive art project at the Centre for Contemporary Art at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, a show that unites work by artists from Austria, France, England, Serbia, Japan, and the US.


Eastern Europes answers to Facebook and the like are taking the country by storm, and if youre Ukrainian and not yet into digital networking, everyones no doubt asking you, Hey, why havent you signed up for Vkontakte or Odnoklassniki yet? The obvious answer, our Kseniya Karpenko told us, is What the hell do I need to do that for? Then she looked into the dark reality of the local social networking sites.

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Doing Riverdance maybe one better, the Turkish dance company Fire of Anatolia, 77 dancers strong, is coming to Palace Ukraine on 20-21 April to thrill dance fans and everyone else with a taste for passionate performance. We talked with the groups creative director Mustafa Erdogan.


On 12 April, just in time for International Day of Cosmonautics, the 'Oneness' exhibition by leading Japanese artist Mariko Mori will open in the PinchukArtCentre. This will be her first solo exhibition in Eastern Europe, and will ?? ? comPination of both early and more recent photography, drawings and will stunning cosmic interactive installations such as Wave UFO, which will no doubt be the highlight of the project.
The works of Mariko Mori are examples of top quality world art which combine Japanese culture with modern technology and very high levels of creativity.


Thanks to the efforts of the French Embassy and the French Cultural Centre in Ukraine, spring means more than the city's famous chestnuts budding. It also means the annual French Spring in Ukraine festival, which runs the length of April. For the fifth year in a row French art, plays, concerts, and new films will be playing at venues throughout the capital and in some other Ukrainian cities as well. Here's our preview of the events,


Tradition is fine, but modern life makes its own demands on a nation's artistic traditions. The Ukrainian creative scene has been steeped in tradition for a long time, even to the point of tedium. (Do we really need another Hut-sul dance company?) But now things are breaking out in new directions, particularly in the theatre world. What's On sees what's in the air
As the artist's cliched old complaint goes, good art gets harder and harder to make as time passes, because all the best ideas have already been takea With that in mind, the Chorny Kvadrat theatre company has come up with a new twist to keep things fresh.


Simply put, if there were more art galleries in Kyiv, the art scene would develop faster. Today the competition is very weak in Kyiv and the influence is divided between a couple of key characters - gallery owners and influential curators - who together dictate the main trends,
On the other hand, recently art has become more interesting to the masses. Thanks to the PinchukArtCentre, contemporary work from around the world is coming to Kyiv. In this newly energetic context, fresh galleries are appearing and weak ones are disappearing Art on display in cafes, shops, and restaurants is another new development in Kyiv.


Hang around Kyivs clubs and youll see hordes of aggressive men looking for a girl to spend a night with. Here in Ukraine its becoming popular to master the elusive rules of the pick-up, and there are even books to teach you how to get women under your spell. Whats Ons Anastasiya Skorina looked into this dubious science.
Tanya was looking for a new boyfriend, and these days theres no better place to find one than on the Internet. She completed her profile on a dating site and then started searching for an appropriate candidate. Soon she had a bite.  Up popped a guy named Andrey who started writing her piles of emails.  A week later they were deep into their online relationship and had even, surprisingly, started discussing a common future and making big plans. And yet Tanya found it surprising

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Ukraines army might be downsizing, but theres still room for young female soldiers. In a country in which avoiding military service is a prime objective for many young men, what makes Ukrainian girls sign on to carry a pack and rifle in defense of the Motherland?
Despite recent changes, military service remains primarily a male thing, where old-time manly virtues like courage and physical strength still inhere. In Soviet times a girl who was dating an 18 year-old boy inevitably saw him off for a stint in the Red Army. In what now seem to be ancient times, serving was considered an honour. A guy was considered a real man after returning from his stint. How things have changed.

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Russian composers and writers get most of the publicity, but Ukraines big neighbor to the north has also produced a lot of great art. Where to find it? Up in Kyivs Museum of Russian Art, unsurprisingly.
Go ahead: name a pre-Soviet Russian artist. Okay, Ilya Repin. Now name another one. Ha, told you. I myself would mention Ivan Aivazovsky, the painter of seascapes, but thats just because Ive happened to visit his house in Crimea. Before that summer day when I had to kill an afternoon in Feodosia, Id never heard of the man.

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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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