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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
Gogolfest 2013 gets the show on the road this Friday with its sixth choreographed kick at the artistic cat. Featuring events in the visual arts, cinema, theatre, dance, music, literature, and activities for the kids, we present our must-see picks this year, and point you in the direction for more of the good stuff.

Selena Gomez has (thus far) negotiated the transition from child star to adult success with ease. She grew up on screen, moving from Disney Channel hit series Wizards of Waverly Place to ditching the wholesome cookie-cutter Disney mould in this years indie film Spring Breakers. In music, shes no stranger to gold and platinum plaques thanks to her band, Selena Gomez & The Scene. She also throws a little philanthropy into the mix. Kyiv-bound with her Stars Dance tour in support of her solo debut album of the same name this month, Whats On catches up with Gomez and is careful not to mention Justin Bieber.

The name Myroslav Skoryk is synonymous with contemporary classical music in Ukraine. The composers works are performed in National Philharmonics and Opera houses all over the country, his music accompanies many Ukrainian movies even cartoons, his Melody A Minor composed for the movie Visoky Pereval (High Pass) is perhaps his most recognisable work. This year, the Ukrainian maestro celebrates his 75th birthday and invites all to month-long international festival Days of Music of Myroslav Skoryk.

Dmitry Shurov is swapping simplicity for something more complex, in fact he promises Pianoboys new album Ne Prekrashai Mechtat (Dont Stop Dreaming) will take listeners into deeper, angrier, more-political territory than its predecessor Prostie Veshchi (Simple Things). Whats On charts Shurovs career as we look forward to the album launch at Pianoboys Green Theatre gig on 18 September.

Jazz has always had an air of smooth sophistication to it and this years 11th Koktebel Jazz Festival will be serving up just that to listeners with jazz fans invited to The Selector Party organised in conjunction with the British Council Ukraine. Otherwise known as the Day of New British Music, it will take place midway through the festival on 14 September and will feature three headliners and two special guests. Want to know who they are? Read on.

The new classical music season in Kyiv starts with a sensation: I, Culture Orchestra, which unites musical talent from seven Eastern European countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine is to perform in Kyiv under the conduction of Kirill Karabits, who recently received the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for Conductor. Whats On catches the dynamic young Ukrainian maestro and talks music with a mission.

There are still those who still believe theres something about holding a book in your hands and the visceral act of physically turning a page cant be matched with pixels on a screen. There are fundamental qualities E-books will simply never possess. Books have physical beauty, provenance and a sense of the nostalgic. Whats On takes a look at libraries where you can find books in multiple languages and read and enjoy them for free!

Think August in Kyiv is boring because the annual summer migration to sand and sun has left no-one in town and nothing is happening? Youre wrong Whats On discovers a very special place in Kyiv which unites easy-going urban style with the charm of being close to the waters of the Dnipro.

Passing them by in the street or metro you feel as if you are in a movie and they are providing the soundtrack for your daily routine. You cannot remember their faces, but their music, good or bad resonates in your ears. They are street musicians. Where mostly they perform solo, what happens when you bring them together? Whats On meets a man doing just that.

With songs infused with smirking non-PC naughtiness the Bloodhound Gang mix hip-hop, heavy metal, alt-pop and potty humour into an infectious and witty hybrid, although not without controversy. However, their inability to take anything seriously has deflected critics, and 22 years since formation, the band still probes the most important topic in their lives sex. Where scientists write theses on the subject, the Bloodhound Gangs, ahem, earthy delivery makes them way more accessible.


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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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