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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

A traditional Russian sauna or banya is much more than a steamy room. Its an essential part of national tradition and culture, and to say the least, a favourite winter pastime. For Ukrainians, the banya is one of the traditions they eagerly share with their big brother to the north, and in Kyiv as across Ukraine the banya is seen as an ideal venue for corrupt business deals and wild parties, and generally a favoured spot over the New Year holidays.


First staged in 1912, The Blue God was the epitome of what the Ballet Russe had come to stand for; stage design from acclaimed Russian artists, and avant-garde choreography set to a score from one of the worlds leading composers. A return to these esthetic values will be made in the near future when a new production of The Blue God is staged in the Ukrainian capitals Opera House, a venue which itself was once graced by some of the Ballet Russes immortal compositions.


This week Kyivites will have the opportunity to experience a stunning live performance of classical sounds from the Subcontinent as the Year of Indian Culture in Ukraine raises the bar with a concert to mark the Deevali Festival of Light and Bliss. The event, which will also mark the anniversary of the foundation of the United Nations, has been dubbed a dialogue of cultures, and features performances from both Hindu and Muslim stars. Percussion and flute magic will be on the agenda as two established stars of traditional Indian music delight the Ukrainian audience with a rare and truly world class offering.


Kyivites and residents of the Ukrainian capital will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun thanks to a series of events organised by the Japanese Embassy. From martial arts to flower arranging, poetry contests to the rhythmic sounds of traditional drums, the event should keep culture vultures buzzing for months.

Without doubt one of the giants of world literature, Nikolai Gogol first made a name for himself as the author of several charming folk tales set in his native Ukraine. But though Gogol loved his homeland he was to increasingly distance himself from it, adopting a social stance incompatible to the idea of an independent Ukraine towards the end of his life.


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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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