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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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Ukrainian Culture
They do have home advantage in the notoriously hostile-to-opponents Donbass Arena in Donetsk. Whats the likelihood, however, of Ukrainian glory at Euro 2012? We have a look at the team and assess their chances.
Bookies dont fancy Ukraine much at all for this tournament, with odds of 50/1 still available on the home team. This seems a little harsh, after all Ukraine got as far as England in the 2006 World Cup, and odds on Ukraines opponents, the Three Lions, are hovering around the 10/1 mark.

In May each year, Kyiv life is pumped up by a number of public activities, including Soviet UNI0N fans who celebrate the international day of worker solidarity, those who honour victory over the Nazis and so on. Along with these two Soviet-tinted festivities, is a puff of fresh air, sort of its the Marijuana Liberty March.
Becoming more prominent and powerful, the public movement for marijuana does not go quite as far as demanding the legalisation of weed, pot, dope, cannabis, hash, blow, wacky tabacky, ganga call it what you will.

Looking at Ukraines concert scene, one can see it as the perfect place for the older generation, as the idols of their youth regularly return here to top up their pensions. Whats really popular in the current world remains largely unseen to Ukrainian concert-goers, as the country continues its retro love-in. At least its something, a resigned Ukrainian may say, but younger generations are dissatisfied with the situation, they just cant get a rock on to these old fogeys. While the situation had seemed to be getting better over the last couple of years, the recent draft of touring legislation, fortunately declined, showed clearly that the Ukrainian government doesnt have a clue about this sphere. The only thing they think of is profit, however, if they were smarter they would see that there is a way to make even more money. Heres a hint guys: cultural growth = growth of economy = more moolah. And vice versa. I mean, its not that hard!!
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The Easter Egg in Ukrainian is called Krashanka or Pysanka. The former are dyed a single colour with vegetable dyes, or with an onion to achieve that specific dark brown colour, blessed and eaten at Easter. The latter have been decorated with traditional folk designs using beeswax for centuries, and are thought to hold magical powers to ward off evil spirits, guarantee a good harvest and bring you good luck!

Ive heard about Ukrainian Casanovas and pick-up artists. I remember a while back there was even a course for them advertised on radio and other places. I guess that everything in life can be useful or harmful depending on the individual involved. I cant deny that this kind of thing is out there and maybe even it is of some benefit todays men seem to lack a bit of creativity and originality when it comes to their methods. Maybe some of these guys will get a few ideas from these courses. If parents cant teach their sons what it means to be a man, how to speak to women, then okay, let them go on these courses. But it would have been better had they learned in school rather than go on these pick-up courses.
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Pick-up is now huge. It has inspired a bestselling book, The Game, and schools in its practices can be found across the world. Including, perhaps unsurprisingly, in a city that always comes near the top of any Most Beautiful Girls list. As successful practitioners in the sphere of seduction here in Kyiv, we catch up with Anton Golovnya and Oleksandr Ignatiev.
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Its 20 years of Ukrainian Independence and yet, the subject of human rights has never been more relevant. Enter Docudays UA, the 9th International Documentary Film Festival on Human Rights, taking place right here in Kyiv. We caught up with their PR Director (and writer) Daria Averchenko and Film Director Roman Bondarchuk for a chat.
With 70 films in the overall festival and 44 in various competitions, there is a range of categories, including Docu/Right a human rights competition, Docu/Life an artistic and creative competition, and Docu/Short a free competition on any theme. Whether human rights is something you take an active stance on or not, both Daria and Roman are happy for people to attend for pure entertainment.
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Deciding to share my own bribe-giving experience and some stories recounted in previous times, I came to the conclusion that bribes are rooted in Ukrainian ethnicity, and have unfortunately become an endemic part of our culture. This year promises to be a foreigner-plenteous year, as thanks to Euro 2012 there will be floods of visitors pouring into Ukraine to get to know our country better, and of course, see some matches. Unfortunately for them, they will have to come into contact with various public and private services thats where the real fun begins!

When we last met these guys, they were desperate for spring. Para Normalnykh were so fed up with the coldness that Anya ran away to Sri Lanka, while Artem sheltered himself in Lviv coffee houses. Coming back to Kyiv, the duet decided to bewitch the new season with their fresh, energetic hits. It certainly feels like their spell has worked!
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The Zakarpattya school of artistic tradition has been around for decades. As a way of thinking, seeing the world and putting it down on canvas, as opposed to an actual school, artists who adhere to this philosophy are a colourful phenomenon in Ukrainian art. Celebrating various anniversaries this year, the National Art Museum is presenting an expanded exhibition of works by this talented group. Taking you on a trip to a land of brilliant beauty, the pieces on show have absorbed the multi-cultured influences of the land, and represent the best there is in European artistic tradition.


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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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