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On the cover
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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Ukraine Abroad

Ukrainian Fashion in White

Ukrainian fashion designer, Christina Bobkova, has recently returned from Milan. Presenting Fresh Fashion from Kyiv at the WHITE fashion expo with a few of her colleagues over the weekend of 22 24 September, the designer has had little time to twiddle her thumbs since.

Working 20 hours a day, My weekday includes dealing with clients, creating new models and bringing up my two lovely daughters, says the prêt-a-porte designer, most well-known for her skewed-cut knitwear. Despite the constant rush, she is all smiles as we sit comfortably in her studio. Telling me about a phone call she received from Tetyana Gabrielyan in early 2010, her Cinderella story begins.
Why dont you sell your collections in the States? was the basis of the conversation. Shrugging her shoulders, Bobkova knew that Americans werent in any dire need of fashion from Ukraine. Nevertheless, she gave it try, and within just two months, she had her first orders. A year and a half and eight boutiques selling her wares later, the success still bewilders Christina. Ive been to the US. They wear jeans, sneakers and jerseys. Ive learned, that Silicone Valley, however, is quite comfortable in Ukrainian fashion.
At the Lofficiel Awards ceremony held in Kyiv in spring 2010, both her talent and industry won Christina Bobkova Most Promising Designer. It was said the judges (all foreign) were looking for glamorous and luxurious. Bobkova presented something diametrically opposite. And for her intuitive yet creative nerve, the pros from Paris gave her carte blanche 
Despite being in her fifth month of pregnancy, Christina grabbed the opportunity to study at the Instituto Marangoni for three weeks. There were young designers from all over the world! It was such an astonishing experience!
Invited to participate in two exhibitions this September, Christina spent a few days in New York at Fashion Coterie and then flew to Milan to take part in the WHITE expo with Ukrainian designers Elena Burenina, Luvi, Viktor Anisimov and Svetlana Bevza. The philosophy was simple: Commerce with a Concept, with all the brands presenting their own vision. 
As an event every designer wants to be a part of, this was huge; especially since there are buyers who still have no idea fashion even exists in Ukraine. They think we are too poor to care about fashion, relates the designer. And yet we were being examined by buyers from all over the world, receiving praise from Italy, Korea, Taiwan, UAE, Greece, Spain, Germany and China.
Wondering how that translates to business back at home, Christina just cracks a smile. Ukrainians are looking for the stars of Dolce & Gabbana and the leopard prints of Cavalli. They dont want the smart clothes of Ukrainian designers. Sighing, she says, Whats even more interesting is that brand-name clothing is often bought at the market for a laughable price and then resold in the high-end boutiques for a fortune. 
The reality is that Ukrainian fashion makes its money across the border. And as unfortunate as that is, Bobkova says, Women who wear my clothes are free from prejudice. The garments are light and easy to care for: theyve been created for open-minded women on the go who feels comfortable with herself. It occurs to me this is exactly the description of the woman sitting in front of me. 

Yulia Hudoshnyk


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Comments (3)
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Rajesh | 29.05.2014 17:13

My biggest capnloimt about the internet and art blogs is that many blogs like say BOOOOOO*M do not allow criticism. One cannot critique what is there. You literally cannot have a discussion. It must be some vapid smiling chat with some hipster who thinks that a Holga is the end all and be all of photography.It is patently pathetic.Art without criticism robs the art of its value and hurts everyone involved.

yalpihjk | 21.03.2012 20:37

oDhrbo hdqwyamhgxsj

Larissa | 20.03.2012 03:16

I think this is a very interesting copnect. I, too, looked at water withdrawal, but compared to a different item. I looked at water availability instead of population, though I thought about looking at population! I think that the French are not exactly hygiene sensitive, since that's what I've heard from everyone who has visited there. I think the stuff about Afghanistan and Egypt is very interesting, though I don't really understand the analysis of the Egyptians not being able to afford to be inefficient with their water?


 
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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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