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On the cover
7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope

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.


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.


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.


Ukrainian Culture

The All- rounder

One of the youngest recipients of the state-conferred title Merited Artists of Ukraine, 28-year old Vitaliy Kozlovskiy may be adding to his titles with a nomination for the second Yearly Ukrainian National Awards (YUNA) in the Best Singer category. While there is huge competition in the category, with Svytoslav Vakarchuk, Ivan Dorn, Vlad Darwin and Max Barskikh also nominated, Kozlovskiy has every chance of winning. Read on to find out why.
Vitaliy Kozlovskiy had already made some inroads in the world of showbiz when he got his first taste of the big time. However, it was not courtesy of his voice, but his footwork.

Working as a dancer for Ruslana, the singer who won Eurovision in 2004 with her track Wild Dances, Kozlovskiy made his first appearance on a truly international stage. Despite having Ruslanas success as a springboard, Kozlovskiy still had to return to the grind, singing not to packed stadiums but on the streets of Lviv where he was born and raised.

When Vocals Replace the Moves
When Kyiv-based TV show Karaoke na Maidane, produced by Ihor Kondratyuk, gained traction and started travelling around Ukraine, Kozlovskiy didnt miss his chance to make an appearance. That was in 2002, and his confidence and charisma made him a leader on that season of the show. So much so, he was invited to the second part of the show called Chance, eventually winning the main prize with song Shakespeare written especially for him. With the same song he went on to compete at one of the biggest song contests in the CIS Nova Volna 2004 (New Wave 2004) posting good results.
In 2010, he tried to get to the finals of Eurovision, returning to the competition he had been part of six years earlier, just to leave the ballot at the National Selection stage. Despite that disappointment, his popularity has continued to grow and Kozlovskiy has no regrets about swapping dancing for the sake of singing. There was no doubt the head of Zhytya (Life) ballet wasnt happy with my departure. Nor was Ruslana, but I always saw dancing as a transition towards my singing career, Kozlovskiy says. Rather, the dancing was about forming an all-round entertainment package: I wanted to be able to be versatile on stage singing, talking to the audience and building up a concept of performance.

A Whiff of Scandal
While it seemed Kozlovskiy had gained a show business grounding, that came under threat last year following a spat with former producer Ihor Kondratyuk. Trying to understand whos wrong and whos right in Ukrainian showbiz is a bit like hitting your head against a brick wall it can be painful and tedious with no promised positive result. So to cut a long and laborious story short, here are the facts according to Kozlovskiy: in autumn 2012, Kozlovskiy decided to cease cooperation with both managing producer Yana Pryadko and producer Ihor Kondratyuk. In response, the latter blocked the release of 49 songs he held the rights to. In his defence, Kozlovskiy states: To start with, I didnt start this scandal. The other side provoked it. Honestly, there was never a real producer in my life. I have always had a team of managers and administrators who were doing massive amounts of work for me, which is why I think I had no producer. Obviously, if my relationship (with Kondratyuk) had been a good one I wouldnt have left. His complaints against me have no grounds. Everything I owed him I worked out long ago. And slavery ended in our country ages ago. I didnt expect him to react like this. But even if Id known this beforehand I wouldnt have changed my decision to leave. Kozlovskiy says that despite the conflict he feels more confident about his future in music. He has plans and is sure he can do more than before. And to his ex-producers he wishes the following: I wish their life to be as good as mine.

A Taste of Freedom
With five best-selling albums, Vitaily has made the easy transition to Internet artist, focusing now on releasing singles rather than compiling them into albums. Considering my new status (without a producer), I became more particular when choosing my songs. In my new repertoire, Im looking for something that I hadnt done before. I want my new songs to depict my new life.
Kozlovskiy is finding strength in adversity and with it comes determination. He is inspired and ready to add to his collection of awards. Whether or not he takes the Best Singer title, he has already proved his talent with more than 50 musical awards which include a couple of Song of the Year titles, Zolota Sharmanka, Shlyager Goda and finally the coveted Merited Artist of Ukraine in 2009. Kozlovskiys bid for his first YUNA will be tough, his main opponent is Svyatoslav Vakarchuk whose band Okean Elzy became YUNAs laureates last year. However, showbiz is a tough business and this competition could go to the wire!

Second YUNA Awards
Palace Ukraine (V Vasylkivska 103)
15 March at 19.00
Tickets are 150 900hrv

Vadym Mishkoriz

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Read also:
  • When Walls Can Talk
  • Rights We Didnt Know We Had
  • The Path to Europe Begins Here...
  • Documenting Life
  • Head into 2014 Healthy

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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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