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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 Celebrities

Alyosha on Trial

Alyosha, the blonde singer with a guys name, otherwise known as Olena Kucher, is undergoing cross-examination by Whats On. As usual, we dig up gossip from the Internet, put the charges to Alyosha, and ask for her plea guilty or not guilty. But before the trial starts lets go through her previous history.
Born on 14 May 1986 in Zaporizhya, Alyosha was raised in a middle-class family together with two brothers who used to jokingly call her Leshka (a derivative of Alyosha). Her father was a traffic cop with the DAI (yup, one of them), while her mother worked at an aircraft factory.

At school, Alyosha sang in a choir and studied at musical studio Yunist. Upon graduating high school, the young singer came to Kyiv to study vocals at the Kyiv National University of Culture and Art. She won an international singing contest in Yalta in 2006, got the grand prize at Pesnya Morya (Song of the Sea) in 2008 and finally signed a contract with Catapult Music the following year. In 2010, Alyosha would represent Ukraine in Eurovision and took 10th place in the finals. Right after the contest the pop starlet released her album A World Outside Your Door. Now lets put the charges to the defendant.
The Charge: Some say your parents paid for you to go to Eurovision.
The Plea: Ive heard this too. It was amusing and offensive at the same time. A lot was said about my father, as a DAI inspector, taking bribes to buy me a ticket to Eurovision. But unfortunately, or fortunately, we are just a normal family that earns every kopek through hard work. Were not rich, but we have enough. None of us knows what it means to get something for free. If you work you get results. We can lose money but we cant lose our love for each other.
The Charge: Your Eurovision story was marred by scandal, when it was alleged your song To Be Free was stolen. Did you steal the song? And what do you say to allegations you didnt write the lyrics to Sweet People.
The Plea: Let people think whatever they want. One can easily learn the history of both songs on the web. Im so sick and tired talking about it. I wrote lyrics to Sweet People myself in one night. After that a professional translator proofed it. The song was then created together with my team Vadym Lysytsya, Borys Kukoba and Volodymyr Pysmenniy.
The Charge: So it was your producer Vadym Lysytsya who brought you into show business. Some say that you ended your working relationship with him because of an affair with singer Vlad Darwin.
The Plea: I entered show business with Vadym Lysytsya holding my hand. I didnt have an affair with Vlad Darwin well, only in the songs that we sing together nothing more.
The Charge: But you cant deny the fact that you got pregnant from Taras Topolya from Antytila band. There are rumours that right after you marry him youll quit singing.
The Plea: Im not going to quit singing! Family is not an obstacle to further career development. Moreover, Im even more inspired now!
The Charge: People say youre not a real blonde!
The Plea: I dyed my hair three times in my life. The first time was an unsuccessful experiment when I asked for a milky coffee colour and instead got grey and a rusty red. I had to re-dye to my natural colour two weeks later. Before Eurovision, I just made the colour a little lighter. And thats it! Im a natural blond!
The Charge: Some journalists noted changes in your appearance and claimed that you have had plastic surgery. Others think that you might be a transvestite.
The Plea: Oh, God no! Thats hilarious! If I ever decide to have plastic surgery it will be after I hit my 50s! Some people also tell others that Im a professional fencer. Its all not true! Gossips stay gossips because they take something that might not be true and spread it anyway.
The Charge: Journalists say that you usually overreact when hear something bad about yourself.
The Plea: Not really. You cant fight with gossip. If you try, you feed the fire they will write even worse things. On one hand it hurts, on the other let them write whatever they want. There are a lot of smart people who can tell a lie from the truth. And there will always be weak people who try to drag you. Everyone has a right to co-exist!

Vadym Mishkoriz

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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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