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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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Cover Story

Free Spirit

Arash is an artist who refuses to bow to convention, or follow trends in the music industry. Despite enjoying success across Europe, the Iranian-Swedish singer, entertainer and producer chooses to sing mostly in his native language Farsi. Masterfully combining ethnic motifs with traditional elements of pop, hip-hop and dance music, Arash takes listeners on a musical journey with an oriental twist.
Arash embarked on his Broken Angel world tour at the end of 2012, playing a succession of concerts in the US, Canada, Europe and Russia. Now the singer is about to take to the stage in the Ukrainian capital.

In Kyiv, Arash and his 13-strong musical team promise a show packed with pyrotechnic special effects to accompany his greatest hits Broken Angel, Always, She Makes Me Go, Temptation, Boro Boro, and Russian songs Oriental Tales and The Sea.
Arash has released three successful albums, the self-titled Arash in 2005, Crossfade the following year and 2008s Donya, as well as numerous singles, which have gained platinum status. His compositions are always European chart-toppers, his videos garner millions of views on YouTube, and he is particularly beloved by fans in the Eastern European space. Hes not only a successful singer, but a dancer, actor, composer and producer whose success continues to build. The 35-year old tells Whats On why.

Last year was a big year for you, tell us a little about your collaboration with Jamaican Grammy-winning artist Sean Paul.
Last year, I travelled and toured a lot, but I did manage to record a couple of songs. One of them, She Makes Me Go, was recorded together with Sean Paul. Ive always liked reggae and dance music and have been a fan of his for 12 years. When I wrote this song I told my manager, I want Sean Paul. He replied: Maybe Akon or Pitbull are better? I said, No, I only want Sean Paul. I got what I wanted and Im very proud of it. The song is on the top of European charts. Fans from France, Germany, Japan and Ukraine are writing to me saying they are waiting for new duets and I wont let them down Im already working on a new hit!

And your film debut in Rhino Season, its billed as a love story in the context of the political changes from before the Iranian revolution to the present. Tell us about that and the differences between music and acting.
Writing songs and performing live has become an evitable part of who I am this is my life. Acting gave me not only new impressions, but it was also a breath of fresh air. Of course, it felt unusual to follow the directors instructions and do whats written in the script.

You worked with the beautiful Italian actress Monica Bellucci on this film, whats she like?
Monica supported me a lot at the shoots and helped me get into character. Its always interesting to try something new, especially when you work with the greatest people in world cinema.

How would you describe your sound?
It is music that brings love, happiness and joy to people. When I say in the sad moments of my life I write music, it doesnt mean I write sad songs. It might be a very life-assuring song. In this state (sad) your emotions escalate. If one of my songs makes someone smile then my job is done.

What are your musical influences?
I love rock, reggae, and I follow modern dance music trends. Lenny Kravitz is one of my favourite singers. Have you seen PSYs video (Gangnam Style)? With his dance he made the world go crazy. Ive prepared a special performance of this song that I plan to showcase in Palace Ukraine on 26 April!

How has your music evolved over time?
I write contemporary music, but its uniquely me. I always try to be myself in my work, as youll never feel the love of the audience if they feel youre artificial. My music always has eastern motives because these rhythms are in my blood.

You sing mostly in your native language, why?
I sing most of my songs in Farsi because this language reflects my mood and spiritual state more precisely. Julio Iglesias, for example, sings in Spanish, no one understands him but they all love him. You should believe in your songs. I try to mix English and my native language in my songs, like in Broken Angel. The fact that I sing in my native language differentiates me from others. If I turned to English now, I would be just like any other act.

Is this likely to change?
At Eurovision, I sang my song Always in English and the song She Makes Me Go is written in English top. Sometimes I am inspired to write songs in English but I dont do it on purpose. I follow my heart.

Arash
Palace Ukraine (V Vasylkivska 103)
26 April at 19.00
Tickets: 100 1,500hrv
247-2476

Jared Morgan

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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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