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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.


Cover Story

The Rise of Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey is a phenomenon that exploded last year in a blaze of Super-8 think-piece angst, which, for all its referencing of the past, is very now. Shed already tapped the curious pre The Great Gatsby, multi-era mishmash aesthetic thats worked its way into pop culture when she, fittingly, recorded the movies theme song Young and Beautiful her best performing single to date. Now, one of the most talked about singers of today is Kyiv bound.

Despite dividing critics, Lana Del Rey has pitched herself perfectly for success by fashioning an image that hits the hipster nail on the head. The current incarnation of hip rides the cutting edge of 1964 with clothes, 1966 with music, 1988 with accessories, and 1886 with facial hair. Del Rey is mining that faux nostalgia with a persona created by mixing the name of Golden Age actress Lana Turner with the Ford Del Rey car, dressing like a girl from Mad Men and having a vocal style described as reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe. Whats On talks with Del Rey about her success, inspiration and what she will bring Kyivs way.

Your debut album Born to Die topped the music charts and iTunes in 14 countries and went platinum three times. Your awards include two Brit, one MTV and one Ivor Novello plus GQ named you Woman of the Year were you ready for such a rapid rise? Did you expect it?
Thats a surprise to me. Im not used to having a lot of people hear my music.

Saying that, youre referring to when you were performing in New York clubs? Was it a happy period of your life?
It was daunting. I love to sing and I really love to write, but in terms of being onstage, Im not that comfortable, which I think is sort of clear (sighs).

What does creating music mean to you?
Although I love music, it is not my first passion. My passion was working with homeless outreach, drugs and alcohol rehabilitation; I lived in New York for 10 years so that was my real job. So, I would say music doesnt really feel like my true calling. My parents raised me to know you should give back or contribute to your community. I still fly to New York and help with meals on wheels at Thanksgiving. I need that for inner balance because in the past months I have often felt like this isnt my life.

Working with disadvantaged people, youll have witnessed and experienced the darker side of life. Is that what you draw on when you create music variously described as meditative, philosophical, and powerfully emotional?
Theres always been a melancholy in me. Of course it influences my music. Its like reflecting your energy in music. When I write songs I want them to be easy and simple, just as all true feelings are.

What message do you send with your music?
Most of my songs are about heartbreak. They also are about two people that I couldnt hang on to because they got in trouble and had to leave. When youre an introvert like me and youve been lonely for a while, and then find someone who understands you, you become really attached to them. Its a real release.

Your songs are autobiographical then?
Usually what happens is all of the verses are always autobiographical up until the chorus. I usually leave some room for my imagination to step in. If Im singing about the way that things used to be, by the time I get to the chorus I might start singing about the way I wished that they had been.

What music are you listening to in every-day life in the car, while having lunch?
The same thing Ive been listening to for a while. Nirvana, Im always listening to them. I like Frank Sinatra, Elvis, I really like some of the film scores to my favourite movies.

What do you know about Ukraine and what are you expecting from your concert in Kyiv?
I dont know a lot about this country, Ive never been. But I guess its going to be fun. My expectation is people in Kyiv will enjoy the concert. I will try to do my best for them.

Can you share your biggest dream with us?
For now my dream is to be a good person who lives with dignity and grace.

Lana Del Rey
Palace Ukraine (V Vasylkivska 103)
10 June at 19.00
Tickets: 500 3,200hrv

by Kateryna Kyselyova

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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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