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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.


Kyiv Culture

Rising Star

Selena Gomez has (thus far) negotiated the transition from child star to adult success with ease. She grew up on screen, moving from Disney Channel hit series Wizards of Waverly Place to ditching the wholesome cookie-cutter Disney mould in this years indie film Spring Breakers. In music, shes no stranger to gold and platinum plaques thanks to her band, Selena Gomez & The Scene. She also throws a little philanthropy into the mix. Kyiv-bound with her Stars Dance tour in support of her solo debut album of the same name this month, Whats On catches up with Gomez and is careful not to mention Justin Bieber.

Although it must be hard to run from recording studio to the film set, it is something the 21-year-old Selena Gomez is well used to. She started acting in 2002 playing opposite a purple and green Tyrannosaurus Rex in stuffed animal likeness in American childrens television series Barney & Friends. Fast-forward five years and Gomez made her recording debut with the theme song Everything is not What It Seems for Disney Channel series the Wizards of Waverly Place in which she played the character Alex Russo. Later Gomez was invited to star in another Disney vehicle Princess Protection Program together with her childhood friend Demi Lovato and recorded another song for the TV-movie. One and the Same was released as a single and it made Gomez think about a musical career.

Screen Starlet
Today Gomez juggles music with carving out a career in film her latest movie The Getaway starring alongside Ethan Hawke and Jon Voight hit screens last month. As she puts it: I do love both and would hate to ever pick the one that I prefer over the other. This past year I got to challenge myself in both areas with doing films like Spring Breakers and working on my latest album which I am very proud of.
In Spring Breakers, Gomez spends most of her time in a bikini in a movie many critics have already dubbed a cult classic. It is the latest from filmmaker Harmony Korine, who has a reputation for shocking his audience with movies like Kids, Gummo and Trash Humpers, and follows four college-aged girls on their spring break and their descent into their use of drugs, crime, and violence. For someone keen to cement her status as a credible actress it was a smart move.

Like A Love Song
However, as Gomez is coming to Kyiv to flex not her acting but her vocal chops, we need to leave the silver screen behind. She is on the European leg of her Stars Dance tour in support of the album released in July. I ask her about her fourth and first solo album. With this album I definitely approached it differently than my previous albums. I was more hands-on and had more time to record. In the past, I was filming my TV show or filming a movie while trying to squeeze in time to run to the recording studio when I could. I want people to listen to my music and feel something that they can relate to in their own lives. I know I do that when I listen to other artists songs.
Speaking about the process she says: On this album I had the opportunity to co-write some of the songs. I also spent time with my producers talking about things going on in my own life which was a very rewarding experience. The album is growing in popularity, now gently approaching the success of her 2011 album with The Scene When the Sun Goes Down, which featured the chart-topping track Love You like a Love Song. And it may be Gomezs last recording for a while with her stating earlier this year she wants to take a break from music to concentrate on acting.

Sparing Time To Help
In addition to all this, Gomez joined UNICEF in 2008 becoming the youngest ambassador of the organisation at just 17-years-old. Its an achievement she believes tops all of her other successes. Working with UNICEF is probably one of the things I am most proud of. When I started with them it was for a one-time event (spokesperson for the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign) and once I saw the incredible work they do around the world I just knew this is where my heart was, Gomez says.
Finishing our conversation the seemingly multifaceted, yet well-schooled in giving predictable answers, Gomez says she loves her work and would never swap it for anything. She has no resentment of growing up in the limelight. I know I missed out on some typical experiences that most people go through growing up but I also got to have many experiences that most people my age do not get to have.

Selena Gomez (US, pop)
Palace Sport (Sportyvna Pl 1)
21 September at 19.00
Tickets: 400 2,300hrv

by 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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