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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

t.A.T.u. Trailblazers

Madonna smooching Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at the August 2003 MTV Video Music Awards caused millions of jaws to drop worldwide. Whats been forgotten in the decade since (as well as the fact Aguilera was in the mix) is that the path for the girl-on-material-girl-on-dirty-girl action had been cleared months earlier by two Russian girls kissing in the rain in school uniforms. Whats On meets with t.A.T.u. to talk about that kiss, the 10 years since, and mounting a comeback.

All the Things She Said pushed buttons musically and visually. The song alone was hailed as one of the greatest songs of the 00s, along with its composition. But it was the accompanying music video in which t.A.T.u. bandmates Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova kiss passionately from the end of the second chorus and right through the third that propelled the pair to international superstardom and controversy. Perhaps it was a case of peaking too soon, nothing matched the success of that track and the accompanying album 200km/h in the Wrong Lane. It was in fact the duos second of six studio albums; three English and three Russian. Now, the most successful Russian act to date is back after a two-year break, but do they still have it in them to shake-up the music world?

You seem to have been a part of the music scene for a long time, yet youre both only 28. Take us back a decade to talk about that kiss and the lesbian image you must have received a lot of criticism? How did you cope with it?
Volkova: Actually I think everyone has the right to have their own point of view. And after all, its boring to hear only positive comments.
Katina: My most severe critic is myself. With regard to criticism that comes from others if its adequate criticism I try to listen to it, if not... than I turn the other cheek.

Of course the lesbianism was all for show, but it worked. What brings you the most satisfaction from being so popular?
Katina: Im always inspired by positive feedback about our work.
Volkova: Every day brings new inspiration. Theres no monotony in our work. And when your creative work inspires others to do good it brings joy to you too.

Does your reUNI0N mean t.A.T.u. is back for good? Is there a new album in the works?
Volkova: At this point its too early to talk about a full reUNI0N. Weve scheduled just a couple of concerts. Well see how it turns out.
Katina: My solo project is a priority for me now and soon Im launching a new single and video Lift Me Up. I dedicate this song to all my fans who have been with me through the tough moments of my life. In addition to this, Im releasing my solo album shortly, recorded in English and Spanish.

Perhaps t.A.T.u. is one of the few Russian acts that is truly international. Where do you like to play most? Where are your most dedicated fans?
Katina: Im living in Los Angeles now and Im pretty happy with my life... Still I miss Moscow. We have fans in every country who love us. For them I want to perform, share my passions it doesnt really matter where that happens.
Volkova: There were times when we were on endless tours around the world, at the peak of our popularity, when we had to sing the same songs over and over again, a couple of times a day, even forgetting the words every concert, country and people were so different. We were well received wherever we went. Its impossible to compare. Although we travelled a lot, I love Moscow this city is home, the place where my kids (Yulia is mother to two children Victoria and Samir), friends and relatives are.

Speaking of fans, do you get gifts from them? Is there anything that stands out?
Volkova: Every year, on my birthday, fans gather near my parents house to give me flowers, presents and their congratulations. We spend some time talking and I really appreciate this as they do it sincerely.
Katina: We know a lot of our fans and appreciate every gift they give us as they do it sincerely as Yulia just said. Recently, one fan gave me a gift card to a bookstore as a wedding present (Lena got married to rock musician Sasho Kuzmanovich) this August. That was so sweet!

Im sure youve had thousands of similar interviews. Whats the most unpleasant topic journalists like to discuss with you?
Katina: Well, surely its money. We are usually asked how much weve earned or are getting for shows. I hate putting my financial position out there for the public.
Volkova: I agree. Also, when we are asked about our love lives or alleged affairs. I hate when people stick their noses into your private life.

t.A.T.u. (RU, pop)
Stereo Plaza (Chervonozoryaniy 1)
27 September at 20.00
Tickets: 250 1,500hrv
222-0022

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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