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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

Being Babkin

It has been said creative people are paradoxical, both humble and proud, both extroverted and introverted, both rebellious and conservative. The epitome of this is Serhiy Babkin, a Ukrainian singer, composer and actor who doesnt chase fame but finds it comes nipping at his heels because the music he makes is too good to be forgotten.

On the eve of Serhiy Babkins concert in Green Theatre we asked this refreshingly down-to-earth star of Ukrainian showbiz about whats cracking in his life and work, his 9th album he has dedicated to his daughter and some philosophical aspects of being a musician.

Tell us about both Sergeevna your album and your daughter you named it after.
This album is very special personally for me. First of all the songs you find there were written from the happiness I felt on the birth of my little princess Vaselina. Second of all it was the first album I made with a sound producer. That producer is Milosh Elich so the whole process was high level. But the most important for me is every song in this album is about love and nothing else.

Seems you have a mix between social topics and romance in your songs. Are you planning to carry on with this trend?
I would say the contrary. There arent many social and romantic threads in my works. Mostly it's about emotions and life seen through various levels of the human condition. Id love to try to write songs for children or some classics, or launch an electronic project. Maybe shoot a movie and write a play in future.

Okay, but do you have your next album in mind already?
I think well start working on it in November. We want to do something weve never done before. Well do 40 songs, choose the best 15 and then record those. It's hard to talk about the concept now as I want to do what my heart tells me and follow the direction of my soul. Open my mind and listen to where it takes me. I cant ride on the same track for long I turn sour, so I never wait until what Im doing becomes routine or boring this is a catastrophe for me.

Are your achievements what you dreamed of when you started out?
I just wanted to sing when I started and I was wondering whether I could do it. And of course I was trying to convey my idea and thats what Im still doing. In the beginning there was more sarcasm and self-irony in my works. The further I went the deeper I wanted to dive.

Interesting comparison...Have you ever thought what else you would do if not music?
I think I would be a good military man or a surgeon. Well, if I didnt succeed in music I would be just an actor.

Many creative people dream about recognition and popularity what does it mean for you to be a star?
Music is the greatest creation on Earth. You can hurt with a word, but music doesnt hurt anybody as it doesnt have this function at its core. Music as it is, came before us, is with us and will remain long after us. Thats why it doesnt mean anything for me to be a star.

Is there anything really important for you apart from music?
My family is the most beautiful, harmonic and solid unit on the whole planet. It seems weve known each other for ages. Maybe we knew each other before the creation of the world. We are friends, doctors and teachers to each other. And if I needed to sacrifice my life for their safety Id do it without a second thought.

Touching words, but lets return to your work, is there anything special in store for your upcoming gig?
There will be a few surprises for sure as I love surprises both making and getting. They only work if they are unexpected, so if I tell you it wont be a surprise. Come and see for yourself.

Serhiy Babkin (UA, art rock)
27 September at 19.00
Tickets: 170 190hrv
Green Theatre (Parkova Doroha 2)
067-188-3355

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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