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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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Kyiv Culture

Elegance in Black and White

American commercial photographer Jeff Zaruba has honed his craft over a career in advertising, editorial, and fine art photography spanning 30 years. Specialising in art, architecture, travel, and tourism photography, his art compositions are black and white, and he brings them to Kyiv this month.

 Jeff Zarubas photographic style is defined by an artful appreciation for the shape, space, landscape, and composition of natural and manmade forms. In Kyiv he will present a collection of conceptual works that illustrate the intricate interplay of shapes, shadows, reflections and light. Whats On talks to the Chicago-born talent to discover more about his works and personality.

How old were you when you first understood that you would pursue a career in photography? What influenced your decision?
I was 19 and enrolled in architecture school at Arizona State University. Although I loved architecture and design, there was something about the classes that did not quite click. I wandered over to the art school, looked at their classes, and chose, among others, a basic black and white photography class. Within weeks, I was hooked and spending most of my free time shooting and in the darkroom.

What is it about photography that attracts you the most?
I believe it was the speed of creation that first attracted me, especially compared to so many of the other fine art classes that I also took in school, like drawing, painting, sculpture and design. At the time (mid 1970s) photography was a very contemporary artists medium. I think that ultimately photography allowed me to frame and simplify the world as I saw it.

Though talented in colour photography, you nevertheless focus on creating black and white photos. Why is it the main theme of your art?
Black and white was my first love, and the abstractness and simplicity of it suits my aesthetic very well.

Where do you find inspiration? And what comes first the idea or image?
I find my inspiration in travel. I love to wander with my camera, away from my day-to-day responsibilities and concerns, and let my eye lead me to find photos. Having done this for over 30 years, I find that collections of similar images have grown.

Which places in the world inspire you most?
I appreciate places that have successfully married ancient and modern culture and design. The places that honour the past, yet still move forward with modern design and ideas. Since I do not speak any foreign languages, places where English is not common often seem to awaken my vision, as my hearing takes a break from processing conversation.

They say the idea is always bigger than its implementation. Youve earned recognition worldwide. But are you happy with the results of your work?
Yes, I really am happy with a lot of my work, but always, always look forward to working on new images. One of the tests I give myself with my work is if I continually like it, even after seeing it over the passage of time, then it is valid.

Who do you consider the greatest photographers of our time? Who are your teachers in this sense?
The list is large and always growing. My early inspirations came from Paul Strand, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, then more mid-century influences like Irving Penn, and Ernest Haas. I love the work of Sebastiao Selgado, and Sarah Moon.

What are you working on now? What are your plans for the future?
I have been working on a series called Sacred Landscapes, which is a beautiful black and white panoramic collection, and also another series that I may call H20, which is a collection of very abstract clouds and water scenes, that are quite romantic and quite a few are in colour.

What is your favourite subject to photograph?
I am drawn to light, shapes, patterns, patina, shadows and abstractions. It really does not matter what is in front of me.

What book is on your nightstand at home right now?
Thats a good question. I have a few books and no idea what their titles are. I used to read on airplanes all the time. Now I make sure I have a window seat and listen to music while flying. Ray La Montagne and Mark Knopfler are both good inspirations for my cloud photos and when I work on my images.

What is your breakfast routine?
Always up early, before sunrise. Coffee with half and half, the San Francisco Chronicle (our daily newspaper) and often eggs cooked in olive oil. Then usually some email work, yoga or exercise.

Exhibition of photographs by Jeff Zaruba (us)
11 December 26 January Brucie Collections Gallery (Artema 55b)
www.bruciecollections.com

Anna Azarova

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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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