|On the cover|
Tunnelling Towards Hope
|28 February - 6 March 2014|
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 EuroMaidan’s three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the country’s 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.
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.
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.
Gifts to Remember
|There are some people who do it in January. Others leave it until later in the year. No, it’s not the breaking of New Year’s Resolutions. It’s Christmas shopping. For those who fall into the last-minute category of Christmas shopper, it can be an ordeal. Relax. What’s On has a few ideas to help you out – and with patriotism at fever pitch they have a Ukrainian flavour, naturally.
It is writ large on the streets of Kyiv – history is being made and, for now at least, the city is looking less festive and more battleground. Still, despite the revolution, Christmas and New Year are going ahead as planned, and a Ukrainian-tinged gift might just serve as a memento of events happening now.
From Camera to Canvas
In this high-tech world everyone has a camera in their pocket, but how about transforming that great “selfie” into a work of art? There are painters in Kyiv ready to paint or sketch a portrait based on any photograph you bring them. A nicely framed drawing will be a good present remembered for years. In addition to street artists, there’s an online shop Kartina iz Foto with a lot of good samples of what to expect. The prices start here from 290hrv for a 30×40 size picture.
Kartina iz Foto
It took three years for Petro Fedynskiy to finish the complete the first ever English translation of Taras Shevchenko’s Kobzar – a book, significant for every Ukrainian because the things the poet wrote are still topical even nowadays. Dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the poet’s birth, the book will be a great gift for somebody who wants to learn more about Ukraine.
Ask for a copy in bookstores around the city.
While you are wondering on Andriivskiy Uzviz looking for a pair of socks, have a look at Ukrainian pottery, made of clay and decorated with ethnic ornamentation. A plate like this plus a wooden spoon (although usually associated with Russia) will add spice to your Christmas dinner. Samples of pottery found on Ukrainian land date back to the Mesolithic era.
Marilyn Monroe first claimed diamonds to be a girl’s best friend, so finally if you’ve got the cash to splash on a good present for your lady and none of the above work for you, then jewellery is failsafe. Jewellery design studio Hararuk has a wealth of gems, while Noblesse is a good option for ladies looking for a nice watch for their gents.
Jewellery Design Studio Hararuk
Noblesse Watches & Jewellery (Horodetskoho 17/1)
Ummagma – The Canadian-Ukrainian duet of Alexander Kretov and Shauna McLarnon play an eclectic, yet harmonious potpourri of alt pop, dream-pop, post-rock, post-punk, ambient and space rock that sounds similar to Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Bill Nelson, and Brian Eno. The band has released two albums thus far and one of them might be the perfect gift for someone who wants to spend a long winter evening accompanied by some easy-listening music.
Sure, it’s more practical than inspiring but you never know – the person you present these to might be very thankful when the mercury falls well below zero. A pair of warm woollen socks can easily be found on Andriivskiy Uzviz and on those stands manned by babushka all over the city. These extremely warm, handmade socks are crafted with typical babushka love and often feature funky folk designs. You don’t even have to wear them as they are works of art in themselves.
Do you have a green thumb? If so, winter won’t stop you from gardening courtesy of these high-tech pots to grow plants and flowers. As the founders say, this technology was inspired by NASA, allowing you to grow herbs and flowers simply by adding water and a inserting a special cartridge in the device. Simply refill the reservoir when the device tells you and watch your little garden grow. We found Click and Grow on sale in Moyo and Rozetka shops for 600hrv.
A Cossack costume is uniquely Ukrainian. We found a nice little place on Mykhalivska Square, easy to find thanks to a concrete gun standing at the entrance where you can by everything a normal Cossack would wear. In contrast to the mass produced garments sold by other retailers, the Otaman boutique makes only one copy. Thinking of a vyshyvanka? Visit this store, but be warned – they don’t come cheap! The upside is you’ll never have to worry about that awkward moment when you realise someone is wearing the same outfit as you.
Otaman Boutique (Mykhalivska 21a)
Now here’s something for the little ones. There is a little workshop in Kyiv called Kyivskiy Vedmedyk that offers not only a wide range of ready-made teddy bears but also offers you the opportunity to act as designer. The skilled craftspeople working here can easily make your ideas a reality. A unique teddy bear might make a memorable present for the holidays.
Kyivskiy Vedmedyk (P Sahaidachnoho 6a)
A Little Astrology
The year 2014 will be that of the Blue Horse according to the Chinese zodiac. Here at What’s On, we think it a good idea to go into the new year on horseback by giving a certificate or subscription to a horse riding club as a gift. There are a lot of clubs in Kyiv but we particularly like Nabeg Club – they offer horse-riding trips into forests near Kyiv all year round. The club has seven horses, 30 ponies and four draft horses to ride.
Nabeg Club (Vyshhorodska 85a)
The lady in your life will definitely appreciate you buying her a new dress, especially made by a popular designer. We suggest you take her to Yasya Minochkina’s studio and choose something from the assortment or order a unique creation. The designer presented her Fall-Winter 2013/2014 collection at Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days earlier this year to positive feedback.
Yasya Minochkina’s Showroom (Tarasovska 3a)
Packing a Punch
He’s everywhere right now encouraging citizens to continue the fight for greater democracy, so how about memorabilia with the signature of Vitaliy Klitschko – reigning WBC heavyweight champion and leader of opposition party UDAR. Memorabilia on www.en.klitschkoauthentic.com with his signature costs 200 Euros, but if you spend enough time at EuroMaidan, we’re sure Klitschko won’t refuse signing a poster for you for free.
Sure the only person who knows you’re wearing them is probably you and your nearest and dearest, but Ukrainian-themed underwear will demonstrate an intimate bond to Ukraine. Etnusiki on-line shop offers a good choice for about 200hrv. In addition to Etnusiki, there are other shops where you can find Ukrainian underwear to look patriotic even when you’re caught with your pants downs.
Etnusiki on-line shop
by Vadym Mishkoriz
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When Walls Can Talk
Rights We Didn’t Know We Had
The Path to Europe Begins Here...
Head into 2014 Healthy
|Rights We Didn’t 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 don’t understand the meaning of these words.
| Kyiv Culture|
Located on Hrushevskoho Street – the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades – children’s 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. What’s On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.