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¹7 (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 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.


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

Honouring Ukraine’s Most Distinctive Sculptor

This week marks the 300th Anniversary of the birth of the Ukrainian sculptor known as master Pinzel, and in honour of the great man a law has been passed declaring 2007 ‘The year of Pinzel’. There has been a great fuss recently about this figure with a number of high-ranking people visiting the museum of the architect where Western Ukrainian governors gathered earlier in the year for purely political reasons, but this time returned, united in honouring the cultural contribution of the man.

Master Pinzel is renowned as the man who proved that there was true art worth the world’s attention being done in the 18th Century in Western Ukraine, and his worked has been compared to such people as the master of Czech baroque Matiy Brown, Rome sculptor and architect Lorenzo Bernani, and even Michelangelo. There is great mystery surrounding the origins of Pinzel, how he came to be in Western Ukraine, where he learned his craft, and how he died, but his legacy lives on in his work – the stone carved figures on the St. Yura Cathedral in Lviv, Buchach City Hall, the Horodenky Roman-Catholic Church altar, Iyeronima Church and his famous statues of St.Yakyma, St.Yosyp, St. Anna, Tsar David, Samson and Avraam. No one knows exactly how Ioann Georgy Pinzel came to be in Halychyna, but what is known is that he signed all his works ‘Master Pinzel’ although historians are not sure that was his real name, and that he was financed by Earl Nikolay Pototsky. His work first gained attention because of his sculptures in Buchach, and his fame burgeoned due to the brilliant five alters he made for the Horodenka Roman Catholic Church for Missionaries. He was known at this time as the ‘alter sculptor’, and today he is famous for being the founder of the ‘Lviv rococo’ style, and is considered the single most influential figure in Ukrainian sculpture.

The mystery surrounding the life of Pinzel has served as the foundation for many hypothesis about him and his work, and as is usual in such cases there have been many attempts made to find the truth about the man. Recently the Ukrainian writer Yevgeniya Kononenko published a novel where she attempted to answer the riddle of Pinzel’s life. Written like a detective novel ‘The Sacrifice of the Forgotten Master’ was hailed by critics as the Ukrainian Da Vinci Code, which was more a reflection on the man’s life than a PR slogan. One of the main characters in the book, Michael, tells about his desire to find the truth: “If I were an art critic, Pinzel wouldn’t be my secret wish, but a reasoned quest to get to know as much as possible about him. But as it is, it has to remain my secret desire which I can’t discuss with anyone.” The central character also has her view on the artist: “I think a lot about Pinzel, squeezing my way through time, trying to hear something, anything. I think of him not only as a sculptor, but as an ordinary human being…” Through these characters Kononenko expresses the desires of many people who wish to know more about this enigmatic man whose life is shrouded in myth and legend. With 2007 being hailed as ‘The year of Pinzel’ there are numerous events organised for throughout the year including a number of exhibitions at The Pinzel Museum in Lviv, and at least one in Kyiv.

 There are also to be commemorative stamps and cards published in memory of this influential artist along with some books espousing various hypothesis on his life. All of which goes to prove the simple fact that everyone loves a great mystery, which goes some way to explain why his fame continues to grow 300 years on.

Anastasiya Skorina

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    Ukraine Truth
    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

    Pulling Strings
    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.


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