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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 Culture

A Moral Drama Full of Stars

Gala Radio DJ Anatoliy Vexlarsky, so long used to spinning discs has turned his hand to something new and written a play starring himself alongside other Kyiv celebrities. The premiere of MoralEast, which has a high moral content, was well received. Readers can judge when the performance is staged again this week.


The idea for the play MoralEast came to Tolya way back in 1996 but it wasnt realised until five years later when Pont publisher Dmitriy Timchenko suggested that he try and write something interesting for the magazine. It was then he started to write down the ideas that would eventually become part of the play. All the story is based on real experiences and events that have taken place in my life. I know all the characters very well, and they are very colourful! he explains. As he wrote the story down he came to realise that it could be something new and fresh, and these early writings became the foundation for Moral East. The premiere of the play took place in Babuin to a packed house and everyone present thoroughly enjoyed the show which starred Vexlarsky himself along with M1 host Vasilisa Frolova and Yuriy Khustochka from Esthetic Education. The story tells of an assassin, a man who kills people for a living, who sees nothing wrong with the way he earns money. He makes his way from one job to another without any thought or conscience. Then one Saturday evening when he is sitting at home alone, the thought enters his head that it may be wrong, even though it has never occurred to him before. He realises his way of life is a sin and comes to hate it and repent of it. There is no doubt the play has deeply religious conotations, and as a man of God, Tolyas intention was to show the essence of evil inherent in His creation. Vexlarsky thinks there is too much evil in the world and that it is down to each individual to try and eradicate it from there lives which in time might lead to it disappearing from the world altogether. The first version of the play was laced with obscenities which the author never uses in everyday life. I wanted to show the essence of evil, and how someone like this would behave. I finally decided not to use it though as I found it unnecessary, he explains. The main moral of the play is that people should see the evil in their actions and that they should think about how they live their lives. In writing MoralEast, Vexlarsky is taking up the morality play tradition that was very popular way back in the 15th and 16th centuries. Morality plays are a type of theatrical allegory in which the protagonist is met by personifications of various moral attributes who try to prompt him to choose a godly life over an evil one. They were very common throughout medieval Europe as didactic plays intended to teach the audience about good and evil. Plays like Condemnation des banquets by Nicolas de Chesnaye and The Castle of Perseverance, Everyman, are surviving examples of the style. Most morality plays have a protagonist who represents either humanity as a whole (Everyman) or an entire social class (as in Magnificence). Antagonists and supporting characters are not individuals per se, but rather personifications of abstract virtues or vices, especially the Seven deadly sins. Throughout his career Shakespeare references to morality characters and tropes, suggesting that the form was still alive for his audiences, at least in memory, long after the period of its textual flowering. Vexlarsky has already written a Ukrainian version of the play which he hopes to perform in Lviv and he hopes that this first successful writing experience will lead to more. The next performance of the play with take place in Dockers ABC and while it will not be quite as big a performance as the first one, it will give more people a chance to catch the mood of the work, this time presented as a monologue by Anatoliy Vexlarsky alone.

Anastasiya Skorina


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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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