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On the cover
№7 (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.


On the Sofa with...

MTV Ukraine General Director Yevgen Stupka

Some people just seem to have talent oozing out of their ears, and Yevgen Stupka, General Director with the all new MTV Ukraine, is one of them. Starting out as a musician, he moved on to producing and promoting Ukrainian bands, and his total addiction to music landed him one of the best jobs in the Ukrainian pop world.

Now Yevgen Stupka is sitting at the top of the tree, but his start in music wasn't so easy. After graduating from Glier Music School in Kyiv he hoped to carry on his studies at the Culture and Art Institute (now Poplavsky University) but was refused a place. However, a few days later he was invited to study music technology at the world famous Berklee School of Music in Boston. "Every musician wants to hitch their wagon to a star, and that's exactly how I felt getting accepted to the school in Boston," Stupka explains. During his studies he won the coveted Best Student award and completed the four year course in only two. By this time he was already an accomplished producer and it was a simple decision for him to continue his work back in Ukraine. "It was a feeling of patriotism and my love for Ukraine that brought me back. I had the idea that I was going to do something different here - break all the stereotypes and take a different approach to music," he explains. On arriving back in Kyiv he immediately started putting his dream into practice setting up the Stolytsia Recording Studios where he planned to make the best music in the country. "I wanted to create a studio where musicians were free to create the sort of music they were passionate about," says Yevgen.
As a very successful producer of many of the country's top acts, he felt he'd reached a plateau and it was time to try his hand at something new. It was then he saw a recruitment advertisement in a popular Kyiv newspaper for the General Director of MTV Ukraine. "At first I thought it was some kind of joke, but decided to give it a go. After five rounds of interviews I was given the job," he says. This was only 6 months ago and already the channel is broadcasting and the crew is completely involved in the process. The idea of the new channel is to promote Ukrainian music, find new talent and provide the viewing public with quality entertainment. Yevgen is sure the channel will be a hit saying: "We don't want to show just glamourous videos. The idea is to show people they can control their lives. Our country has never had a channel like this before." In order to attract a young audience the channel is recruiting a number of celebrities such as author Irena Karpa who is going to present the news. Stupka had been aware of the fiery writer for sometime and he came to the conclusion that the most important programme on the channel should be hosted by someone with her sort of wit and style.
Stupka has many plans for the channel but the idea is to keep the channel fluid and adaptable while reflecting the ideas of MTV world and acquainting Ukrainians with world music. "We want to show quality pop music, but the programmes will vary in style and content. Without adapting to country specifics we wouldn't be able to survive and so we will make the channel full of personality," Stupka says. Reality TV shows are very popular in the MTV World, and Stupka thinks the Ukrainian version will benefit from such shows. Looking to the future, Stupka intends to expand the MTV coverage here in Ukraine. "I think this is not a problem for us. The audience is looking for something new, and we hope to provide them with that. We are going to provide the Ukrainian public with interesting material and there will always be surprises. The main idea we want to promote is your are free to think and do with your life whatever you want, and Ukrainians will get the message soon!"

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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