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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.


Ukraine Abroad

Ukrainian Sexpot To Be New Bond Girl

It’s official: the ‘Bond girl’ in the next installment of the James Bond movie franchise will be top Ukrainian model Olga Kurylenko. Besides her Paris- New York-Milan catwalk experience, the twice-married 28-year-old Berdyansk bombshell has made a splash in the movies ‘Hitman’ and ‘Paris, I Love You’. Kurylenko certainly has come very far, very fast. Born in the small city of Berdyansk on the Azov Sea, Kurylenko had a childhood of typical Soviet poverty, living in an overcrowded communal flat and wearing patched-up clothes.  Her break came when, as a 13-year-old on holiday with her mother in Moscow, she was spotted by a model scout on the metro.

 At 17 she decamped for Paris to start her modeling career for real, and found herself on the covers of Elle and Vogue, and appearing as the face (or body) of Lejaby lingerie. Unlike many top models, who go out of their way not to be photographed with their clothes off, Kurylenko has had few compunctions about it. This should be obvious from last year’s ‘Hitman’,

 In last year’s ‘Hitman’ she appears undressed in an elongated bondage scene, wearing little more than a rope

 in which she appears undressed in an elongated bondage scene, wearing little more than the rope in which she’s tied up. “I find the art of bondage quite beautiful,” she told the press when the movie came out. Besides cutting a swath through the fashion scene and paving the way for what looks like it’s going to turn into a serious film career, Kurylenko has had a tumultuous private life. Her first marriage, to French photographer Cedric van Mol, nine years her senior, ended in divorce. According to some of those closest to Kurylenko, it wasn’t much of a marriage. “They have always been friends, but it was a marriage without love,” Kurylenko’s own mother told the press. But the two-year marriage had its advantages, not the least of which is that the Ukrainian national got a French passport out of it, a helpful thing for a Ukrainian girl with aspirations. The ability to travel helped her career take off. Later Kurylenko married a mobile phone entrepreneur named Damian Gabrielle, with whom she remains a couple.

 A Star Performer
Kurylenko has already been in a number of movies, including ‘L’Annulaire’, ‘The Serpent,’ and ‘Tyranny’ in addition to ‘Hitman’, but she might be best-known in Kyiv for her role in ‘Paris, I Love You,’ the collection of short films about Paris directed by a number of leading film directors each of whom have their own take on life there. In her portion of the film, Kurylenko plays a vampire who besets a young tourist in Paris played by Elijah Wood. Although she doesn’t say a word in that part, she speaks good French and English in addition to her native languages. The new Bond movie is tentatively titled ‘Bond 22’ and represents the first time that a Ukrainian actress has played the femme fatale role that’s crucial to every entry in that film franchise. (The character Tatiana Romanova, the double agent in ‘From Russia With Love’, was actually played by an Italian.) Being a Bond girl generally gives actresses lots of exposure and leads to big careers. Some have become legendary, like Ursula Andress, who starred opposite Sean Connery in the very first Bond movie, ‘Dr. No’. Britt Ekland, Famke Janssen, Teri Hatcher, Sophie Marceau, Denise Richards, and Grace Jones have also been notable Bond girls.

 Real Action Bond
‘Bond 22’ is being helmed by ‘Kite Runner’ director Marc Forster, who recently won an Oscar for ‘Finding Neverland’, and is due for release on 7 November. The plot is expected to follow on from the events of the earlier film ‘Casino Royale’, with Bond picking up the pieces after being double-crossed by the last Bond girl, the character Vesper Lynd. Daniel Craig will star again as the British spy. Other returning cast members include Judi Dench, Felix Leiter, and Giancarlo Giannini. The villain this time around is being played by French actor Mathieu Amarilic, who’s just made an impression in ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’. In other words, the Ukrainian is in good company. Appearing in an action movie requires different skills than looking good in a perfume advertisement or on a fashion-show runway, and Kurylenko is learning them. For ‘Hitman’, for example, she spent six months learning Chinese martial arts. She has said that she wants to follow in the footsteps of her countrywoman, the Kyiv-born Milla Jovovich, who has successfully parlayed her fame as a model into a movie career. She looks like she’s on her way.

 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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