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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 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.


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.




Over these past seven years I've been lucky enough to cover some of the most exciting events in Ukrainian history, including everything from rigged elections and revolutions to the ups and downs of the Ukrainian football team. Throughout it all I have often been struck by the startling number of characteristics that Post-Soviet Ukraine shares with the ill-fated Weimar Republic of inter-war Germany. First and foremost there's the proliferation of the devil may care, short-term attitudes that instruct so much of Kyiv life, helping to infuse the society scene with a highly hedonistic quality and encourage the growth of an exciting experimental arts and musical scene. Then there's the plethora of political parties seemingly coming and going, with members flitting from one to the other seemingly at will. We also have a wealthy and influential Jewish community and gutter level anti-Semitism. And then there's hyper inflation and the widely held belief that the country is corrupt and in need of a strong leader. I'd even swap you a Moroz for a von Papen, but that might be getting a little too carried away. After all, however depressing it may be to see the disgraced big man, Viktor Yanukovich, bounding back into power with his cronies, this is not 1933 and the parrallels are not so exact. Unfortunately one side effect of this latest political disappointment could be a significant boost for nationalist extremism. Far right groups have been bubbling under the surface for years in Post-Soviet Ukraine - viewed as fringe fanatics by the powers that be, much as they were in Weimar, and this current climate of perceived national betrayal is fertile ground indeed. As I look at those Swastika-style nationalist flags still flying on Maidan I can't help wondering just what sort of Ukraine these protesters are ready to fight for. It is certainly not the kind of country millions envisaged when they took to the streets in 2004, and with all eyes on the return of the old guard it is worth noting that there are plenty of other evils which could also pose a threat to Ukraines fledgling party politics.

Peter Dickinson, Editor

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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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