|On the cover|
Tunnelling Towards Hope
|28 February - 6 March 2014|
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.
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.
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.
|What's On Archive ¹ 41 (2007)|
9 November - 15 November
Developing Arts in Ukraine
Take me out!
On the Sofa with...
|From THE EDITOR (41) - Editorial|
I don't like to get I serious here, but there is a worrying trend happening in this great city that, if not stemmed, could put a serious dent in its reputation and damage Kyiv's chances of hosting the Euro 2012 final. Two weeks ago we reported on two racist attacks in the city where three Chinese students were attacked with knives and a Bangladeshi man was beaten to death with bottles. To add to this, a 50-year-old tourist from Japan was hospitalised last Saturday after being beaten by a gang of sixteen and seventeen year old boys. A few days prior to this, after a long day's work and a couple of beers in a bar with a friend, I was accosted by a gang of teenagers in Palace Sport metro station while I was waiting for the last train home. It started with one young chap behaving in a threatening manner on the escalator at Ploscha Lva Tolstoga metro station. It didn't concern me much as it was just him and his girlfriend, but he followed me over to Palace Sport where he got on his mobile and a few seconds later a gang of about 20 of his friends appeared. Surrounded, I readied myself to do my best while preparing to take a beating, and I have to admit it was a rather frightening few moments. Luckily for me, there was someone on hand prepared to do something about it, and that someone was the man sweeping the platform. Forcing his way into the crowd he grabbed hold of me while telling the gang the police were on their way. There was some shouting and pushing, and I thought it was going to be him and me against the mob, but thankfully, and a little surprisingly, they allowed him to lead me out of the station where I shook his hand and caught a taxi home. Thankful that I had not become another statistic in the rising tide of xenophobia that seems to be gripping Kyiv's youth, and for the fact that there are people out there willing to make a stand, we must bear in mind that, while on the increase, such incidents are still thankfully rare. Kyiv is a thoroughly metropolitan city, and the vast majority of its residents are wonderfully accepting and helpful towards the international community, and this should be celebrated. Coincidentally, this week we are taking a closer look at the Turkish community and the positive influence their presence has had on the culture and architecture of the city, and we are telling the wonderful story of how one lowly Ukrainian girl came to be all-powerful in the Ottoman Empire. Both of these stories serve to highlight the fact the cultural exchange between nations has nothing but a positive affect on both. Vive la Difference! Have Jim!
Neil Campbell, Editor
|Political Rivalry Gets Physical - Whats Up?|
The rivalry between eccentric Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chemovetsky and Yuriy Lut-senko, the Our Ukraine-Nation Self-Defense leader who would like to replace him, is getting physical - and silly. This weekend Kyiv was treated to the spectacle of the controversial millionaire mayor at Olympic Stadium as he did chin-ups and ran a footrace, all apparently to prove what a fine physical specimen he is. The stunt, which had the doughy mayor cavorting shirtless for the cameras, was a response to Lutsenko's notorious drug-test gambit of October. Readers will remember that Lutsenko challenged the mayor to provide urine, blood and hair samples to a local clinic, with the goal of revealing whether either man had used drugs in the last eight years.
|Habits of Kyiv`s Car Thieves Revealed - Whats Up?|
A report last week from the Interior Ministry throws light on the way car thieves comport themselves here in Ukraine, and the information's a little bit surprising. Almost four thousand cars were stolen in Ukraine in the first nine months of this year, but the hijacked vehicles aren't always the more expensive cars, as might have been expected. While one out of four booted cars is indeed of foreign manufacture, Mercedes or BMW aren'tt the most popular imported makes for criminals - Daewoo is. Volkswagen is in second place on the list, followed by Skoda, with Audi in fourth place and Mercedes trailing the pack in fifth. Super-elite cars like Bentleys, Hummers, Dodge Vipers and the like are rarely jacked, firstly because they're not very common (though they're more common in Kyiv than in a Western city) and secondly because they're so often guarded. Incidentally, the report claims that thieves prefer to do their dastardly work on weekday evenings. Presumably they're clubbing at weekends.
|Ukraine's Huge Population Problem - Whats Up?|
That Ukraine's population has been falling for decades is no secret, but a new UN report makes clear just how dramatic the drop really is: the country's population could halve by 2050. The reasons for the drop are declining birth rates, low life expectancies due to unhealthy lifestyles, and the fact that so many Ukrainians are leaving the country, trying to slip into Western countries by hook or by crook. Ukraine isn't alone in its demographic predicament either - its Slavic brothers Russia and Belarus are facing the same thing. The phenomenon is most noticeable in the countries' villages, some of which have become ghost towns since the Soviet UNI0N fell apart.
|Attitudes Towards Gays Harden - Whats Up?|
According to a poll by TNS Ukraine, only eight percent of Ukrainians believe that gays and lesbians should have the same legal rights as other citizens. The information apparently testifies to a hardening of attitudes toward homosexuals in Ukrainian society: in March 2002 some 33.8 percent of Ukrainians thought homosexuals should have their rights restricted, while in March 2007 some 46.7 percent did. Some 60.2 Ukrainians don't believe homosexuals should be able to raise children, while a little more than half don't want them to be able to officially register their relationship with the state, as straight couples do. In 2002, the last time such a poll was conducted, only 40.2 percent of Ukrainians were against registration. As a side note, 6 October saw a 'march against homosexuality' take place in Kyiv, led by charismatic evangelical pastor Sunday Ad-elaja, whose Embassy of God ministry counts Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chemovetsky among its adherents.
|Tanya Franchuk Kyiv’s Charming Gallerist - Cover Story|
In a city swiftly shedding its provincial past and joining the international art scene, there’s no hipper gallery around than Kyiv.FineArt, the exhibition space that charming brunette Tanya Franchuk opened with a partner last year.
|A Host of Ukrainian Stars Come Together on One Stage - Coming Soon|
Star Concert, National Circus (2 Ploscha Peremogy), 22 November at 19.00
Olympic champion gymnast Stella Zakharova has organised this event that combines music and sport, bringing together a bunch of luminaries of Ukrainian showbiz including Anatoliy Zalevsky, Sofia Rotaru, Ruslana, and the Klitschko brothers. She’s hoping this spectacular becomes a popular annual event in the mode of ‘Ogonyok’ or the ‘Song of the Year’ contest, but that all depends on you. For more information call 486−3927.
|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|
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.