|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 45 (2007)|
7 December - 13 December
Actor turned singer turned actor talks to What’s On
Take me out!
On the Sofa with...
|From THE EDITOR (45) - Editorial|
At last – apparently, possibly, maybe – the great nation that is Ukraine has a government. Last week Tymoshenko and Yushchenko seem to have set aside their differences, at least temporarily, and managed to form a coalition, but with only a two seat majority (OU-PSD lawmaker Ivan Pliushch refused to sign the agreement because, “it is very difficult, and often unproductive, to build the country with a half”) and Yanukovich’s alleged penchant for buying opposition members, who knows how long it will last. But let’s not be so pessimistic and for the time being rejoice in the knowledge that we are all, for the first time in nine months, safe and secure in the warm embrace of politicians looking after our best interests. It has been two months since the elections, which should really be quite long enough for anyone to reach an agreement, and a thought struck me as I made my way to work down through Mariinsky park this morning – why has it all been done so quietly? It is of course harder to notice something that’s not there than it is to notice something that is, and until now I hadn’t realised what’s been missing over the past two months – paid protestors. When the parliament was dissolved back in April, the Party of Regions filled Mariinsky park, Maidan and other strategic locations throughout the centre with armies of unwashed standard bearers who turned this beautiful green capital into something of a cesspool, and I for one was expecting it to happen all over again, from both sides, after the elections as the party leaders incessantly argued the toss over every single minutiae. But it didn’t. The streets have remained free of this unwelcome congestion, and all negotiations seem to have taken place quietly behind closed doors. Of course, this could well be a sign that the country’s politicians are reaching puberty and may flower into adulthood with beauty and grace. That’s what we should hope for, but I am sure I am not the only one who finds it all deeply suspicious.
Neil Campbell, Editor
|Michael Jackson in Kyiv - Whats Up?|
In what’s one of the stranger bit of news to pop up recently, the former ‘King of Pop’ – yes, Michael Jackson himself – is coming next week to the Ukrainian capital, where he’ll be the first to receive the just-minted Order of the Holy Archangel Michael from the Ukrainian Cultural Fund. According to the Fund’s president, Vlad Baginsky, the award will be given yearly to someone who’s played a big role in the development of world culture, science, and art, and also to people who are involved in charity. Baginsky said the Fund initiated the award to attract the attention of donors who can help the Fund in its work helping needy children. In a related development, the singer has donated a heap of money to the Ukraine-3000 Fund, which deals with children’s issues and works in partnership with the cultural fund.
|Crocodile ‘Godzik’ Dies - Whats Up?|
The little Nile crocodile affectionately named Godzic, a diminutive of Godzilla, who escaped from the Donetsk Circus while on display near the Azov Sea back in May, died last week only two days after he was recaptured. At only 120 centimetres long, the tiny reptile proved no threat to the public while he was on the run, and reportedly hid out in a barge where he spent the summer sunbathing. As winter came, the smart little chap kept himself warm by bathing near a steel mill which discharged hot water into the bay, but on Wednesday 28 November he was recaptured and put in the care of the Emergency Situations Ministry. He died two days later, which, following their handling of the toxic phosphorous spill that occurred after a train derailed in western Ukraine earlier in the year, is hardly surprising.
|Sidewalk Range Rover Hits Ambassador - Whats Up?|
It’s the sort of disaster that could only happen in Kyiv: China’s ambassador to Ukraine was hospitalised when a Range Rover driving down the pedestrian pavement on Sagaidachnoho smashed into his car. News reports indicate that Ambassador Li’s Mercedes was legally in the street when the Range Rover, coming off the sidewalk and refusing to let him turn off Shota Rustaveli, barreled into him. Seasoned Kyiv residents will know that louts in huge cars driving on the sidewalk and refusing to yield are par for the course in Kyiv, but this still constitutes a major embarrassment for Ukraine. Meanwhile, we wonder when Kyivans will start fighting back, European-style, against the primacy of cars in this city. Reports are that the practice of ‘SUV-vaulting’ is spreading in Western European cities: fed-up young people are taking it on themselves to jump over illegally parked cars, sometimes making a tongue-in-cheek competition out of it. In addition, more and more people are simply walking over SUV’s parked on European sidewalks. Of course, for every sidewalk SUV in Berlin or Paris, there are probably three hundred in Kyiv, which means that walking over them here could turn into an extreme sport along the lines of high-altitude mountaineering or super-marathoning.
|Ukraine and Russia Demarcate Azov Border - Whats Up?|
After a round of Kyiv talks, Ukraine and Russia have agreed on how to divide up the Azov Sea, the Black Sea and the Kerch Strait between the two countries, the Foreign Ministry reported last Friday. The agreement puts to rest a disagreement that’s been percolating for years, and that during the so-called Tuzla Island crisis of 2003, when Russia seemed to grab a piece of Ukrainian land, got nasty. The Azov Sea is 39 thousand square kilometres in size, has straight, low-lying beaches and a maximum depth of 15 metres: it’s not the most dramatic body of water in the world, but it’s nice to know what parts of it belong to whom. The Ukrainian and Russian delegations also entrusted experts with coordinating the demarcation lines of the territorial seas, the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zones in the Black Sea. And they discussed bilateral agreements that will regulate shipping, fishing, and ecological protection. Now that that’s all taken care off, they might turn their attention to Issue Number One in the watery region: coping with the aftermath of November’s oil and sulphur spill, which fouled both Ukrainian and Russian coastlines.
|Dreaming About Your Future Husband - Kyiv Traditions|
St. Andrew’s Day, 13 December, is when unmarried girls can learn the names, habits, and professions of their future husbands, and even get a look at their faces – if they follow the correct rituals. So if you are young and single, or old and single for that matter, we thought we’d let you in on how it’s all done.
|Big Production Values for Revamped Ukrainian Opera - This Week|
‘Yaroslav the Wise’, National Opera (50 Volodymyrska), 12 December at 19.00
First staged in 1975, the opera ‘Yaroslav the Wise’ is making a comeback and this time round it is set to undergo a massive make-over, with a whole new production. This work, written by Ukrainian composer Heorhiy Mayboroda, smashes the stereotype that classical music isn’t relevant in these modern times. With exquisite costumes and famous opera stars, this opera breathes some fresh air into the arts. Don’t miss it! For more information call 234-7165.
|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.