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7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope


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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.

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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.

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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.

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Ukraine Cinema

Sapphic Love Ukrainian Erotic Film to Open

Its the biggest-budgeted and most high-profile film that independent Ukraine has produced yet and its an erotic melodrama in the tradition of Emmanuelle. Its Sappho: Love Without Limits, and it will hit Kyiv theatres in early March. Produced by Yalta Film, that venerable old film studio on the balmy shores of the Black Sea, the movie features American actors and an American director, and is in general a thoroughly international production.


 Set in 1926, the movie is saturated with the glamour of the Roaring Twenties. The stock markets booming, newly liberated women have the vote, luxurious ocean liners are crossing the Atlantic, and aeroplanes, automobiles, radios, and telephones are transforming the world. Drawn by the cachet of Europe and pushed by Prohibition in the United States, the young Americans of the Lost Generation are flocking to Paris and other points in the old world. Its the era of jazz, modernism, the Charleston, and flappers in daring clothing. Its the period when the contemporary world is starting to develop. Its against this backdrop that a young American couple, Phil and the interestingly-named Sappho, arrive on the Greek island of Lesbos for a honeymoon. (Lesbos, of course, was the home of the original Sappho, the ancient Greek poetess whose sapphic erotic poems put the lesbian in Lesbos.) Sappho the modern one - is the young and beautiful daughter of a millionaire, and a free spirit in all ways. Phils an artist looking for inspiration. On the island they meet Helena, daughter of a Russian emigrant archaeologist. Shes smart, beautiful, and uninhibited and surprise! she ends up in bed with Sappho, whos meanwhile become impressed by the erotic verse of her ancient poetess namesake. Needless to say, a love triangle develops. Sappho wants to live in a menage a trois with Helena and her husband. Then Phil and Helena fall in love, and eventually decide they can do without Sappho.

 Sappho wants to live in a menage a trois with Helena and her husband. Then Phil and Helena fall in love, and eventually decide they can do without Sappho

 Apparently the situation mirrors one described in the original Sapphos famous poem about thwarted sexual desire. As our three lovers come to grips with their passions the present and the past merge together, and our modern Sappho commits an act which recalls the passionate death of the ancient poetess.

 International Set
In antiquity Sappho was considered one of the very greatest love poets the tenth muse. Most of her poems were destroyed, consciously or not, in the early Christian era, but what little remains to us of her work one complete poem and a few fragments is still enough to give her an important reputation. In the seventh century BC Lesbos was a cultural centre. Sappho spent most her time on the island, though she also travelled widely throughout Greece. She was exiled for a while because of her familys political activities, and spent that period in Sicily. By that time she was already well-known as a poet, and the residents of Syracuse were so honoured by her visit that they erected a statue to her. Commonly the objects of her affections in her poem were female, often the women who were sent to her for an education in the arts. She nurtured these women and wrote poems of love and adoration to them, and when they eventually left the island to be married, she composed their wedding songs. The majority of Sapphos extant poetry is quoted in the film; its very much a movie about her. Young American actors Avalon Barrie and Todd Soley and Russian Lyudmila Shyryaeva comprise the movies love triangle. The movie also features the respected Ukrainian actor Bohdan Stupka and several Greek actors in secondary roles. Barrie and Soley are completely new to the world of feature filmmaking, while Shiryaeva has already been noted for her roles in features and series like Volkovs Time, Devilfish 2, and Cop Wars 3. Sappho: Love Without Limits is the first movie that the revived Yalta Film has produced. Will it be a revolutionary piece of art that changes the history of filmmaking? Probably not, but it will be extremely glossy erotica, and there might even be a moment or two that makes you weep. And the music, by Greek musician Mikis Theodorakis and his niece Maro Theodorakis, should be very good.

 Natalia Marianchyk


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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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