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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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Kyiv Culture
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.

Kyiv has become a tale of two cities. One is a fortress likened to those built in medieval times, but surrounding the barricades is the second city, one living in the (albeit post-Soviet) 21st century. In the centres fortress protesters mix with the curious, shoppers, and workers on their lunch break or daily commute to and from work, it has become normal a new normal. Away from the centre and life for many goes on unchanged. Two cities, two attitudes, Whats On looks at the dichotomy.

Imagine you are a young newly-married Ukrainian. Life seems wonderful; youve been through the ritual of your wedding with all the toasting, tears and celebrations. Youre now in the so-called honeymoon phase...will it last? Whats On looks at the realities faced by young couples in Ukraine and finds its a struggle.

As a relatively new dance theatre, you wont find too much information about Helianthus online. Even their website is a bit austere. Make no mistake however, this Vienna-based troupe, bringing their internationally-acclaimed The Fantastic Shadows to Kyiv next week, is no apparition.

They have changed the way we do business in the 21st century they are startups. And what better way to put your brilliant plan into action than with Startup Weekend?

The impact Belgium had on the African Congo, a country caught in the worldwide European land-grab of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is at the centre of an exhibition in Kyivs PinchukArtCentre this month. Featuring more than 50 works by Belgian multidisciplinary master Jan Fabre, they reveal the sinister past of the Belgian Congo. Whats On meets the artist to get a better understanding of what the works mean.

Kyiv Modern Ballet, headed by choreographic creative Radu Poklitaru of Moldova, has been producing novel and innovative ballets for more than seven years. Featuring a couple dozen dancers at its core, a new and thought-provoking philosophy pokes out of each new performance. Their newest, Seasons, is no different.

Contemporary art is more than art itself. It has become a social phenomenon, a tool for communication with, what many say, messages and concepts that are more important than skill and technique. There is no doubt contemporary art is as divisive as any other art movement through history. What remains to be seen is if it will stand up to the test of time. Whats On meets two people artist and artistic director to learn more about Ukraines take on contemporary art.

Christmas may take a backseat to the bigger show that is New Year in Kyiv, courtesy of it falling on 7 January according to the Julian calendar, however like everywhere else in the world, celebrations of Christmas in Ukraine are generally a family affair. And with family in mind at this most wonderful time of year, Whats On compiles a list of Kyivs greatest festive shows that offer fun for you and all your nearest and dearest.

Its the time to get in a little Christmas gift shopping which inevitably means youll hit one of Kyivs malls. The just-opened mall Gulliver on Sportyvna Square has an atrium, a food court, glass lifts and acres of parking. Its shops include the so-called anchor stores youll find in all city malls and additional offerings to ensure it becomes a retail destination. With its plethora of malls, each trying to outdo the last in terms of size and scale, it is hard to imagine Kyiv without them. Yet 14 years ago the concept of the mall was unknown here; Whats On charts the rise, and possible fall, of mall culture.


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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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