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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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Ukrainian Culture
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.

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.
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The shouts of Ukraine is Europe may have become a rarity amidst ongoing EuroMaidan protests. However closer ties with the European UNI0N remain the catalyst, and among the demands of protesters is the signing of an Association Agreement. It begs the question do they realise what it takes to be European? Can a nation of 46 million people change for the better upon signing a piece of paper? Nothing will change unless Ukrainians change their mentality, starting from the basics. Whats On looks at how Ukrainians differ from other Europeans in terms of values, and holds a mirror up to Ukrainian society.

Blockbusters exist for two reasons: To make us oooh and aaahh and to make money. Documentaries also exist for two reasons: because someone cared about something in our world and wanted to share it with others while enhancing our awareness of the subject matter. Documentaries are not typically money-spinners, yet when one of the greatest proponents of the blockbuster Stephen Spielberg comes calling on a documentarian you can be assured they are making films worth seeing. Meet Sergiy Bukovsky, the Ukraine-based documentary filmmaker who attracted the attention of the Hollywood heavyweight.

There are few places in the world you will find health so highly esteemed as in Ukraine. People toast to your health all the time, and there are rules to follow to ensure wellbeing, such as eating a good amount of parsley, which is polezna (healthy), while sitting in a room with a stream of air conditioning is not. We cant necessarily follow the best advice of our babushkas all the time thank goodness there are places you can go to reclaim that healthy, youthful glow that fades with every piece of parsley you turn away.
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It is a ritual not for the fainthearted, a shock to the system attempted by only the most devout plunging into icy water in the middle of winter. Yet on 19 January, it is an integral part of what is a big day for Eastern European Christians during the celebration of Khreshchenya Epiphany or Theophany. Eastern Churches following the Julian calendar observe the day on 19 January because of the 13-day difference today between that calendar and the generally used Gregorian calendar.

Santa Claus, as we know him, can largely be attributed to Haddon Sundbloms depiction of him in Coca-Cola Companys Christmas advertising from the 1930s. He is an amalgam of Christmas figures from across Europe a modern day interloper. While Santa is slowly making his presence known in Ukraine, there is an older Slavic version who refuses to be usurped, Did Moroz and, of course, his granddaughter Snihuronka. Whats On meets two people determined to defend tradition.

There are some people who do it in January. Others leave it until later in the year. No, its not the breaking of New Years Resolutions. Its Christmas shopping. For those who fall into the last-minute category of Christmas shopper, it can be an ordeal. Relax. Whats On has a few ideas to help you out and with patriotism at fever pitch they have a Ukrainian flavour, naturally.

Autumn is traditionally a time of harvest, the growing season ends and stockpiling for winter begins. In Western Ukraine it also marks a time of cultivation, of a creative kind that is. At the Lviv International Book Fair earlier this autumn, the seeds of ideas were sown, to germinate, and grow. Whats On speaks to three internationally-recognised authors who participated in the fair about trends in modern literature and get their tips on how to embark on a writing career of your own.

Like many good ideas, Movember started as a conversation over beer. In this case it was in a bar at the bottom of the world Melbourne, Australia in 2003. Travis Garone and Luke Slattery were drinking beer when their conversation turned to recurring fashion trends. They questioned where the mo (moustache) had gone and joked about bringing it back. In the decade since and with facial hair enjoying a global comeback not seen since the late 19th and early 20th century, its perhaps only a matter of time before Movember catches on in Kyiv.


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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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