Maidan Nezalezhnosti Square

Ukraine

57:58 mins

Euromaidan (Maidan) was a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine, which began in November 2013 with public protests in Maidan Nezalezhnosti ("Independence Square") in Kyiv, demanding closer European integration. By the beginning of 2014 the scope of the protests had expanded, with many calls for the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych and his government and ultimately led to the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity.

Ukrainians actively self-organised, bravely protested and some heroically died for democratic values and their human rights.

Eight people, active participants of the Maidan protests, were asked to answer the seven questions: What are you protesting about? What do you want to change? Is culture a part of the change? How do you want the change to happen? What will the area of Maidan look like if nothing happens as a result of the protest? What role has social media had in your protest? What is your dream for the area of the protests?

These interviews give an insight into a range of personal experiences from Maidan activists:

  • an interpreter and journalist from the Voice of America who was wounded in the Protests
  • an IT-manager who provided first medical aid to injured protesters
  • an actor nicknamed the “voice of Maidan” and future Minister of Culture
  • an archaeologist and PhD researcher
  • a wounded artist and art biennale curator
  • an university lecturer of Russian origin who volunteered as Euromaidan SOS coordinator
  • an international trade expert
  • and a teacher of English

Most of the interviews were recorded in English at the experimental exhibition “Creativity of Freedom: (R)Evolutionary Culture of Maidan” at the Ivan Honchar Museum in November 2014 – February 2015.

The interviews formed part of an interactive art space at the Ivan Honchar Museum, which served to facilitate artistic and philosophical reflections on the (r)evolutionary events and created a platform for discussions on basic notions of freedom, specific forms of struggle for independence and rediscovering personal and national identity. Additionally the space served as method to engage people in creating the Maidan Museum/ Museum of Freedom, uniting various activists’ initiatives within the democratic movement and a means for collecting objects, memories and stories from the Protests.

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Bottles  - Molotov Cocktails, widely used by the protesters on the Maidan Square to stop the riot police attacks. Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo
Bottles - Molotov Cocktails, widely used by the protesters on the Maidan Square to stop the riot police attacks. Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo

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Crowds in Square – Maidan of Independence – central square of Ukraine’s capital during mass protests in January 2014.  Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo
Crowds in Square – Maidan of Independence – central square of Ukraine’s capital during mass protests in January 2014. Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo

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Crowds with flags  - Maidan of Independence – central square of Ukraine’s capital during mass protests. January 2014. Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo
Crowds with flags - Maidan of Independence – central square of Ukraine’s capital during mass protests. January 2014. Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo

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Flowers in square – Flowers commemorating the protesters shot by riot police. March 2014. Photo by Ihor Poshyvailo
Flowers in square – Flowers commemorating the protesters shot by riot police. March 2014. Photo by Ihor Poshyvailo

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Ihor Poshyvailo talking to Liubomyr Hanusiak
Ihor from the Maidan Museum initiative interviewing the artist Liubomyr Hanusiak, who participated in painting the 10-metres wide canvas – a popular object of the protest art on the Maidan. February 2014. Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo
Ihor Poshyvailo talking to Liubomyr Hanusiak Ihor from the Maidan Museum initiative interviewing the artist Liubomyr Hanusiak, who participated in painting the 10-metres wide canvas – a popular object of the protest art on the Maidan. February 2014. Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo

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Independence square – Protests on the Independence Square – Maidan. February 2014. Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo
Independence square – Protests on the Independence Square – Maidan. February 2014. Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo

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New York Times – Ihor Poshyvailo showing the collected artifacts from the protest movement to Rachel Donadio from the New York Times. Photo by Joseph Sywenkyj. Source:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/30/arts/design/ukrainians-turn-to-the-arts-in-a-time-of-upheaval.html?_r=0
New York Times – Ihor Poshyvailo showing the collected artifacts from the protest movement to Rachel Donadio from the New York Times. Photo by Joseph Sywenkyj. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/30/arts/design/ukrainians-turn-to-the-arts-in-a-time-of-upheaval.html?_r=0

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Painted Banner – Folding the protest banner for safe keeping at the Ivan Honchar Museum. About a dozen 10-metres long canvases were painted by almost a thousand people at the Maidan during the protests. The project was initiated and curated by the artist Volodymyr Svachiy. February 2014. Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo
Painted Banner – Folding the protest banner for safe keeping at the Ivan Honchar Museum. About a dozen 10-metres long canvases were painted by almost a thousand people at the Maidan during the protests. The project was initiated and curated by the artist Volodymyr Svachiy. February 2014. Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo

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Paper boxes – Paper boxes with candles and pictures and names of the protesters shot at the Maidan – the ‘Heavenly Hundred Heroes’. March 2014. Photo by Ihor Poshyvailo
Paper boxes – Paper boxes with candles and pictures and names of the protesters shot at the Maidan – the ‘Heavenly Hundred Heroes’. March 2014. Photo by Ihor Poshyvailo

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Fires at Night – A view of the Maidan in winter at night 2013-2014. Photo by Ihor Poshyvailo
Fires at Night – A view of the Maidan in winter at night 2013-2014. Photo by Ihor Poshyvailo

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People with helmets – Artists and volunteers painting helmets for the protesters on the Maidan  Nataliia Kadin-Fesenyuk (on the right) – an artist and representative of the Artistic Initiative at the Maidan. January 2014. Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo
People with helmets – Artists and volunteers painting helmets for the protesters on the Maidan Nataliia Kadin-Fesenyuk (on the right) – an artist and representative of the Artistic Initiative at the Maidan. January 2014. Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo

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Smoke square – Severe clashes between protesters and riot police with the burnt military vehicles and a border of fire as a result of the “dictatorship law” enactment. January 2014. Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo
Smoke square – Severe clashes between protesters and riot police with the burnt military vehicles and a border of fire as a result of the “dictatorship law” enactment. January 2014. Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo

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Square following a fire – A typical scene of the territory of opposition.  Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo
Square following a fire – A typical scene of the territory of opposition. Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo

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Tent in square – A fragment of the protesters camp with supplies of wood to warm the protesters and to use for cooking. Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo
Tent in square – A fragment of the protesters camp with supplies of wood to warm the protesters and to use for cooking. Photo by Bohdan Poshyvailo

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