6 weeks of Ukraine in 794 words

There’s a lot been going on since my last post. The most obvious is that the Euros have been and gone and Ukraine showed all the people that called us racists, including Mr Sol Campbell, that Ukraine wasn’t the place the media portrayed it as. The feedback was all positive. So take that BBC.

At the beginnng of June I started an internship with Ivanna Kurlak at AUGB (The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain). This internship was specifically set up so we could help with and develop AUGB’s social media, revamp the website & to gather feedback from our target audience. Since we started we have noticed a massive increase in the number of ‘young people’ going onto the Facebook page & the website. This is the exact thing that AUGB has been trying to do for a while & now that its spread its wings and flown onto the social media bandwagen! Along with the Facebook page, which in 6 weeks has got 156 ‘likes’, AUGB also has a Twitter account, and almost 60 people follow that. If you’re interested in Ukraine or Ukrainians in GB then follow us on Facebook & Twitter:

AUGB Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AUGB.SUB

AUGB Twitter: http://twitter.com/AUGBSUB

Moving on to the Ukrainian Language Bill that was passed in Ukraine’s Parliment. Bit of background on the bill: in areas of Ukraine where 10% of the population speak a different language that language (be it Russian, Yidish or anyother language) will be ‘the official second language’. This means that documents can be printed in that language, they’d have to use it in court, the schools would have to teach it etc.

The reason for the protests is that this language bill is basically pushing Ukraine back towards Russia. In the east of Ukraine, the majority of the people there speak Russian….therefore in those regions the official second language will be Russian..giving it equal status. A massive step in the wrong direction. I read a quote from somewhere, I’ve been trying to find the referenece but for the life of me I cannot find it. Anyway the quote is: “If you want to destroy a country you must destroy its language”. There’s another quote from Karl Marx, here’s the picture:

The translation is: “The person who doesn’t know the language of the country he is living in is either a guest, a hired labourer, or an invader.” …..even Karl Marx is on our side.

On July 11th we had a protest in London outside the Ukrainian Embassy. About 150 people turned up, including fellow Coventry University student Dean O’Brien. My parents were taking photos and this is a photo montage that I put together for the AUGB website:

To look at Dean’s photos, here’s the link: http://deanobrien.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/demonstration-outside-ukrainian-embassy-in-london-against-proposed-language-bill/

Mid June I went to The Frontline Club in London to watch a documentary film called “Ukraine: From Democracy to Chaos’. I was really looking forward to this, not only because it was a film about Ukraine by a non-Ukrainian but after the film there was a Q&A panel with the director. When it started, it seemed like it was going to be a really good watch but after about the first 30 seconds the sound stopped completely. Technical error. Then the sound did’t work at all. Absolute shambles. The premier of the film & the sound doesn’t work. To top it off the director didn’t have a back up DVD & seemed to be very unorganised. Eventually the director had to do the voice over live. At this point I was sitting next to Dean saying that if that was a presentation for University then we’d have automatically dropped 2 grades. The editting was shoddy, in some parts the clip was cut slightly too soon and the person’s sentence was cut short. Because the director filmed in Ukraine and filmed politicians in Ukraine (Yushchenko, Tymoshenko) they were talking Ukrainian so there were English subtitles. Well, I say there were English subtitles but some parts over ran the subtitles & some were so fast that I couldn’t read them. Rant over about technical errors. The documentary was strong at first and it was quite interesting but after it got half way it sort of turned into a campaige video for Tymoshenko, going on about how great she is etc which was disappointing because I thought it was going to be imparcial, like, bringing everyone’s thoughts together so that the audience could have their own opinion but that wasn’t the case.

For another person’s view about that night, here’s Dean’s blog url: http://deanobrien.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/the-frontline-club-ukraine-from-democracy-to-chaos/

I won’t be able to blog a lot during these next 4 weeks because I am at the Ukrainian Youth Association camp. The internet is alright but won’t be in the weeks to come. This post has been a bit of an explosion of information and ranting.

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    • nonviolentconflict
    • July 24th, 2012

    Reblogged this on NonviolentConflict.

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