"I tried to be cruel, it’s just not in me, it’s just not in you."
Featured Artist Connor Buchanan
For our latest artist feature, we thought we’d do something a little different and have a chat with Connor Buchanan, who wears multiple hats as a visual artist, curator, and arts administrator. We wanted to get Connor’s perspective from being on both sides of the visual arts spectrum.
Thanks as always to Giulliano Palladino for his filming and editing talents!
Edmonton, we have people creating culture and opportunities! Love it! Eventually we will be envied for more than economic reasons.
I would love to do something like this—not burn the world—but create something similar out of matches.
SPEAKERS (confirmed): Prof. Volodymyr Ishchenko (Sociologist studying social protests in Ukraine, Deputy Director of the Center for Society Research in Kiev (Центр дослідження суспільства), an editor of COMMONS: Journal of Social Criticism, and a lecturer at the Department of Sociology in the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy), Prof. Marko Bojcun (Senior Lecturer in European Studies and International Relations, studied the evolution of the Ukrainian state, the transitions in Eastern Europe to Capitalism and the eastwards expansion of the European Union, his current research focuses on the transformation processes in Eastern Europe and on contemporary migrations across Asia and Europe, also a member of the Institute for the Study of European Transformations and the Director of the Ukraine Center, London Metropolitan University) and Tetiana Bezruk (Researcher of the Far Right in Ukraine at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and Euromaidan activist).
DESCRIPTION: After three months of protests in Ukraine it turned exceptionally violent last week. Supporters of Ukraine’s anti-government movement are now in power after President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital city of Kyiv. On Saturday, the parliament voted to strip the president of his powers, “citing as grounds his abandoning office and the deaths of more than 80 protesters and police in the past chaotic week of violence.”
A few months ago, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was expected to sign some agreements that could eventually integrate Ukraine with the European Union economically. Ultimately, Yanukovich refused to sign the agreements, a decision thousands of his countrymen immediately protested. The demonstrations later evolved as protesters started calling for political change, and when Yanukovich resisted their calls, they demanded regime change. Some protesters wanted Ukraine to have a European orientation rather than a Russian one. Others felt that the government was corrupt and should thus be replaced. Now Yanukovich has been ousted parliament has set presidential elections for May 25.
The social conditions that underlaid the protests from the start and that have inspired Ukrainians to remain camped out in Kiev’s Maidan (Independence Square) in spite of the bitter cold and police assaults include government corruption, state repression and lack of democracy, declining living standards and lack of social opportunities for the vast majority of Ukrainians. Though the demonstrators were not united by an ideology per se, they shared frustration with the regime and with their lack of control, political or economic, over their lives. These grievances were the product of enduring years of corruption in a state machine structured to serve the interests of the oligarchs grouped both around Yanukovich’s ruling Party of Regions—and also within the major opposition parties represented in parliament.
A number of academics have expressed their concern about the international media’s misrepresentation of the protests in Ukraine. They say that the media have overemphasised the significance of the far right in what is a broad and diverse protest movement; and such exaggerations may serve Russia’s imperialist interests in Ukraine. But a far-right organization composed mainly of street forces was accused of having led the mid-January street battles in Kiev. Though not numerically dominant in Maidan, the xenophobic, homophobic, nationalist Svoboda party had, with even more extreme groups, been involved in the protests almost from the beginning, using far-right slogans, fighting with the police, leading occupations of administrative buildings and dismantling monuments. Meanwhile, other opposition parties, ranging from conventional center-right to the far right claimed leadership over the movement.
Yanukovych’s ouster and the removal of several government officials leaves a major power vacuum in the country, one that could be filled in several ways. Where is the revolt in Ukraine going? Are we seeing a popular revolution unfold or is it turning into a technocratic/far-right coup? What schisms are there in Ukraine? Is there still a threat of civil war or maybe even military intervention by other countries? What is the role of Russia, the EU and the US? How will the protest movement in Ukraine develop now Yanukovich is gone? What is the nature of the movement? Who is likely to win the battle? What needs to be done by the progressive forces in the fight for a better society? These and other questions will be discussed with a panel of scholars and activists. Join us live in an attempt to answer them.
A photo taken on the streets of Quebec City.
A photo from a little jump session at rabbit hill.
Training for the Olympics in Montreal.
I found my long lost Swedish sisters in T-dot.
Andy would be hyped, right?
On the road to Montreal