*zhlob is a slang word for parasite, swindler, a person without intrinsic values. Zhlobism as art is supposed to reveal these negative featured in society.
The outgoing week recalls the unsuccessful final work of a student-scriptwriter: the seemingly most heterogeneous unexpected news and events have merged in the plot of the last seven days. The raider attacks in Kharkiv region, the entry of IKEA to the Ukraine market, the final verdict for Roman Sushchenko, the case against Omelyan and Sentsov’s will ‒ we are dissecting the whole thing and even more through the works of the famous Ukrainian artist and musician Ivan Semesyuk.
Ivan Semesyuk, as our journalist writes, is an artist, who has long ago stopped being a person that simply creates an image. He mastered almost all types of media and makes multimedia art-provocations. His goal is to pluck the audience from the automatic flow of life and make you think about what is happening. More about Ivan can be learned from the interview, and it’s time for us to figure out what happened in the last week, and why Semesyuk’s works illustrate it the best.
“Dude and Pigeons”
The raider attacks seemed to have been left in the past, in the far 90s as a terrible memory and equally unpleasant dream. However, on September 11, law enforcers received information that in the Zmiyivsky district in the Kharkiv region, unknown people in masks attempted to enter the territory of the local grain elevator. True, it was obviously not possible for them to do it cautiously: the intruders, who were stuck in time, collided with the inhabitants of the district centre.
At the same time, the agricultural machinery came to the fields of the enterprise and began to harvest the crops. Of course, the elevator staff tried to stop this feast of permissiveness and impunity. As a result, the police detained 55 people, half of them were charged with crime the next morning. And already on September 14, the court came up with the arrest for mask fans and other people’s property.
“22 hunters to Zmiyivsky grain elevator, who confused Africa with Ukraine, were arrested by police of Kharkiv region today and are already moving to jail. There is a court in Ukraine. Now the customers have to sit next to them”, said the Deputy Chairman of the National Police Vyacheslav Abroskin.
However, Ukrainian farmers have been forced to try themselves in the role of agrarian sheriffs, not for the first time: according to official information, about forty cases of raider takeovers of farms have been registered in our country. As sometimes they like talking on the net, stay calm and clean the machine gun.
“Luv me, babe”
“Babe”, discussed by all Ukrainian Facebook, starting from bloggers and ending with the president, was the long-awaited entry of the Swedish company IKEA into the domestic market. The furniture giant officially announced its intention to open a store in Ukraine this Wednesday, but the ribbon will be cut only next summer. The capital is expectedly lucky: the first IKEA store is planned to open in the yet unfinished shopping and entertainment centre Ocean Mall.
As it always happens, the news was received in different ways, even at the level of people’s representatives. So, Petro Poroshenko saw this as a sign of a real investment boom and a signal for other foreign investors, and the same deputy Serhii Leshchenko began to alarm because of the possible destruction of one of the architectural monuments. O tempora, o mores, o Facebook.
Ukraine, along with France, Great Britain, Denmark, the United States, and China will be one of the first markets, where the Swedish company will launch a new format store. It will have an area of 6,000 “squares” and is unlikely to remind someone of traditional IKEA.
“If you used to be in our stores, you could see that the areas are big, but most of them are reserved for logistics or technical facilities. Here we will build something else. It will be more like a traditional store, where there is a kind of showroom and departments, where you can buy various accessories. It is on this basis that our model will be built”, Stefan Vanoverbeke, the company representative, said.
No less than 120 people will be engaged in the Ukrainian project, one half will work in the store itself, and the second will solve logistics issues. For the first half year, IKEA plans to submit more than three thousand items. To love or not to love this “babe” is the personal choice of everyone, but I do not think that it is necessary to seek some kind of treason in such investments.
“Cops and bobiki against the backdrop of the night” (“bobik” is a slang word for Soviet cars used by cops and the most common name for dogs in the USSR – translator’s note)
“Cop” with a rod in his mouth from the picture of Semesyuk personifies the best the verdict of the Supreme Court of Russia, according to which, Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko will be imprisoned for 12 years in the country-aggressor. Roman is accused of espionage, however, I do not think that this sounds like something new in the context of all the accusations for which Ukrainians are illegally kept in Russia. Our guys are terrorists and spies for them, while their people are “nowhere to be found”.
The trial in the Supreme Court lasted a little more than an hour, this time, it seems, was enough for Russian Themis to render the final verdict for the Ukrainian. Practice, as they say, is such a thing: over time the same actions can be done faster and faster.
However, Sushchenko himself is not going to give up: immediately after the announcement of the court decision, the journalist stressed: the struggle will continue. Now Roman is going to appeal this decision to the European Court of Human Rights. Such information was confirmed also by the defender of the Ukrainian ‒ Mark Feygin, adding that the process of appeal can take a lot of time. And while the “cops” and UAZ-469 of the Russian justice continue to blindly hold onto the Moscow wands, it is needed less from us ‒ we must not forget and support. Not only Roman but all compatriots, who are still kept in the casemates of the Russian Federation.
For those, who hoped to sit out the autumn conscription in the grandmother’s village and go home safely in December, there is great news: by the decree of Petro Poroshenko, the conscription term for 2018 is increased by one month, this time it will be held from October to December. Therefore, if you are between 20 and 27 years old, you fit urgent training and do not have grounds for postponement, it remains only to wish you a productive start of the winter and fair medical examinations.
As reported in the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, this decision was taken in order to complete the National Guard and the State Border Service. The extension of the term of conscription should allow the drafting commissions to carry out better study activities.
“Gopak” (“gopak” is a traditional Ukrainian dance, “gopnik” is a slang word for an aggressive youth with criminal behaviour)
This is probably one of the works of Ivan Semesyuk, which in my presentation immediately found the best association with the latest events of the week. The history with the Tomos continues, although it is not surprising ‒ there were no grounds for counting on the tacit consent of the Moscow Patriarchate. Another thing is that they were not asked for permission.
In an interview with one of the Greek news agencies, Metropolitan Anthony of the UOC-MP (Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate) assured that the Moscow Patriarchate does not recognize the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. “Today’s schismatics will become an autocephalous church, and they will try to make our canonical church a stranger for our country. Our church does not recognize this action and will not serve with a new church,” the clergyman said. Well, does everyone remember the old good saying about the caravan and the dogs?
In Russia, they also do not spare the effort to put the stick in the wheels of Ukrainian autocephaly. Thus, the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church decided to suspend the prayerful mention of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. At the same time, the general service of the priests of the Moscow and Constantinople patriarchates also ceases. The ROC (Russian Orthodox Church) speaks though Metropolitan Hilarion and explains everything quite simply: this decision is a reaction to the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarch to send two of his representatives to Ukraine. And this, by the way, is the first step on the way to the provision of the UOC Autocephaly ‒ full independence from the MP. In a word, good boots, we should take it.
“Children of the streets”
At the end of this week, everyone was struck by the news about the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine. On Thursday, September 13, employees of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau presented Omelyan with suspicion of illegal enrichment, while the in compliance between the incomes and expenses of the minister is a little more than a million hryvnias… for many years.
Not for the sake of support, but for the sake of justice, I would like to note that the Ukrainian net literally exploded with the discussion of this news. The majority of bloggers, journalists and politicians rose in support of the minister and criticized the actions of NABU. Omelyan himself stated his position quite clearly, congratulating everyone with the start of the election campaign and stressing: if for the whole time of work, it is the only one suspect that he could be accused of, then he is not ashamed before the Ukrainians and foreign partners. However, despite all the efforts to see the minister behind bars, the detectives did not succeed, Omelyan is out for bail. But it is hardly worth drawing any conclusion, because, who knows which continuation the beloved TV series “Ukrainian politics” could have.
“Freedom, or f… you all”
I propose to leave the sayings about the relevance or inappropriateness of the presence of Makhno in this part of the “prism” for your blogs in social networks. The main thing in this work of Semesyuk is an inscription that perfectly illustrates the state of things that are going on around Oleg Sentsov. “Freedom, or f… you all” ‒ this is a passing thought that the majority of Ukrainians bear in their heads during this week because the sister of the imprisoned director told that Oleg had made a will for his works.
“He made a will in the name of his girlfriend, comrade-in-arms. She is from the Crimea. I will not tell the name. He asks that in case of his death, she would be given work on his unfinished films, scripts. That she could do with them what she wants or, if she refuses, to transfer it to someone, who can handle it. The financial side of the issue ‒ fees and so on ‒ for children of course”, Natalya Kaplan said.
This week there was something to get angry of, and there was also something to rejoice about. The only thing worth remembering ‒ raider attacks, the Omelyan case and the news about furniture giants ‒ are news that will hold in the media space without anyone’s help. A hunger strike of Oleg, Sushchenko’s sentence and illegal detention of other Ukrainian captives is something that will not stay in the same space without our efforts. Therefore, let’s not forget about the lives of those, whose sufferings are still going on, in the changes and victories of the week. Freedom, or…
Text by Dmytro Zhuravel