Hopefully a helping hand for NGOs in Russia

Category: by sophie engström, NGO, russia
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According to AFP president Dmitry Medvedev has announced that he will submit a new bill for human activist organizations and NGOs in Russia. It was in 2006 that Vladimir Putin, then president, signed a legislation on that all NGOs had to registrate at the state and an increased control of their financial situation. This was one of the actions then-president Putin took that made EU and other countries to worry about that democratic development of Russia. Even though this is a step in the right direction it is yet to be showed if president Medvedev will be able to hold his more liberal approach.


Ukraine and Russia finds agreements, but really not enough

Category: by sophie engström, HIV/AIDS, russia, ukraine, WTO
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On the 19th of November the two Prime ministers from Russia and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and Yulya Tymoshenko, decided in Jalta on a new agreement on the gas delivery from Russia to Ukraine. This agreement could possibly make it easier to avoid a verbal conflict between the two countries about the gas deliveries and calm down a nervous EU that are depended on gas deliveries from Russia through Ukraine. The countries have had a pretty rough time during the past several years to agree on how much it should cost and how much gas should be delivered. Ukraine has during the international finical crisis reduced their needs in gas and one brick in the quarrel has been if Ukraine could got permission to cut gas – or if the “take and pay” solution would increase the burden on Ukraine’s already weakened economic situation. But after this agreement, both the population in Ukraine, and EU, could draw a sigh of relief. It is now also possibly that both Russia and EU hold Tymoshenko as a favourite candidate for the presidential election on the 17th of january 2010.

tymeshenko banner
The banner says: “The Prime minister Yulya Tymoshenko will adress Ukraine on the eve of Day of Freedom”, which is 22th of November.

But I, that in many senses are such a misanthrope, must complain some. Both the countries should make some more fuzz over to the report from Wold health Organization that revelas that HIV/AIDS still is a matter in the countries. There is about 1% HIV infected in Russia, and even more in Ukraine, 1,6%. WHO also estimates that the figues of infected in Eastern Europe as a whole, actually rose, but worldwide it actually dropped! From mine point of view, that is something really important for the two countries Prime ministers to find agreements on how to solve!


“Cops on Fire” a very new Hip-hopera

Category: art, by sophie engström, music, russia, theatre
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The hip-hopera “Cops on Fire” have the first night of performance on the 4th of December in S:t Petersburg. The music is written by Alexander Holenko, also known as Sasha Dza or Dzhem, who also is the founder of the label how2make. The director is Yury Kvyatkovsky and the creative producer Sasha Pas.

The creative association Le Cirque de Sharles La Tannes stands for the performance. Some probably remember their interpretation of the Russian author Victor Pelevin’s short story “The crystal world”. You can watch a clip from that performance under the cut.


The press release about “Cop on Fire” tell us is an experimental project and result of creative confluence of theatre culture and contemporary youth music. The creators decided to call the genre of their creation «hip-hopera». Hip-hopera = live hip-hop arias + original decorations + tricks + choreography.

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Ryskt underground utmanar

Category: by sophie engström, music, russia, ryssland
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Det är dramatiska förändringar som sker på den ryska musikscenen. Vinsten av Eurovison Song Contest förra året är kanske det som många tänker på, men under ytan myllrar det av mycket mer nydanande och kreativa musikprojekt än så. En av de mer tongivande aktörerna är Sasha Dzhem eller Sasha Dza. Han kreerar avantgardistisk hip hop men är också grafittimålare och skivbolaget how2makes grundare. Tillsammans med hans samarbetspartner, den Roma Mujiuce, bildar de cut2kill. Vi träffades för att språka om deras syn på den ryska independent-musiken, dess framtidsutsikter och de egna ambitionerna.

sasha dza + roma mujuice = cut2kill

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Massages from Belarus

Category: belarus, by sophie engström, music
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The Swedish NGO and civil rights organisation Östgruppen has released an album. The album is a compilation with Belarus artists and it is part of the organisation’s work to highlight article 193 in the Belarus penal.

Among the artists you can find some of the most successful artists on the alternative scene in Belarus. Artists as Krama, Kasia Kamotskaja, Tav.Mauzer are well-known in Belarus and neighbour countries, but few have ever heard any Belarusian music in Sweden. This is, strangely enough, the first compilation of Belarus popular music released in Sweden. According to the chair man at Östgruppen, Martin Uggla, the interest and knowledge about Belarus is very small in Sweden, but he hopes that this compilation will contribute to establish an interest for Belarus issues, music and culture in Sweden.

Listen to sample from the album here.

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Category: by sophie engström, movies, ukraina, ukraine
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I am really looking forward to next issue of Kinokultura, that will be on Ukrainian cinema. I do hope they will write something about Molodist Film Festival in Kyiv. And I am also looking forward to read Olga Bryukhovetska (National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Visual Culture Research Center) essay on Japanese nuclear cinema.



Category: by sophie engström, music, russia, ryssland
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En gammal favorit! Det ultra coola bandet Auktyon med låten “Maya lubov” (my love, min kärlek, min älskade)… och det är då jag minns hur jag en gång blev förälskad i rysk musik : )

and … next week i will write a short presentation of the the album Messages from Belarus. so beware and be here ))))

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