Imprints: Berlin, Kyiv, Wrocław, Moscow

by Helena Kernan

Haska

Haska Shyyan is a writer, translator, blogger and photographer from Lviv, Ukraine. She studied classics at Lviv University and is now based in Kyiv. She co-owns a bookshop in Lviv, is engaged in anti-corruption campaigning and has launched a creative writing course in collaboration with Tilo Schulz. Her debut novel Hunt, Doctor, Hunt!, was published in 2014 and her most recent novel, Behind the Back, won the EU Prize for Literature.

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    Seeing two girls openly hugging on a bench in the park, at a time when the Pride movement and LGBT activists are still being attacked, is truly priceless!

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    Seeing two girls openly hugging on a bench in the park, at a time when the Pride movement and LGBT activists are still being attacked, is truly priceless!

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    Autumn's leaves are falling from the trees. Politicians are falling from their positions. Vitaliy Klitschko's face is hardly recognisable on this newspaper. His career as mayor of Kyiv is over. What are the chances he will return to boxing?

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    Flea market in the streets of Kyiv.

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    If you are looking for authentic equipment to keep your house clean, get a broom from one of the flea markets unfolding on the streets of the city. Do you know how to use it?

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    Hard to know who feels more confused during the first week of school: pupils, their parents, younger siblings, or maybe their dogs?

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    Hard to know who feels more confused during the first week of school: pupils, their parents, younger siblings, or maybe their dogs?

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    Oysters and cold white wine for lunch on a sunny day? Simply irresistible! I was given this lady's bill by mistake and the price was very decent.

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    An empty Pepsi cola fridge makes my heart stop. It reminds me of my Soviet childhood when there was no treasure more precious than a bottle of this capitalist drink. Now there's an unlimited supply. If one convenience store shuts down you can just find it in another.

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    These grapes look as round and as sweet as Spanish ones. But the packaging says 'Ukrainian fruit'. And they do taste different – more sour and with a wild flavour from the countryside. We are all a bit like that here, Ukrainian fruit growing in the absence of the sun.

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    Is this babushka bringing flowers to her beloved whom she lost a long time ago?

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    A plant swap, what a lovely idea for a Saturday afternoon. Two accidental visitors to an urban cafe full of hipsters are absolutely bewildered about why they are the only ones hungover from last night. Why are the girls more interested in bikes and flowerpots than having a chat with them?

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    Refreshing fountains and drinking places where everything costs 1 euro – these things make Kyiv's main avenue attractive and repulsive at the same time.

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    If you were born to be a queen, nothing is going to stop you trying to convince the world who you really are, even in a democratic republic.

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    Drinking as a national sport is still popular but the new trend of being healthy and looking good is overtaking it. There is no better incentive for sobriety than an Instagram competition.

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    This city keeps everyone busy, from the white-collar worker to the man in the orange helmet.

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    Sometimes it feels like the main reason that summer comes to the city is to let us all wear shorts.

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