Euro-zabor

Kramatorsk. Check with Google Maps and it will become clear to you how distant the place is. The central part of the town of 200,000 – that of Madison, Wisconsin or Bujumbura, Burundi- can’t boast the crispy satellite imagery of the former or the vividness of the street grid of the latter. The town sits between two host cities of the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly known as Euro 2012. (See South African training for UkrainiansPost-Soviet nations gradually embrace high-speed overland transportationSwitch on Ukraine! To then do what?)

There is a lot of talk about this sports event in Ukrainian media these days. There’s hope shared by many that Ukraine will finally become part of Europe. It occurs to few that it has never seized to be part of Europe.

In any case, along with Euroremont (a kind of renovation that is commonly believed to meet Western-European housing standards) and Eurozabor, a fence of the kind they have in affluent Mount Pleasant suburb of  Harare (because of the rise in crime rates in Zimbabwe starting some twelve years ago), Ukrainians are slowly getting soaked into another Euro-tagged adventure. Ironically, ‘Eurozabor’ mentality is also the type of attitude exhibited by the EU in relations with most citizens of Ukraine (as well as most Africans).

A graffiti on a wall of the major sports facility in Kramatorsk, Eastern Ukraine (photo by Andy Kozlov, 2010)

Experts claim, that Euro 2012 was granted to Ukraine as a chance to catch up with its western neighbor, the European Union. But it is obvious enough that more has to be done to assist Ukraine with reclaiming its European-ness. The zabor in peoples minds needs to go down. Or perhaps many zabors (those put up in the recent years are probably higher than the proverbial Soviet mentality).

‘Eurozabor’ by the University of Zimbabwe in Mount Pleasant, Harare (Photo by Andy Kozlov, 2012)

Instead of pursuing some vague ways a’ la l’Europe like remont or zabor one could pay more attention to the encouraged within the EU understanding of public space as something for the people. I hand out this last thought keeping in mind the brutal habit of Ukrainian nouveaux riches to grab considerable chunks of forests, ponds and other public areas, and fence their freshly-acquired private property off with Eurozabors .

To get a better feel of Kramatorsk watch a preview of Kramatorsk. A Global Intersection

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