Cxema (Skhema) Parties in Kyiv

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Cxema (Skhema) Parties in Kyiv

Lately Kyiv is becoming the center of underground culture and electronic music in Eastern Europe. One of the reasons is Cxema (Skhema, ‘scheme’ in Ukrainian) parties, which caused an underground rave revolution in Ukraine.

Cxema is raw, hard and hypnotic. It started as thousand youngsters danced in time to the techno's tough 4/4 beat in an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of Kyiv, as the world around it collapsed. The 2014 revolution had brought Kyiv nightlife to a complete standstill. As protests turned into riots and government security forces opened fire on protestors, the country fell into crisis. The president was overthrown and a new government was proclaimed. Russia invaded and annexed Crimea, sectarian militias rose up across the country. However, as Ukraine suffered, the country's youth voted with their feet and took to the dance floor.Young stylish girl on a partySlava Lepsheev had lost his job because of the financial crisis the war had triggered, and had had enough of not being able to go out at night, so he started Cxema - a techno rave that took place whenever his financial situation would allow it. He took Cxema to whatever illegal and semi-legal venue he could set up a sound system in - skate parks, warehouses, vaults under bridges, on desolate islands on the city's outskirts. Cxema quickly became more than just a dance party - it was a way for the Ukrainian youth to unite. Kids from all over Ukraine would travel to Kyiv to rave through the weekends, some even braving treacherous 23-hour bus rides all the way from Crimea.Crowd raving in a clubThe dancefloor at Cxema is not just a dancefloor. It's a place with its own vibrant soul, a place to feel totally free, a place to forget about the major consequences the country's political chaos has had for its youth as they're left with little support, few options and huge levels of unemployment. Cxema became a statement of protest, however oblique, at the turmoil the revolution had thrown the country's young men and women in, it was born out of a desire for normalcy, escapism and abandon in a country where the future was looking bleak.
The young Ukrainians' burning desire to turn things around is palpable - and truly inspiring. It's certainly not easy to set up a rave, or establish a fashion brand, or do anything creative and make money off it in Ukraine - but many are embracing the adventure, working together to create something beautiful, like Cxema. The living proof that crisis can create the opportunity if you really want it.
Photo source: Cхema Facebook page. All images belong to their rightful authors.

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