Written by a friend in Ukraine, originally in Russian and now translated into English. Episode one of many, a continuous look back at anti-fascist subculture and groups from 2005 onwards.
I returned to Ukraine in 2005 and one year I lived beside the border, I was 18. I got interested in hardcore music and different subcultures while I was studying at school. When I lived in another country I had connection with hardcore kids and antifascists from Kiev. I didn’t expect that all of this will become a part of my life and got me deep inside. I’ll write here about everything that happened with me since 2005, and it was everything there – away day trips, football, gigs, fights, trouble with cops and all the rest.
From an early age, while in school, maybe around 13/14 years old I got the internet. There was a website (that still exists) oioioi.ru and I grab information there about mythical SHARP (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice), RASH (Red And Anarchist Skinheads) and bonehead bands as well. I downloaded music with a shit quality via Winamp like everyone else and was listening to oi!, punk and ska.
During time at school there was a Internet forum “neformat” and periodically there was discussions there about such topics as Nu-metal, alternative music and hardcore. Before I got back to Ukraine I was chatting with a few guys on this forum and they said that is gonna be a show called “emo-fest” (but I’m not sure 100% on the name) and it took a place at a legendary place in Kiev “Under The Bridge” for alternative subculture crew. Marshak from Russia and some other bands from Europe played there as well. First of all I met hardcore kids from the online forum and they said that as it’s an open gig that they don’t feel very comfortable and that the next day there was gonna be a closed gig so that we should come there and you’ll meet others in the scene. At this gig I was with my old crew from the alternative crowd and one of my friends almost died because of the strobe lighting. One of the videos from this closed gig that took place at a rehearsal place at the local garages showed dancing, stage diving and jumps from the roof it was absolutely awesome and very unusual for local times. There was nearly 50 people there and this was the beginning of my merging with local hardcore and alternative scene.
I Look forward to questions about why I’ve started with this writing and I’ll give you an answer before you can. During the last year I met with people who come to our movement very recently and didn’t seen what it was like in the “good old days”. I understand that they don’t know about what happened in 2010-2012, and I talk about what happened since 2006. And you can’t get all this info from the books like “dat’ pizdy” (Book by Moscow RASH skinheads) and “Exodus” (Book about Fedor Filatov and SHARP movement) or in some zines that are circulating around. There are no places where you can read about it. History is erased and not written down anywhere for people to look at. I think that this writing will be interesting for many people to understand how the Arsenal Kiev(Antifascist) movement was born and how antifascist movement in Kiev and other cities has developed. How did a closed scene get built and everything like this. I thought about what format will be good for it, and first I’ll start with some writings, and then if everything will works, we’ll make it bigger and maybe start to shoot a video.
More coming soon …