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VanWyck - Issue #17

VanWyck - Issue #17
By VanWyck • Issue #17 • View online
# 14. Ukrainian dream
written after a documentary and an interview.

Who dreams of what?
I’ve been wondering if I should release this song for quite some time. Its seed was planted a few years back when I saw a fascinating documentary by Nadine Kuipers, Kiev - Paris. The next topmodel. After quitting her own successful modelling career because of its extreme demands, Kuipers noticed how eastern European girls were taking over a big piece of the market. Apparently they were not so daunted by those demands. In the documentary Kuipers asks a simple question: Who are these girls? And then sets off in search of them.
Who are those eastern European girls that are so easily grouped together in their willingness to comply? To whom a set of values is collectively attributed that makes them more pliable, more eager and more determined? When they dream of becoming models, what is it exactly that they dream about? Kuipers follows a French agent to Kiev and watches him harvest tall, skinny beauties. The greed with which he pulls the tape measure around their tiny waists is fascinating.
In an interview with the Guardian a little while back Inna Shevchenko, the founder of FEMEN, described that for most Ukrainian woman there are only two options. You either become a prostitute or a housewife. Most of her former classmates had invested all their energy in finding a rich husband, preferably foreign, which explains the high number of websites advertising Ukrainian women as marriage candidates. When you google Ukrainian dream you will find countless of these websites, with countless women describing their assets and their dreams - when you google American dream you will not find women offering themselves in marriage.
I do not know why exactly I started writing a song about this. I have no personal ties with the Ukraine and felt some embarrassment about recording it. So I didn’t. The song has been lying on the shelf for quite some time. Also a war happened. Who am I to sing about a country in turmoil that I have never visited? Why did I write it then, if I don’t record it? I guess I was deeply moved by these girls and their attempts to escape their circumstances, by the ways in which our fashion industry feeds upon their youth, and turns their deprivation into images so alluring they have invaded so many dreams.
So no recorded music this week, only written lyrics, maybe one day I’ll foster enough courage to sing it out loud.
Love, Christine
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By VanWyck

Digest of my ventures in songwriting and recording

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