Words: Ellen Kenny
Volunteers missing techno festivals in Ukraine have began organising raves to help clear and rebuild damaged towns.
A bombed-out building in northern Ukraine is now the centre for raves dedicated to clearing areas devastated by the Russian invasion. Young Ukrainians have been using dance parties as a way to contribute to the recovery effort in the country’s north.
Ukraine’s Repair Together organisation have been clearing and rebuilding damaged areas since the beginning of the war. Recently, more volunteers have got involved while also enjoying some of the music they’ve missed in the last few months.
Recently, volunteers have been clearing damage in Yahidne and rebuilding homes and community centres. While they worked to clean and rebuild their cultural centre, a DJ played nearby, his turntables stacked on a pile of ammunition.
“We wanted to help them rebuild, fix their houses and clean the territory,” explained Tatyana Byrianova, a volunteer with Ukraine’s Repair Together organisation.
But the volunteers also want to restore some of the culture they have lost in whatever way they can.
“Techno parties, especially rave festivals, it was our lifestyle before so we miss it and we want to come back to normal life but our normal life now is volunteering,” said Tatyana.
“Volunteering is my lifestyle now,” said Tania Burianova, another volunteer. “I like electronic music and I used to party. But now it’s wartime and we want to help, and we’re doing it with music.”
The majority of volunteers came from Kyiv while others joined from cities including Lviv. Volunteers from Portugal, Germany and the US have also joined Repair Together.
So far, the rave-volunteers have cleaned rebuilt 15 homes in Yahidne. This is the eighth town that the volunteers have worked in.
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