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Victor Shkurba, co-founder of [isdgroup]

"My childhood is connected with two districts — Sviatoshyn and Rusanivka. Until the age of six, my parents and I lived near the Akademmistechko station in a five-room apartment with my grandparents, where I could even ride a tricycle. We had a big family: dad's parents, uncle and our family. When my mother became pregnant with my younger sister, we moved to her parents in Rusanivka, where the atmosphere was completely different. On water boats - public transport in my childhood - we went to Osokorki to the country. With one grandfather, a professor of cybernetics, an intellectual, I had to know the multiplication table and write dictations, always be prepared. With another grandfather, we went fishing together, immersed ourselves, and kept quiet, picking apples, raspberries, and drinking tea.

Probably, I am the third generation born in Kyiv. My children are the fourth.

Seventeen years ago, my friends and I founded the creative digital agency [isdgroup]. For the last ten years, our office has been located in Passage - the city's heart and a transitional area for me. On the one side is Khreshchatyk and the tourist center, which is not a place for a walk, and Kyiv residents try to run through the street faster. And on the other side - my favorite part of the city center with quiet streets like Zankovetskaya, soulful and authentic, where you can often meet actors of the Franko Theater, students of the Philharmonic, Ukrainian designers. As a child, my grandmother's family lived on Gorodetskoho Street. We left the side exit of the Khreshchatyk metro station, crossed the road, and got to their home - high ceilings, dark and quiet spaces, an atmosphere of the aristocracy.

Our office has a remarkable history — we lived here the whole revolution in 2013 and 2014. In the beginning, my colleagues and I created an "advertising hundred" through Facebook and used the office as a headquarters. Many of us were involved at the volunteer level - working during the day, helping at night. That's why in the Passage, we warmed up and rested during the shifts on the Maidan. On one of the hardest nights, when the tires ran out, but we had to keep firing on the line of defense that separated us from the Berkyt, we took everything we could out of the office: throwing computer mouses and keyboards, old system units, and even diapers. The agency was working on Huggies projects, and we had product samples.

I wanted to leave Ukraine and escape before Maidan occurred. There was a feeling that with my value system, I was always behind.

After all, everyone around wants to overtake on the lane of public transport, to get in line, as it is convenient for them, ignoring the rules and all those who stand in line. There was a feeling that in Ukraine, more cunning and agile people succeeded in the revolution, not always those who were more talented. But the Maidan has changed that a lot. And most importantly - it made us all answer the question, "who are you?". You are either a Ukrainian or someone who passes by. If you choose the first, you share the responsibility for what happens. From an observer who can be washed away at any moment, you become part of the change. Otherwise, why all these victims?

It's hard for me to say how the city is changing — I work more than I enjoy the city I live in. Our mayor and his team probably do not have enough planning horizon for decades - what will the city look like in 20-30 years? There is no vision that Kyiv residents would agree with and that it would be impossible to question every new team that comes to run the city. As a result, the city government's actions look like some chaotic attempts to please people before the election while playing on the sponsors of the welfare of officials (developers, media moguls, and other parasites of urban interest).

You need a plan and steel in the eggs to make drastic changes. Bury part of your life and the interests of the minority for the benefit of the majority.

Destroy most of the outdoor advertising, despite the financial benefits. For example, removing MAFs deprives thousands of people of work and income. But we can come up with a solution, e.g., offer entrepreneurs new forms and territories that are beneficial. We need a strategy. The same with cars - to clear the streets, many transformations are needed: creating more parking lots, transferring business activity from the center, and not putting a new house into operation without the necessary parking spaces. In the place where I live, the number of parking spaces is less than the number of cars. If the area around houses in European cities is a space for air, then our cars are like warts stuck everywhere.

My mother used to work in the gynecological service of Ukrzaliznytsia. She was the chief obstetrician-gynecologist. Faced with massive corruption in the service, she decided to sue. For 5-7 years, my mother did not live and sleep normally. She sought justice at the cost of her health. And she won - the corruption service was disbanded. We need more principled people in power, ready to seek change at the expense of health and perhaps life.

Our task as citizens of our country is not only to pay taxes but also to go to the polls.

Voting is an official way to show your attitude to power. In any politics, in world politics, there is a dirty story everywhere. We need to understand the types of shit and vote for less shit. It is our responsibility. It is the only way democracy works — in small steps.

My ambitions are related to innovation and technology. I want to be involved in changes in the world. 90% of our clients in the agency are international donors who want to develop Ukrainian society, help it become more tolerant, conscious, and respect the memory of its ancestors. Ukraine is now between a democratic, free future and a conservative past. After the Maidan, we all joined hands and wanted to get out, but not everyone was ready to support us. Someone is trying hard to keep us in the past by force of propaganda. A year ago, the National Democratic Institute came to us with the desire to support the LGBT community in Ukraine. We won the tender and created a project called "Rizni.Rivni", which was attended by a new wave of youth and ideological musicians. Despite the feeling, there are many tolerant people in Ukraine, according to research - millions. And we wanted to allow them to be seen and heard, so we created a symbol - a palm of many palms that supports equality. Sometimes it is difficult for people to admit to themselves their differences because of the hostility of the environment.

As soon as we are cured of dogmas and the non-acceptance of other people's differences, we will become part of the civilized world. "

Victor Shkurba, co-founder of [isdgroup]


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