Young Ukrainians are throwing “clean-up raves” to rebuild war-torn areas

"It was our lifestyle before so we miss it and we want to come back to normal life..."

25.07.22

Photos by: Viacheslav Ratynskyi

Words by: Billy Ward

Volunteers in Ukraine are coming together to clear up and rebuild bombed-out homes while partying to techno music.

The daytime “clean-up raves” have been organised by young Ukrainians, aged mainly 20-30, who are using the dance parties to help towards the recovery effort in the north of the country, one of the areas damaged the most by the Russian invasion.

At one of the recent parties in the village of Northern Ukraine’s Yahidne, a DJ can be heard playing electronic music while volunteers shovel rubble.

Speaking to Euronews, Tatyana Byrianova, a volunteer with Ukraine’s Repair Together organisation, said: “We came here and wanted to support people who survived after the Russian occupation.”

“In Kyiv, it was a normal situation, but here it was really awful. People left their homes, and their houses were broken, and a lot of houses were ruined. We wanted to help them rebuild, fix their houses and clean the territory.”

The dance element of the clean-up effort offers a way for the young volunteers to return to some level of normality: “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.

The clean-up at the cultural centre in Yahidne was the group’s eighth event so far, and they have already helped repair 15 damaged homes in the village.

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