The rebel rock and subversive cartoons of Kiev's Irena Karpa
“I want to break the system and find the truth and to liberate Ukrainian people.”
As the lead singer of the rock band "Qarpa," Irena Karpa is a bona fide rebel in the Ukrainian music world, combining witty lyrics and hard rock melodies to tackle themes of government corruption, patriarchy and the perils of war.
She has received death threats for mocking pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine through her now infamous political cartoons and is notorious for her creative South Park-like animations that often criticize oligarchs.
Irena has made it her personal mission to empower Ukrainian citizens to take a stand against government corruption in Ukraine — to stand firm in the face of what she sees as institutionalised bullying. During the Ukrainian Revolution in Maidan Square in 2014, in the midst of death threats — and while protesters were being killed by gunmen — Irena performed her songs live for thousands of demonstrators in Kiev's city center.
In Irena's own words: "The message I have is about freedom to do what we want and live the way we want — that is why I am a revolutionary. I want to break the system and find the truth and to liberate Ukrainian people."
A rebellious, revolutionary, renaissance rocker with a passion for justice — what more could you ask for from a local music legend in Kiev? Here is a behind-the-scenes video of Irena performing live on stage at Pushkin Park's outdoor music festival in Kiev.
And catch more of Irena on Interrupt This Program: Kiev, airing Friday, November 20 at 8:30 p.m. /9 p.m. NT.