The Cyberpolitics of Music in Ukraine's 2004 Orange Revolution

Helbig, Adriana

Between November 21 and December 26, 2004, nearly one million people protested in Kyiv against election fraud, media censorship, mass government corruption, and oligarchic market reforms. These large-scale peaceful protests have become widely known as the Orange Revolution, named after the campaign colors of Viktor Yushchenko, the opposition candidate who ran against Viktor Yanukovych, a politician with a criminal record who was backed by Moscow and the sitting Ukrainian government. In analyzing the relationship between music, social movements, and technology, I draw on the paradigm proposed by Ron Eyerman and Andrew Jamison who argue that "social movements lead to a reconstruction of processes of social interaction and collective identity formation". Though I will present some of the new popular music styles favored by anti-government organizers during the Orange Revolution, particularly one that I call TAK-techno, I am less concerned with the content on the Internet than with the Internet's use as a vital communication tool within socio-political events and music's function within that framework. In this analysis of the relationship between the Internet, music, and politics in post -socialist Ukraine, I argue that technology is not culturally or politically neutral. Rather, cybermusicality was undeniably vital to the Orange Revolution, drawing millions of Internet users into new online communities.

Geographic Areas



  • thumnail for current.musicology.82.helbig.81-101.pdf current.musicology.82.helbig.81-101.pdf application/pdf 1 MB Download File

Also Published In

Current Musicology

More About This Work

Academic Units
Columbia University
Published Here
October 28, 2014