My Baba's Kitchen

Animated Short Film

Filtering by Tag: Ukrainian

Starting the Search...

Today Bohdan and I went to Robarts Library to start the search for the aforementioned photo of my grandmother supposedly printed in a newspaper. I picked up a box of 13 rolls, 2 years worth of newspaper from 1947 and 1948 on microfilm! After the gentleman in Media Commons showed us how to use the super cool microfilm machines,(they're like a combination of old film projectors and scanners with a bright green light that automatically transmits what's under the glass onto a computer screen), Bohdan grabbed one roll and I grabbed another. Our hunt took a couple hours. By the end our eyes were tired of looking at newspapers whizzing by on computer screens.

We didn't find the photo today, but there were a couple close calls, such as an ESTONIAN party celebrating their independence in Montreal looked oddly similar to Ukrainians I'm looking for.


In general we noticed newspapers haven't changed all that much. The hot topics were lots of cases of fires and post war comments about prices not going up. Ads were directed at women (panty hose and fur coats) and men (cigarettes and suits). I took screen shots of a bunch of interesting things I found. Take a look!

So my search continues. We only successfully got through 4 rolls today. I have a deadline because apparently the films need to be back by February 13? AJJJJ!

It's actually happening...

I've had this website for a while..but it was just floating, lingering in cyberspace. I see that some people have actually stumbled upon it, only to be disappointed, I'm sure, because of the complete lack of anything on it. Well, that's changing right now. Here, on my personal website I am going to document my process of creating my short film.

Yes, I am going to make a short film.

I've been talking about it for a while now and I figure by actually writing it down, for people to read about, it'll help with my process.

My Baba Ola and Dido Vasyl

So, this all started with a photo. Pictured above are my father's parents, my grandparents. I was pretty young when my grandfather passed away and grew up without really knowing him. It was not until the past couple years that I really started grappling for the threads that had always been dangled in my face about being Ukrainian. I never understood what that meant. I just accepted it. I am Ukrainian I would say. I had never even been to that country, let alone really knowing where it was on a map.

I can't say exactly when it was, but I reached for those threads and started pulling them apart, analyzing their colours and trying our various techniques of weaving them together. I've visited my grandparents' country three times now and understand that it is not home. Home is somewhere inside; it's a collection of what you know, what you don't know, and what you think you know. When I'm asked now, I proudly say I'm Ukrainian-Canadian. As one friend once said, I live on both sides of the hyphen. I am a combination. I'm proud to be part of a folk collective in Toronto that aims to rejuvenate but also reinvent old traditions that seem to have been lost or commercialized on their way across the ocean.

This film is my attempt at presenting the story my grandmother told me about how she and my grandfather met, here in Canada. She laughed when I first told her I was going to make a film about her. To her, it's such a simple story, not worth anyone's time. But I think it's so much more.

I want people to really start thinking about where they came from. Sure, people know the general stuff: dates and names from old photos. But there is a lack of connection. It's those little anecdotes that really connect us to our past. My grandmother lights up every time she talks about my grandfather. She says he was the "valentino" of dancing. I don't even know what that means, but just the way she says it, clasping her hands together, I know it meant a lot to her to dance with her love.

In Canada, most of us share the immigrant experience, and that is why I'm making this film. I want people to be inspired to think about their family histories, because we all have them.

 © 2016 My Baba's Kitchen