Transcribing and translating the interviews for Baba Babee Skazala was fascinating in many ways. I was impressed by the courage, stamina and cheerfulness of the Ukrainian refugees, and the good humor they brought to their harrowing and heart-rending stories. I was impressed, also, by the deep pride they exhibited in their Ukrainian heritage, and their fluent command of our language. But perhaps the most striking part about these stories was the interviewees’ decision to leave the Soviet Union and settle (if only impermanently) in Nazi Germany...
Projects like Baba Babee Skazala are often as much about self-discovery as they are about discovering others’ stories. Preparing to do oral history interviews in Los Angeles really brought that point “home” in many ways. Leaving UC Berkeley, California & driving to LA - start of the cross-country road trip.
"YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT BUT IF YOU TRY SOMETIME YOU FIND
YOU GET WHAT YOU NEED"
"Baba Babee Skazala" may have had its genesis when I was born (more on that in a later blog post), but I think it was really birthed as I came of age. Two and a half years ago, at the University of California, Berkeley, I auditioned for and enrolled in Berkeley Dance Project 2014. I could only dance in one piece because of my skating schedule - the piece was "Turangawaewae," choreographed by Jack Gray. This was perhaps providential.