Our Grandparents, Our Memories

Since "Baba Babee Skazala" is "Grandmother told Grandmother," it is only fitting to honor my grandparents, without whom this project would not exist. When I was born, all four of my grandparents were alive. By the time I graduated from high school, only my mother's father and my father's mother (say that three times fast :) ) were with me to attend my high school graduation. (If you read my prior blog post, I bet you can guess what quote my graduation speech centered around.)Those two, Grandpa and Babcia, are the "bookends" for the evolution of this project during college.

By the time I graduated from Cal, my Babcia was my only living grandparent. Sadly, my Grandfather suddenly passed away just a couple of weeks after I started my freshman year at Berkeley. He lived right around the corner from me most of my childhood, and was very much a part of my everyday life. It was pretty traumatic to move across the country and immediately lose that mooring rope to home. I couldn't even go home for a funeral; instead, we held a later memorial service that coincided with a school holiday and regional skating competition. This loss influenced my perspective of college life and the importance of family history. As events unfolded in Ukraine in the coming years, "Baba Babee Skazala" developed from an idea of a few family interviews to a broader concept of preserving stories and memories of a group for whom this has not been done in a cohesive way and creating a documentary film that would make their compelling stories accessible to a broader audience than those who might do research in library archives.

By college graduation, a project proposal was written and I was in search of funding sources. Babcia was with me at graduation, has helped organize interviews and (spoiler alert) agreed to be one of the interviewees! "Baba Babee Skazala" is off and running, but we do need your support to have a broad base of interviews and create a meaningful film. 

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With Babcia at College Graduation (photo credit: Aishwarya Aravind)