Baba Babee Skazala
The little-known story of Ukrainian children torn from their homes in the crush between the Nazi and Soviet fronts in World War II. Spending their childhood as refugees in Europe, these inspiring individuals later immigrated to the United States, creating new homes and communities through their grit, faith and deep belief in the importance of preserving culture.
"Baba Babee Skazala" [Grandmother Told Grandmother] preserves & shares the ancestral legacies of American immigrant post-WWII Ukrainian Displaced Persons, whose stories manifest individual and community resilience in the journey to find “home” when their homes, and often family, were taken from them. World War II massively displaced over 2 million Ukrainians from their homes as they fled deportation and death. At war’s end, approximately 200,000 ended up in Displaced Person (“DP”) camps, later immigrating to other countries. "Baba Babee Skazala" tells the stories of this group, through their own words and artifacts, as they created “community” in the DP camps that supported their efforts to create new homes in America.
“Ukraine” translates as “borderlands.” Ukraine’s borders are often challenged, as they currently are by Russia’s annexation of Crimea and ongoing disputes along the eastern border. The last war that massively displaced Ukrainians from their homes was World War II. Ukraine was not then a sovereign state, but approximately 2 million Ukrainians were stranded in Western Europe by the war’s end. Though many returned to Ukraine, approximately 200,000 ended up in Displaced Person (“DP”) camps, later immigrating to the Americas and elsewhere. Their challenges, in the DP camps and in establishing new “homes,” help us better understand how immigrant experiences influence American society. The current displacement of Ukrainians due to events in eastern Ukraine and Europe’s challenges in responding to an influx of refugees from other countries resonate, reminding us “history repeats itself.” "Baba Babee Skazala" will share the legacy of this group, whose oral communications contributed to community resilience in times of adversity, is particularly salient given current conversations about immigrants, refugees, race and culture.
"Baba Babee Skazala" consists of three parts: (1) interviews of American-immigrant post-World War II Ukrainian DPs, encompassing as many interviews as possible given timing, location and budgetary constraints; (2) documentary film, making the stories of these incredible individuals accessible to a broader populace than historians and scholars likely to access archival footage; (3) a digital media/curated exhibit that will support the film’s distribution with tangible examples of artifacts from these individuals and the DP camps, again intended to make the life stories of this group more accessible and understandable to younger generations. This will create opportunities for education and increased awareness of the refugee and immigrant experience, and how these groups are a vital part of America.
Why We Need Your Help
Filming interviews and creating a documentary film from that interview footage is complex and expensive. The costs of travel, equipment, translations and transcriptions, insurance and licensing rights for music & archival footage add up quickly. All of that is before considering the actual filmmaking costs, especially production and post-production costs that will drive whether or not the final product is compelling enough to share the stories of this important group of people with an audience beyond the current generations of the Ukrainian diaspora and outside the Ukrainian community. We have kept costs well below initial budget projections, but we still need your help to complete post-production and to fund promotion of the film. We've included an updated chart of actual costs to date (June 2018) and remaining budget projections.
The accompanying music is "Red Poppies," by bandurist Marko Farion, whom we thank for his permission to use the music as part of this project. Marko's music is available on CD Baby or iTunes. ("Red Poppies" is on his Bandura Live! CD.)
We want our working process to bring attention to this group of people and their stories, and to encourage others to share their stories. That is why we are so excited about collaborating with the Ukrainian-Museum Archives and also why we are bringing attention to this project on social media. Rather than just raising money - which we hope we have shown is important to completing this project! - we hope our efforts will engage the community in the critical effort to preserve the stories and memories of this amazing group of people.
We knew that it would take time to raise the necessary funds, but firmly believed the interviews should not be delayed in order to complete as many as possible. Because of this, our team did not take any pay and our Director contributed a substantial amount of personal savings to advance this project.
Here is a chart showing fundraising sources & donations to date (June 2018), totaling $35,173, of which over $10,000 is from sale of items on our Etsy store. As you can see, your support is critical to completing this project.
We can't do this without your help!
You can Support "Baba Babee Skazala" by Clicking the DONATE NOW button below or by mailing a Check to:
INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY ASSOCIATION
ATTN: Fiscal Sponsorship Donations
3740 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 980
Los Angeles, CA 90010
If you write a check, please be sure to put "Baba Babee Skazala" in the Memo line.
Kitsune Tale Productions is also developing a strong support team for "Baba Babee Skazala". In addition to the fiscal sponsorship, grant and collaborations listed below, we have support from a strong group of advisers on Our Team.
These advisers, and the many other individuals who are working daily to advance this project, will help us - with YOUR Support - make "Baba Babee Skazala" the quality project it deserves to be!