Oral History of Collectivization: Ukraine in the 1930s (Photo exhibit)

Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Saskatoon (2004)

A photographic exhibit co-organized by PCUH with Rodovid Publishing House (Ukraine) and the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Saskatoon held in conjunction with Orality and  Literacy in Contemporary Scholarship symposium. The exhibit documents the team of oral historians in their research on the project “Oral History of Collectivization in Ukraine in the 1930s” conducted by Rodovid. During the 1930s, Ukrainian rural households and families were forced by the Soviet government to join newly created units of agricultural production known as kolhosps or collective farms. Such collectivization of Ukrainian agriculture had dramatic outcomes for individual farmers and for the Ukrainian nation in general. The millions of people perished in the devastating man-made famine of 1932-33, as well as the social fabric of the Ukrainian civil society was forever destroyed.

Dr. Natalia Khanenko-Friesen addresses the guests gathered at the
exhibit opening.

In 1993-95 the Rodovid research team recorded 450 interviews with elderly collective farmers to document the transformation of Ukraine’s civil society in the 1930s. The exhibit presents archival photos as well as portraits of project informants and accompanies the book of interviews published by Rodovid under the title Transformation of Civil Society. An Oral History of Ukrainian Peasant Culture in the 1920-30s (in Ukrainian with English summary) William Noll. Rodovid: Kyiv, 1999.

Dr. Khanenko-Friesen with Dr. Oksana Kis and Yakym Oneschuk at the
exhibit opening.