Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage ST. THOMAS MORE COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN

Oral History of Collectivization: Ukraine in the 1930s Photo Exhibit (2004)

A photographic exhibit co-organized between PCUH, Rodovid Publishing House (Ukraine), and the Ukrainian Museum of Canada in Saskatoon was held in conjunction with the Orality &  Literacy in Contemporary Scholarship Symposium. The exhibit documents a 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.

From 1993 to 1995, the Rodovid research team recorded 450 interviews with elderly collective farmers, documenting the transformation of Ukraine’s civil society in the 1930s. This 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).