Baba's Donovan: A Historical Audio Walk

Olga Zyma, 386 Frood Road, 1939

Moving out of her living room and into the neighbourhood in which she grew up, the Donovan, Baba and I take you on an intimate virtual tour of the places and spaces that she frequented as a child. Located northwest of Sudbury's downtown core, this multi-ethnic neighbourhood was once home to large families whose fathers laboured at the nearby International Nickel Company's Frood Mine, women-run boarding houses that met the needs of single mining men while supplementing family incomes, and a mix of ethnic shops, halls, and organizations.

Inspired by the work done by British geographer Toby Butler, Canadian historians Joy Parr and Steven High, installation artist Graeme Miller, and Toronto’s [murmur] project, this memoryscape spatializes Baba’s stories of home, family, and community. It is a personal archive of her Donovan, providing, as Butler states, a “‘live’ embodied, active, multi-sensory way of understanding geographies in both time and space.” In addition to evoking long forgotten memories, which were not a part of Baba’s rehearsed script, these narratives create a new awareness about how the past and present co-mingle in this inner-city space.

If you are interested in listening to this historical audio walk, it can be accessed through Soundcloud. Doing the walk, virtually or physically, is possible too, through the GeoTourist app, which is freely available on Google Play and the App Store. The walk is best accessed through the App after making an account. Once you've made an account, just search for "Baba".

*The mobile audio interview, from which this walk's clips are taken, occurred in November 2008. Chapter Five, in According to Baba: A Collaborative Oral History of Sudbury's Ukrainian Community, offers a deep analysis of this interview.