Web of Stories
Zyma Family Christmas, circa 1950s
Baba, through her stories and her participation in the oral history interviews for this project, complicated the ways that I reconstructed the history of Sudbury’s Ukrainian community. Those we interviewed had a diversity of life experiences, but I was always drawn back to Baba’s version of the past and the similarities that interviewees shared with it. In an attempt to achieve some semblance of objectivity, I spent a lot of time seriously debating whether I could omit Baba’s story, and hence my vulnerability, from the narrative of this project. Although it would have been a much easier history to write, I decided that I had to give her stories and her participation serious attention. This website therefore privileges Baba’s memories rather than the history of Sudbury’s Ukrainians. By placing Baba’s story at the centre of its narrative, visitors can evaluate how her personal truths about the past coincided with and/or diverged from the collective truths presented by our other interviewees. These truths essentially formed a web of stories that were vital to my imagined Ukrainian community, Baba’s Ukrainian community, and the communities that were experienced by other Ukrainians in the Sudbury region. Baba’s stories should be viewed as a starting point for understanding the tales shared by others.