April 3rd, 2008 – Washington, DC – First event unveiling the documentary in progress Land of Dilemmas.
Our first community building event took place at the US Ukraine Foundation’s facility in downtown Washington DC. We screened a short video which focused on one of the stories in the film and held a discussion with the audience afterwards.
People were very enthusiastic about this difficult topic and very supportive of the idea of the film. One concern that was raised by several audience members is the fact that we call the region in our film “Galcia” but since most of its territory is currently located in Western Ukraine, they felt it should be called by the Ukrainian name Halychyna. They were also concerned that it could be confused with the Spanish Galicia.
People were also curious to know how we personally got involved in doing this film. Olha talked about her growing up in Lviv Ukraine, always feeling that her nation was the biggest victim in the history of the 20th Century. When she first got a camera and decided to make a film about her city, she just wanted to show the world the past suffering of the Ukrainian community. But as she delved deeper into the stories she was investigating, she started to realize that Ukrainians were not the only ones living in that part of the world and that there were other communities who suffered as well. She also became aware of the fact that the young people of today should get a better understanding of the different versions of history in this part of the world in order to be able to reach tolerance and understanding.
Sarah on the other hand, talked about how her involvement in the project started as a coincidence when she met Olha in the fall of 2006. Back then she knew very little about that whole region of the world but she quickly became fascinated by the stories of people who were able to show such courage in the midst of tremendous hardship. She also took this matter to heart since her home country Lebanon was torn by horrific religious and ethnic conflicts during a civil war that lasted for fifteen years. She also started to realize that the ethnic conflicts fueled by the interests of big powers in Galicia-Halychyna were not so different from those that led to the war in her country.
After the presentation and discussion, people were able to discuss all of those issues more informally during a reception.
Photos courtesy of Pamela Fernandez.