Holodomor bus teaches students about the Ukrainian genocide
April 22, 2019
Remembering the Holodomor, remembering our voices
The bus is impossible to miss. It’s massive, painted with orange wheat fields, blue sky, and “HOLODOMOR — THE UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE” in white capital letters. A sight that causes drivers to do double takes on the highway, it was equally arresting parked outside UVic’s McPherson Library.
This is the Holodomor National Awareness Tour bus. For the past three years it has visited schools and communities across Canada to raise awareness about a genocide that the world has largely ignored — Stalin’s starvation of Ukrainians in the 1930s.
Inside the bus is seating for 33 people and a 24-foot-long video wall. Screenings depict survivors relaying their stories of scavenging horse meat, of being given up to orphanages by parents who couldn’t feed them, of looking at the mounds of grain awaiting export, and of guards stationed in watchtowers to shoot anyone taking even a handful of grain from the fields.
The Holodomor was covered up until the fall of the USSR, when archives were made publicly available. Even now, only 17 countries recognize the genocidal intent of the man-made famine. Russia is not one of them.
The Holodomor National Awareness Tour hopes to combat this selective historical memory by providing awareness and knowledge to educate about the atrocity.
But the tour does much more than teach about an Eastern European tragedy that, to Canadians, may seem far removed from our lives. …..