Monday, September 8, 2014

UA from P to A: The Tour Has Arrived!

Earlier this month I was able to connect with Philip Rojen, one of the duo of young filmmakers behind UA from P to A (Ukraine from Pacific to Atlantic) - the cross-Canada tour bringing true perspective to the events leading up to and including the Maidan protests this past winter.

The Rojen brothers in St. John's, NL
For the past month, they've been touring our nation with a variety of short films and media, and enlivening the discussion on the Ukrainian situation beyond the typical Ukrainian community members. With many of the general-public based events garnering as-many, if not more attendees, it is reassuring to see that the issue matters to more than just our diaspora - but also a sign of magnitude of international concern that this ordeal has garnered. The threat that Putin's rumblings posed at the start of the matter have now become reality - and are of real concern to more than just Ukrainians.

The brothers' featured film, "The Winter That Changed Us", which Andriy directed and Philip produced, alongside those of the  #Babylon13 short series, provide a perspective on the reasons behind the protests that may not be clear to the average Canadian - reasons that are pivotal in understanding the complexity behind what is going on, and why Ukrainians are fighting to see their dreams of dignity and human rights, freedom from corruption, and peaceful existence come true at any cost.

One road map that's tough to lose ;)
There are a few reasons the brothers chose Canada for the first leg of their international tour - Canada has lead the world in taking a position on the crisis - and whether than position was big or small, it brought the world's attention to the matter. Once the Canadian media started paying attention, the Western media began to pay attention, and soon the world was watching the events unfold. 

However, the brothers want to underscore that as the situation on the ground in Ukraine worsens, media attention in the West seems to be waning and wavering onto other topics - and we must, as an international community and diaspora, maintain our efforts in bringing the truth and severity of events transpiring in Ukraine to the attention of the media and world leaders - and bring to light that Putin's aggression, and the issues that spawned the protests to begin with, are of significance to more than just Ukrainians.

On a brighter note, the brothers want Canadians to understand that Ukrainians are infinitely grateful for their efforts thus far - whether it be financial or medical relief, or simply acts of spiritual and moral support - but to be mindful that this ordeal is far from over - and that one of the greatest things we can do from here is to keep the matter top of mind around the world.

The brothers will be making several stops in the UCU area over the coming week:

September 8: Oakville, St. Josephat’s Church (Details TBD)
September 9: Hamilton, UNO Hall on Parkdale (7-8:30)
September 10: Hamilton, Church of the Resurrection (7-9)
September 12-14: Toronto Ukrainian Festival (various appearances)
September 15: St. Catharine’s (Details TBD)

More info on the UA from P to A tour can be found on their facebook page (  or their website

Don't forget to check the UCU Community Calendar for updates and other related events.

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