We are in Konotop, a small city in the north of Ukraine. The city was first mentioned in 1635 in various documents as Novoselitsa, something like New Little Village. Nice name for an emerging city.

One of the older houses One of the older houses

Many battles have been fought in this region, from ancient times (yes, 1635 is pretty ancient) until the last World War, or as they call it here: the Great Patriotic War.

Ok, by now we know we cannot travel to the future, at least not without risking our lives. Perhaps that is what travelling to the future is all about… Travelling to the past is a different question. Going to a museum is one possibility, but where can you go to experience real life in the past?

 Konotop by night Konotop by night

Without saying that life is “en retard”, we can say that life’s conditions are different in different countries. Like I said last time, Ukraine is in many viewpoints behind on our well established life. In other points it could make a nice example for North America.

Everybody has at least once in his or her life dreamed of travelling in time. Be it to the future or to the past. We know today (perhaps not tomorrow) that this is fairly impossible. Unless …

Farmhouse Farmhouse

… you go to a museum where the modus operandi is to immerse the visitors in the past. One can do this by dressing the guides in clothes of the epoch and making them talk about daily issues of that time.

Visitors then get a better idea of life of that period. There are many such places in the world, but let’s start this journey close to home: Lower Fort Garry, Manitoba, Canada.

Hello Darkness, my old friend… Photography and darkness went together for decades. No darkness somewhere? You got no pictures.

Moon, that is spelled M-O-O-N ... The moon

Today, this is completely different. You don’t need a darkroom anymore to create good pictures. You don’t even need chemicals anymore to have a print. So what about photographing the darkness? Well, there is lots to see, lots more than the obligatory moon picture…

In other words: “Welcome!”. This is how we were greeted at the Ukrainian pavilion on the Folklorama Festival. Folklorama is the “other” international cultural festival in Winnipeg.

Dancing at the Ukrainian Pavilion Dancing at the Ukrainian Pavilion

Folklorama is held in the first two weeks of August. Pavilions from all over the world are here, not to compete, but to make you sample and enjoy the cultures of people that live here in Winnipeg. Among these cultures is a very strong Ukrainian presence.