Ukrainian display at Igo Library aims to share country’s history, culture

Russian’s invasion of Ukraine has been happening since February 24th.

SAN ANTONIO – In an effort to share more of their culture amidst the ongoing Russian invasion, Ukrainian San Antonio has put up an exhibit inside of the Igo Library on the Northwest Side.

“This is my mom, she is in Kiev. She, all the time she was in Kiev, she never left and she’s still there,” Olenka Bravo, a co-founder of the organization, said as she pointed out her mother’s photo.

The photos on display tell the story of Ukraine.

“It’s very difficult to hear her on the phone when the sirens are there. And when I see her picture, it’s even more difficult,” Bravo said.

Members of Ukrainian San Antonio worked with city council leaders in Districts Four and Eight to get this display set.

“This project is about Ukraine. The exhibit is, how do you say it, is of utmost importance in the war,” Bravo said.

She explains part of the attack on Ukraine is misinformation on the Russian side, claiming Ukraine was never its own nation and that it should belong to Russia.

By showcasing the photos and items of decades-old clothing, jewelry, and other artifacts from different regions, Bravo hopes this shows the deep culture of their country.

“That way we have more proof to show that we’ve always been and we’re always who we are,” she said.

Her 9-year-old son Albert says he feels a mix of emotions looking at the display and when talking about Ukraine.

“I want people to know what it’s going through right now, everything it had to go through,” Albert said.

Seeing the picture of his grandmother in particular breaks Albert’s heart.

“Imagine your parents, your grandparents were every day you didn’t know whether they were alive or dead. Just imagine,” he said.

The display doesn’t have a set time for how long it’ll be up.

If you’re looking for other ways to support Ukraine, Laika Cheesecake and Espresso is having another fundraiser on Sunday at the Pearl Farmer’s Market from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Their last fundraiser raised over $72,000 in March 2022.

About the Authors

Leigh Waldman is an investigative reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.

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