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CINCINNATI TO KHARKIV, PEOPLE TO PEOPLE

VIDEO EXPRESSES VIGOR OF CKSCP’S HISTORY AND INFUSES WITH ENERGY FOR ITS FUTURE BY JAN SHERBIN, PRODUCER OF “CINCINNATI TO KHARKIV: PEOPLE TO PEOPLE”

Producing the video “Cincinnati to Kharkiv: People to People” was a joy. I have always treasured my CKSCP experiences, and making this video allowed me to re-visit many of them. The job required harking back to the organization’s earlier days, searching for visuals and music to bring them to life, and figuring out how to compact this wealth of information in 18 minutes. The first and most obvious conclusion was that CKSCP has not been about documents and official meetings; it has been about PEOPLE. People stretching across the bounds of geography and culture to become involved in each other’s lives. For some reason difficult to define, there is a chemistry in the CKSCP people-to-people relationship that makes Kharkivites feel like family. That has always been a core result of everything CKSCP does.

With that phenomenon in mind, along with a list of hundreds of CKSCP activities large and small, I could easily envision the video’s narrative. I could see the flow from the tentative days of establishing a relationship with a little-known (to Americans) city in the mysterious Soviet Union. To the unexpected and welcome discovery that we liked Kharkivites very much, and they liked us, too. To the tremendous disruption to their lives when the Soviet Union disintegrated. To living alongside them the journey to building a democratic, free-enterprise society in a new country called Ukraine. To working now with the product of that journey – Kharkiv young people who never knew Soviet ways.

Making the video involved searching through figurative treasure chests for old photos and videos. CKSCP’s earliest times date to another technological era, recorded on VHS video and photos in print and slide format. Music from cultural delegates was on cassette tape. We had to find ways to view and listen to these materials and convert them to technology usable today.

What treasures turned up! Video of significant moments such as a 1989 Fountain Square event inaugurating the Cincinnati-Kharkiv relationship. Photos of touching moments such as individual Cincinnatians and Kharkivites bonding in a similarity of soul.

We also interviewed Cincinnati people, starting with CKSCP’s founder and first president and going forward in time. Even people talking about the events of 1989 and the 1990s spoke with enthusiasm and fondness about their CKSCP activity all these years later.

Whether showing CKSCP’s beginning, middle, or current activity, or a peek into its future, “Cincinnati to Kharkiv: People to People” conveys the spirit of the sister city relationship. It is with that same spirit that CKSCP departs on its journey into the coming decades.

You can see “Cincinnati to Kharkiv: People to People” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0dThBhIHV8. Go full screen and crank up your speakers!

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