Re-visiting the 1937 Deportation of Ethnic Koreans to Central Asia: 80 Years of Survival and Prospering
Followed by a screening of Koryo Saram The Unreliable People
The year 2017 marks the 80th anniversary of the first deportation of an entire nationality in the Soviet Union. In 1937, approximately 172,000 ethnic Koreans – the entire population of Posyet Korean national district and neighboring territories in the Far Eastern Krai – were forcefully relocated to Central Asia on cargo trains by the Soviet government. Eighty years later, their descendants still live in independent Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Some of them view the deportation as a tragedy whereas others see it quite differently.
Victoria Kim will discuss the changing narrative of the 1937 deportation and focus on the process of re-definition of the Korean identity currently taking place across Central Asia.
Victoria Kim holds an MA from the Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS in Korean Studies and MA from the University of Bolton in International Multimedia Journalism. Originally from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, she is currently based in Beijing, China, as a researcher and documentary storyteller. She is the author of Lost and Found in Uzbekistan: The Korean Story. Her multimedia long-reads, podcast and seminars on the Korean diaspora in the former Soviet Union are featured in The Diplomat and by the Korea Economic Institute of America, Royal Asiatic Society, and etc.
Koryo Saram The Unreliable People
Koryo Saram The Unreliable People tells the harrowing saga of survival in the open steppe country and the sweep of Soviet history through the eyes of Koryo Saram – the deported Koreans – who were labeled by Stalin as enemies of the state. Through rare archival footage and personal interviews, the film follows the deportees’ unique history of integration into the Soviet system while working under punishing conditions in Kazakhstan, a true melting pot of exiled people from all over the Soviet Union.