Re-visiting the 1937 deportation of ethnic Koreans to Central Asia: 80 years of survival and prospering through the ordeal
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. 80 years later, their descendants still live in what is now Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Some of them view the deportation as a tragedy whereas others see it quite differently. Victoria Kim, the author of Lost and Found in Uzbekistan: The Korean Story, 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. Her multimedia long-reads and podcast on the Korean diaspora in the former Soviet Union are featured in The Diplomat and by the Korea Economic Institute of America. Victoria has widely spoken on the topic to international audiences at the George Washington and Johns Hopkins Universities in Washington DC, Royal Academic Society China and World Culture Open in Beijing, etc.