MA Documentary Film & TrAIN Research Centre Study/ Research Day: Visiting Artist and Filmmaker David Chung Chaired by Dr Pratap Rughani

Open Lecture


In 1937, Stalin began a campaign of massive ethnic cleansing and forcibly deported everyone of Korean origin living in the coastal provinces of the Far East Russia near the border of North Korea to the unsettled steppe country of Central Asia 3700 miles away. This story of 180,000 Koreans who became political pawns during the Great Terror is the central focus of this film.

Koryo Saram (the Soviet Korean phrase for Korean person) tells the harrowing saga of survival in the open steppe country and the sweep of Soviet history through the eyes of these deported Koreans, who were designated by Stalin as an “unreliable people” and enemies of the state. Through recently uncovered archival footage and new interviews, the film follows the deportees’ history of integrating into the Soviet system while working under punishing conditions in Kazakhstan, a country which became a concentration camp of exiled people from throughout the Soviet Union.

Today, in the context of Kazakhstan’s recent emergence as a rapidly modernizing, independent state, the story of the Kazakhstani-Koreans situated within this ethnically diverse country has resonance with the experience of many Americans and how they have assimilated to form new cultures in our world of increasingly displaced people.

David Chung is a visual artist and filmmaker. His work has been shown at a number of venues including a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the National Gallery of Art in Washington. His film Koryo Saram won the Best Documentary Film Award from the National Film Board of Canada.

11.00 – Welcome & Introduction to Prof. Chung
11.30 – Screening of “Koryo Saram” – 60 minutes
13.00 – Break
14.00 – ‘Homelands of the Imaginary’
14.45 – Screening of ‘Turtle Boat Head’ and Discussion
17.00 – End

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Related People

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    Dr. Pratap Rughani

    TrAIN Member - Reader in Documentary Film & Course Director of MA Documentary Film (LCC)

    Dr Pratap Rughani’s practice embodies a range of documentary film and photographic practices. Much of his early film work is in observational broadcast documentary modes, with twenty-five films for BBC 2 and Channel 4.
    Find out more about Dr. Pratap Rughani