PREVIEW: War, peace and identity – the history of a lost nation of Soviet Koreans

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OTOSOTR Edinburgh Fringe 2018
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By AARON McGILLIVRAY

A SHOW from the steppes of Kazakhstan by ethnic Koreans whose first language is Russian, is  believed to be a first of its kind for the Fringe.

OTOSOTR traces the story of oppressed Koreans who were deported from their homes on the Russian border and forcibly transported 2700 miles to Soviet Kazakhstan.

The little-known plight of around 200,000 Koreans who were deported on the orders of Josef Stalin has led to them being described as a “lost nation”. The displaces families and others were forbidden from even talking about the deportations until Glasnost in the 1990s.

Now the story of those Soviet Koreans – known as Koryo-saram – will be told to audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018.

OTOSOTR is written and performed by Anatoliy Ogay and directed by Tatyana Kim, both artists from Kazakhstan. Ogay traces his grandfather’s journey from arriving in a strange new world, through his experiences in WW2 and beyond.

This unusual theatre production involves innovative technology and contemporary piano music to accompany the intense solo performance, which explores the phenomenon of a new generation searching for an identity through war and peace.

This extraordinary story has already been accepted to the world’s biggest festival of solo performances UNITED SOLO in New York, USA and will follow it’s European premiere in Edinburgh.

Anatoliy Ogay and Tatyana Kim are artistic and life partners who have been in the entertainment industry for over 10 years working in film, theatre, and music.

Their short film “Tragiometry” received numerous international awards around the globe, including Scotland’s TMMF Awards – best director and best actor in 2016.

 
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