Private Project

Morkovcha [Korean Carrot Salad]

Morkovcha, Korean Carrot salad, is an invention of ethnic Koreans living in the Far East of the Russian Empire since the late 1800s. This short documentary tells the story of one family’s nearly century-long journey from the Russian Far East to their new home in the United States.

  • Lidiya Kan
  • Lidiya kan
  • Lidiya Kan
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    22 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 19, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Lidiya Kan

Lidiya Kan is a photographer, filmmaker, and educator based in New York City. She is the fourth generation of ethnic Koreans born and raised in the former Soviet Union. Her projects are influenced by her multicultural and multinational upbringing. She is interested in overlooked and forgotten histories, everyday stories of ordinary people. Records she creates are evidence of existence, her unique cultural contribution to a larger societal archive. 

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Director Statement

The idea of documenting the Russian Korean community originated a few years after I moved to the United States, first as a photography project, motivated by others’ confusion about my Russian citizenship and questions about why I do not speak Korean.
Koryo-Saram, ethnic Koreans of the post-Soviet territories, is one of the largest groups living outside of Korea, after China, the US, and Japan, with a total population of about 500,000 people.
The history of the diaspora is told through conversations between my mother and I, personal stories, fragmented memories, and my family photo archive.
An important character of the film is Morkovcha, the Korean carrot salad, an invention of the Russian Korean diaspora; its essence is symbolic of our mixed identity. The name itself is the merging of two words: “Morkov”, the Russian word for carrot, and “Cha” a phonetic variation of the Korean word for salad.