“Well, who was Essad Bey?
It’s important to say
That he was born on a train somewhere in Ukraine
He grew up in Baku
He’s a Russian, a Jew
But was this who was Essad Bey?
He lived in Berlin
To Allah he prayed
He once wrote a book called ‘Allah is great’
A poser, a fascist
In his his very own way but was this who was Essad Bey?”
The Disorientalists are Yuriy Gurzhy (RotFront), Daniel Kahn (Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird) and Marina Frenk (Marina & Kapelsky). The three Berliners-by-choice joined forces to write and perform a musical based on the life of Essad Bey a.k.a. Kurban Said a.k.a. Lev Nussimbaum. “Who Was Essad Bey?” is a biographical revue produced by and played in the Studio Я of Gorki Theater Berlin. It was released on the Berlin label “Oriente” in January 2017.
* Photo by Oleg Farynyuk, Slow Photography Berlin