Guleraana and I are back in London, after a whirlwind week at the Families in Global Transition conference in The Hague, Netherlands. It was an inspiring, identity-affirming, provocative, exhausting few days with hundreds of fellow cross-culture people, educators, psychologists, researchers, writers, and others who work with globally-mobile communities. Our tribe.
We presented some video and audio from a recent performance of Home Is Where… and demonstrated our accompanying cross-culture drama workshop. Guleraana is an absolute champion, squeezing what’s usually a 2-hour workshop into 30 minutes!
It was wonderful to run the workshop with a group of people who had already spent a day and a half at the conference (and quite a bit of their lives and careers), thinking deeply about ideas of home, identity, culture, and belonging.
After some get-to-know-you warm up games, we asked, ‘What does home mean to you?’ and jotted down the responses on a flip chart. The familiar themes of family, comfort, memory… and the deer-in-headlights ‘uhhhhhh….’ that so many TCKs and CCKs identify with.
This group also came up with a few that we hadn’t heard before: ‘it’s where I go to the dentist’ was one-upped by ‘where I go to the gynaecologist!’ And then someone shouted out, ‘Radishes!’ and explained that growing and eating radishes from her own garden made her feel at home. Radishes are such a specific example, but the feeling of growing your own food is something universal. I can get behind the idea that home is where the radishes grow.
From the brainstorm, we created tableaux of the themes – ‘frozen pictures’ that can become the starting point for a scene. I was intrigued by the challenge of making a tableaux of ‘radishes’ so of course I immediately joined that group.
Others created pictures of a giant question mark on the floor, a child swinging between two parents, and yes, even a gynaecologist’s office.
We hope that the teachers, coaches, and psychologists who joined us will be inspired to bring drama games and storytelling into their work with students and clients…
And in a few weeks time, we’ll be doing it all again, but in a sort of opposite way. At FIGT, we were sharing drama techniques with cross-cultural experts; at the NYU Forum on Ethnodrama, we’ll be introducing the idea of Third Culture Kids to our colleagues in the theatre community.
(If anyone from the FIGT session has any feedback or ideas that could help our next presentation, we’d love to hear them! Comment below or email me: [email protected])
And of course, I can’t leave out our crowdfunding link… Guleraana and I are freelance artists, investing in the future of our project Home Is Where… by attending these conferences. Can you help us get there? Thank you!