Wednesday, August 02, 2006

a few ways to participate

Happy summer, Female Expat Ladies!

I'm writing to share 1) quotes that inspire my female expat project and 2) a series of prompts for our community who want to contribute the project.

To contribute your responses, 1) post them to this site's blog or 2) email them to me at, and I will post them for you. Please let me know if you would like your name listed with your writing or not. If you hate to write, sketch a picture or take a photo and send.

Prompt #1:
1. Respond in writing to one of the Kristeva quotes below.
2. Highlight the strongest sections of writing. Post or email.

Kristeva quotes
Kristeva, Julia. Strangers to Ourselves. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. 1991

1. Not belonging to any place, any time, any love. A lost origin, the impossibility to take root, a rummaging memory, the present in abeyance [temporarily set aside; suspension]

2. He is a devotee of solitude, even in the midst of a crowd, because he is faithful to a shadow: bewitching secret, paternal ideal, inaccessible ambition

3. For they are perhaps owner of things, but the foreigner tends to think he is the only one to have a biography, that is, a life made up of ordeals

4. A secret wound, often unknown to himself, drives the foreigner to wandering..."You have caused me no harm," he disclaims, fiercely, "It is I who chose to leave"; always further along, always inaccessible to all

Prompt #2:
Respond to the picture of map below, ideally in story form but it can simply be the first response that comes to your mind. It’s from a video still where two people are walking on a large map covering a Scandinavian city plaza.

Prompt #3:
Write about a household object of some personal significance that you are debating throwing away. If you don't have such an object, write about your favorite object in your house.

A Confession
Although I only lived overseas a total of three and a half years in Italy, Bahrain, Germany and China, I have been back in the states for the last one and a half years and feel like a bit of charlatan still making artwork out these overseas experiences. Still, it seems that there is still more stories to document, and although incredibly happy in my college teaching gig, the draw of living overseas still remains fierce. Additionally, nomadic, transnational lifestyles continue to become more and more common, and therefore, important for someone to document.

A Continued Call For Artwork
If you are a writer or artist, I would still like you to send a few samples of your work. As far as I know, no expat websites showcase the creative endeavors of their members. So that others might be inspired by your intellectual and creative rigor, please email me for more instructions.

Your responses will be part of my curriculum this fall and incorporated into artwork at the Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts this January. (

Thanks for participating.
Joelle Dietrick

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