Sunday, 22 September 2013

Giving Third Culture Kids A Voice

Recently I had the privilege of meeting Eva László-Hertbert. I am glad she agreed to answer some questions about a great project that she is doing together with Jo Parfitt. Third culture kids this is your opportunity to be creative and to let your voice be heard. The project is called The Worlds Within TCK Anthology. The deadline for submissions has been postponed to the 30th of October 2013, so you can still send in

These words by Eva jumped out at me:

"I am hugely excited about this project and want to shout it out to all four corners of the world:  hello, young and beautiful people, this is your moment to tell the world what it is like to be born in Dubai, have grandparents in Leicestershire, Skype with a best friend in Poland and still miss life in Argentina." 

How was the idea for the book born?
Home is where the sunflower grows

The idea for the upcoming anthology of TCK writing “ The Worlds Within “ was forged following the 2012 FIGT  – Families in Global Transition – conference in Washington DC, USA. I was invited to be the closing key note speaker and Jo was launching her book and leading workshops on writing your life story.
Founded in 1998 at the kitchen table of Ruth van Reken (co-author of Third Culture Kids–Growing Up Among Worlds), FIGT is both the mother hen and the flagship of all writing, research and publishing on TCK/ ATCK matters, connecting brilliant minds who speak and dream in many tongues all across the globe.
To me, sharing my views on identity vs nationality with 200 strangers who I had come to deeply feel connected to in less than 72 hours was a life changing event. It was for the first time ever that all the many pieces of my “weird” biography were being voiced and brought together – and no one told me off for being weird, strange, too complicated or simply unreal. These people were genuinely curious and they kept nodding – and then had equally incredible stories to share themselves. Which they did until the wee hours of the morning.

Questions that had put my life on hold for so many years – who am I, where do I really belong to, and so many more – suddenly found an answer and were put into the right context and perspective. Words fail to describe the effect this had on my outlook on myself and the many worlds I am living in… on Facebook this would translate into OMG !! WOW !! and a lot of L J.

My definition of home is: home is where you don’t need to explain yourself.

Well, in March 2012, at FIGT – please immerse yourself into -  me, myself and I arrived home. HOME! After returning to The Hague, my eureka moment and Jo’s expert and compassionate guidance led to the idea of giving other TCKs and ATCKs a voice of their own, to be compiled into an anthology of original writing.  A lot has been written about TCKs / ATCKs and related issues – we felt that the time for showcasing the practice in genuine TCK/ATCK words and art was ripe. 

Is it correct that art and writing can be submitted?

To be part of The Worlds Within: Write as much as a short story or as little as a haiku – you may use up to 2000 words; draw, paint, make a collage – whatever.

The deadline for submissions is 30 October 2013.

Submissions can be sent to, in Times New Roman 12 font, formatted in indented paragraphs. Artwork will be published in black and white and must be submitted in the highest possible resolution.

Authors, aged 0-27, have the explicit right to remain anonymous or submit their work using a nom-de-plume.

Minimum requirements that need to accompany submissions: a name, the age when the submitted work was created, countries the author has lived in and a three word motto, which is relevant to their life (mine, for example is: connect – contribute – celebrate). If desired, they may add any information – website, blog, email, twitter – by which their art / writing can be followed.

The texts – up to 100 – will be organized by age.
Yes, we do accept submissions of group effort – what a great idea!
For all further questions please email us, like us on and – very important – keep writing!

And, last but not least: please be our ambassador. Tell your siblings, cousins, friends, colleagues and class mates about this chance to tell the world what it feels like to be the genuine, unique and complex YOU.

Thank you Eva. I hope there will be many submissions because children who grow up in other cultures are very creative. Even adult third culture kids can send in submissions. Please spread the word around. I just love the idea of a book with works by third culture kids. What are your thoughts on this? I would love some comments. Just to let you know that I read each comment.

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  1. This is a very interesting project and I did share it a bit everywhere. But my question is also: why this age restriction under 27?

    1. Ute the editors replied: "Older people can submit as long as they wrote or drew what they did when they were 27 or under". I think we older folks have to write our own book, combine our efforts?