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Taiye Selasi Encourages Viewers Not to Ask Where People are from

 - Jul 7, 2017
References: ted & youtube
Taiye Selasi is an author and photographer who poetically speaks about why people shouldn't ask one another where the other is from, but instead, ask them where they're local.

Selasi brings up the unique point that as countries are not fixed in time and space, that people should not, and cannot, define themselves based on nationalism. As countries are born, die, expand and contract, they "hardly seem like the basis to understand a human being." She instead argues that it is our experience that defines where we're from, our experiences with places, people, and culture – not country. She encourages the audience to define themselves as multi-local, and ask people where they are local to rather than where they are from.

Taiye Selasi also encourages viewers to take a three-step test based in rituals, relationships, and restrictions. Rituals are where and what habits and cultural practices people partake in, relationships are the meaningful bonds that they create with others, and restrictions are what is stopping them from wholly viewing a particular place as home. It is these three that determine where individuals are local to, and how they identify – with their experiences rather than simply their place of birth.