Taiye Selasi proposes a shift in perspective from asking “where are you from?” to “where are you a local?” This change, she argues, allows for a more nuanced understanding of identity, which is often complex and multifaceted. Selasi, born in London, raised in Boston, and who feels at home in New York, Berlin, and Rome, rejects the label of ‘nationality’, preferring to identify herself through her personal connections to these cities.

She introduces the concept of ‘multi-local’ people, those who feel connected to several places. To identify as multi-local, Selasi suggests three key factors: rituals, relationships, and restrictions. Rituals refer to daily routines and habits; relationships to the personal connections one has in a place; and restrictions to the political, social, and economic limitations one faces there.

Selasi believes this new perspective enables a more accurate representation of one’s identity. It allows for the recognition of the impact of cities and communities on one’s development, rather than attributing it solely to a nation. This shift in perspective, Selasi suggests, could foster a more inclusive and understanding world, one that recognises the complex nature of personal identity.

Go to source article: http://www.ted.com/talks/taiye_selasi_don_t_ask_where_i_m_from_ask_where_i_m_a_local