The Worlds Within - An Anthology of TCK art and writing

26 Oct 2014 8:11 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

Maryam Afnan Ahmad interviews Jo Parfitt about this soon-to-be-published work.

  • What are TCKs and why are you so passionate about them?

JP: TCKs are young people who have spent some or all of their growing up years overseas in a country that is not the passport country of either parent. They live, not in their parents’ culture, nor fully settled into their new location. Instead they live ‘between worlds’ in a third culture. I have lived abroad myself for 27 years, since the day after I got married and we have two TCKs of our own now in their twenties. I care passionately about giving people a voice, a place to express how they feel. I wanted a) to let them know people care about their stories ad b) to inform others about this unique group.


  • Why did you choose to compile an anthology of TCK work?

JP: It was while I was at FIGT2012 and attended a workshop by Beth McBride, our cover artist, and met Cerine NJ, a Pollock Scholar, attending from Korea that the idea came to me. Cerine handed me a booklet of stories she had written and frankly, I was blown away by the meaning in her words. Eva also read the material and felt as I did. Beth and Cerine are both in their 20s, both are TCKs and both have been profoundly changed by their experience. It was then that I realised, as a publisher, I had the power to produce an anthology and was delighted when Eva and Cerine herself agreed to be involved.


  • Is The Worlds Within an anthology of interest only for the TCK?

JP: It will fascinate anyone who has lived abroad, at any age and anyone who has ever or still works with them in any capacity. It will let them see into their world.


  • What value do you see The Worlds Within to add to the TCK experience?

JP: It brings taboo subjects like identity, home, belonging, loss and grief to the surface as well as the immense benefits to be gained from their experiences. It helps TCKS to feel more rooted in their world and not only proud of who they are but brave enough not to keep their truth secret any more.


  • How did you both pick the age range for the TCKs who could submit work for the project?

JP: That was tricky. 27 seems an odd age to cut off entries, but after much discussion we decided it was at this point that young people truly no longer feel like children.


  • Any special moments from the process of compiling this book that you would like to share?

JP: When we read the entries through for the first time with awe and emotion. And then when we read them again. And then when we read them again. Each time it feels like someone is bashing me on the head and saying, “See?”


  • Is there anything else that you would like us to know about The Worlds Within?

JP: This has been a wholly voluntary project. It has been two and a half years in the making and has been very hard work. All those who have been involved have shown amazing passion and commitment to this important project.



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