Ten years ago I left Adelaide to live in London. I returned to Adelaide about 18 months ago and have since been obsessed with the idea of using new forms, and fragmentary styles to speak of this experience. |
Repatriate is an extension of travel writing in that it charts interior rather than exterior events along a journey. Repatriate touches on the traveller's kinds of writings, rather than the itinerary. It takes the form of the travel diary, the postcard, the love letter - refugee writing done on the move.
Repatriate is about writing to 'place' oneself somewhere strange, to try to convey true internal landscapes, not just the cliches of living abroad, the excitement, the stimulation and so forth, but its actual, day to day fact - the desire and failure to find words to describe the 'split-doubleness' of the expatriate soul which creates orphans of us all. How to speak of this ambiguous sense of Home? From a vast knowledge of what its like to live in another culture, to the details of an individual life?
There seems to be a problem of scale - and distance that both serve to choke coherent, original writing. The burden is how to say something new about very well known places, about the Old World? We fly 15,000 miles across oceans and continents. One day we're Home, the next, Away. It still seems miraculous.
Repatriate is an attempt to write through choking, through those seismic shifts in sense of self and identity that full immersion in another country brings.