WHO: 16 strangers
WHERE: Milk Green Tea, Phnom Penh
WHEN: March 2014
WHAT: A salon using the ‘unconference’ method
ORIGIN: ‘What is fromness?’ was inspired by the talk, ‘Ask me where I’m local’ by Taiye Selasi: ‘When someone asks you where you’re from … do you sometimes not know how to answer? Selasi speaks on behalf of “multi-local” people, who feel at home in the town where they grew up, the city they live now and maybe another place or two. How can I come from a country?, she asks. How can a human being come from a concept?’ (Watch the talk here.)
QUESTIONS POPPED UP of the variety we might have expected: to help us reflect on self-identity, whereness, fromness itself, and the notion of ‘where I am from.’ But so did remarkable topics, like how one feels about living away from one’s family, and how it’s surprising to identify with a ‘tribe’ one chooses for herself. Complete strangers convened to converse on these many close-to-the-heart questions. People whose paths might not have otherwise have crossed. People interested in taking a good, honest look at questions like: Who am I? Where am I ‘from?’ Who is my family? Where is my home? You can really go far when you set an intention. Origin. What is fromness? A big question.