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Don’t Ask Where I’m From, Ask Where I’m Local.

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Don’t Ask Where I’m From,
Ask Where I’m Local is intercultural learning tool focus on addressing the issue of identity based on creative writing. It is inspired by TED TALK 'Don't ask where I'm from, ask where I'm a local' of Taiye Selasi.

Aims of the tool

To open the debate on identity and related issues;
To provide participants an opportunity to reflect on own identity and its key elements;
To develop participants creative writing competencies and ability of expression.

Description of the tool

Open the activity by asking the participants a question: Where are you from? Participants should respond one by one. Write down their answers on the board, or ask someone to help you with that. Use those answers as inputs for further discussion. Then let them watch the TED Talk of Taiye Selasi. After the speech ask the participants to write a text that would answer to the question: Where are you local? The
participants can decide about the form. Texts are shared with a larger group and discussion on issues such as self-awareness, identity in connection with rituals, relationships and
restrictions defined by Taiye Selasi in the talk should follow.

Questions for reflection
– Where are you from and where are you local?
– Which question would you ask when you meet someone new?
– Do you feel a sense of belonging to the place where you live and the people around you?
– What helps us to develop sense of belonging to a place or group of people?
– Do you think that people can belong to more than one place?
– What do you most connect with? Why?
– How do you know you have connected with another person or group of people?


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SALTO cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

Tool overview

This tool addresses

Intercultural Learning

It is recommended for use in:

Youth Exchanges
Training and Networking

Materials needed:

The activity is based on the TED Talk of writer and photographer Taiye Selasi. The talk can be found and downloaded on the website You will need a computer, speakers, a projector and a screen.


90 mins.

Behind the tool

The tool was created by


(If you can claim authorship of this tool, please contact !)

The tool was created in the context of

The tool was develop during training course realized within strategic partnership project 'Creative Learning Cookbook'.

The tool has been experimented in

The tool was experimented in several youth projects including training course 'Intercultural Dialogue through Creative Writing'.

The tool was published to the Toolbox by

Ilona Olehlova (on 14 August 2018)

and last modified

21 March 2018

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