To what do I belong? Family, friends, region, tribe, religious denomination, ethnic groups, class, gender, race, work, neighborhood, country, political parties--in our daily lives we navigate between different markers, adjusting our speech patterns and behavior to the demands of each encounter, narrating to ourselves stories about how and why we come to occupy a particular place in the scheme of things. Poets and writers, playwrights and filmmakers, all specialize in translating these private narratives into public discourse. What surfaces in their imagination is designed to reach broad audiences, and these stories can then shape the very ways in which societies view themselves.
In a period of tumultuous change such as the present, a group of distinguished IWP alumni met in May of 2017 in Tangier (Morocco) to address the question: to what do I belong? And, can new ways of telling counter the eruption of extremism created in part by the inadequacy of prevailing narratives of belonging and inclusion?