Rose Deniz

Displaced Nation calls Expat Harem a "blog tailored to the thinking expat"

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 4.04.25 PMThanks to Mary-Lea Awanohara of The Displaced Nation for these kind words! "When the Displaced Nation first started, Anastasia Ashman, an American living in Istanbul, was running a blog tailored to the needs of the “thinking expat.”

"It seemed almost too good to be true: a group of women who were passionate about telling stories that illustrated the impact of the expat life on a person’s psyche. Had Anastasia rubbed a magic lamp to conjure up a kind of foreign harem? After all, her site was called Expat+HAREM. The work she created on the basis of her Turkish expat life has lived on in her wake."

So glad to see this great interview with Katie Belliel and Rose Deniz about their upcoming anthology Sofra: A Gathering of Foreign Voices Around the Turkish Table.

See other posts on this site about Displaced Nation.

Successor to Expat Harem Launches: Expat Sofra

So thrilled to share this expat lit news! Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 4.07.53 PM

Katherine Belliel and Rose Margaret Deniz, (Expat Harem book and blog writers you'll recognize whom I've had the privilege and pleasure of working with for many years) are now calling for submissions to their new anthology for expat women writers who've lived in Turkey.

It's called Expat Sofra: A Gathering of Foreign Voices Around the Turkish Table.

Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 4.18.54 PM As they explain,

"Follow in the footsteps of Tales from the Expat Harem by going deep into personal, introspective experiences that have a love and respect for the local culture and traditions.

"Sofra invites you to a second course by taking a seat at the Turkish table.

"Just as the sofra is the heart of the Turkish hearth, we want stories that are steeped in the experience of being an expat in Turkey. The editors have a combined twenty-five years in Turkey and are editing this compilation of essays to give back to the culture that has nourished their lives abroad."

If you've lived in Turkey for at least a year, or know someone who has, take a look at the call for submissions, open to April 1, 2015.

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"At the heart of every story is a flavor. Expats pack their bags with spices from home to find that incorporating it into meals, and subsequently their life abroad, can require trial and error, a sense of humor, and even failure. Relationships flop. Meals get burnt. Life abroad does not taste the same. But it evolves. Becomes enriched. And can even become decadent."

Network Science Says Info Brokering Between Networks Makes You A Game Changer. It's Also 2nd Nature To People With Hybrid Cultural Identities.

Don't I know it.

My own hybrid, cross-disciplinary, limbo-state life and work is founded on this phenomenon that network science acknowledges.

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 8.23.50 PM Michael Simmons, author and cofounder of iEmpact, explains in "Why Being The Most Connected Is A Vanity Metric" at Forbes that your network is a set of clusters and when you manage to broker info between them you're a game changer. And, being an info broker is a way of life, and you have to constantly fight the urge to relax into the comfort of a group you know. He points out being an info broker is a good foundation for entrepreneurship.

It's no coincidence (to me, or anyone else who read, wrote for, or commented at my hybrid identity discussion site expat+HAREM back in 2009! or anyone who's familiar with the principles of my current community-driven, social web curriculum startup GlobalNiche) that this Forbes piece was written by a multicultural, multiethnic hybrid identity entrepreneur whose life has naturally made him an info broker between networks.

Peruse the expat+HAREM discussions on identity and hybridity.  Look at the highlights of Rose Deniz's podcast about living the hybrid life and what you leave behind in order to do so.

That's echoed in Michael Simmons' piece -- the reason why we can't get comfortable in one group if we want to participate in what he calls "the renaissance of network science" -- is because we lose value and impact by staying ensconced there.

We need to move between all our clusters -- online, offline, professional, personal, ethnic, family, school, friends, interests -- bearing rich, precious, communal, resonant information. That's our job (and our lifestyle) as network game changers.

Being Global Gives Writers Unique Voices

The writer and cultural curator Rose Deniz asked us what happens to our writing when worlds and languages collide.

Our language choice and vernacular will never be the same.

 

Even if I don't use Turkish words, the syntax is bound to slip in... like "make shopping" instead of "go shopping", and "arrive to" instead of "arrive at or in".

I know my adoption of the Malaysian "air-con" replaced the American "A/C" and remains hard to shake more than a decade since I lived there.

For globalist writers, like Rose and me and so many of the Expat Harem bloggers, I can only think it adds to the unique definition of our voice.

Theory Into Practice

Hope you're enjoying the nature in your part of the world, and as you make your mid-year plans, you're using the playful travel buzzwords bursting out all over: (palidays! set-jetting! buddymoons! frightseeing!) +++++ AT expat+HAREM

Those April showers have us blooming too. We've got a new video section at the site, with some golden oldies like the Expat Harem editors on NBC's Today Show with Matt Lauer, a steamy talk with Martin Anthony on The Crossroads, and recent material like my "Evolution of a global niche" slideshow (about how to use an identity crisis to your advantage!) and a talk at Microsoft Turkey for Turkish Women's International Network last month.*

Hybrid life coach Amna Ahmad shows us how to "decolonize your inner world" with a simple writing exercise, while Rose Deniz grapples with a unique lingo as she leaves her native tongue behind. Sezin Koehler calls for essays about Third Culture retirement issues -- a pressing concern for Baby Boomers and adult-onset Third Culture types like many of us.

+++++ AROUND THE WORLD & AROUND THE WEB

We're intrigued by the concept of Trunk, a global culture magazine "in the spirit of a Hemingway novel" which proclaims "there are no foreign lands", but we can really use the real-life logistics of expat women packed into a just-released book from ExpatWomen.com (download a sample here). Check out author Andrea Martin's $5,000 launch lottery too.

+++++ *BTW, these fresh videos offer a sneak peek into expat+HAREM's newest initiative -- Globalniche.net --  a private and practical membership community to learn exactly how to operate professionally and personally independent of traditional limitations. Putting theory into practice. Join us on Facebook and Twitter!

+++++ YOUR THOUGHTS

What would you want to learn in our new educational community? Which expert do you want to hear from? Your votes will determine the topic of our first (complimentary) webinar...coming soon!

Click here to share your most burning question.

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Perennially yours,

+++++ MISS LAST MONTH? Check out April's Upheavals +++++

Delivered Social Media Platform Building Workshop For Pro International Women

Leading a social media platform building workshop for professional international women

Good day demo'ing how to build a professional web platform to International Professional Women of Istanbul Network.

Among those pictured are Yasemin Yusufoff, Katie Belliel, Cerstin Diewald, Chrissy Gulec and Rose Deniz.

Tara Agacayak and I tag-teamed speaking (and I manned the projection) at the event.

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Here's the March 2011 write up of the event in the membership club's magazine.Screen Shot 2013-09-01 at 11.47.22 PM

Cultural Style Memo With Rose Deniz

The artist and curator Rose Deniz posted on her blog about going to a wedding in Turkey and being the only one who seemed to have not gotten the style memo.

Being out of sync with one's surroundings is a typical experience for expats, multiculturalists, hybrids and global operators. So big news that this weekend I went to a Dutch-Turkish wedding this weekend in the Netherlands and was dressed like half the women there.

 

The Dutch women, not the Turks.

So, while the Turks tottered around on mossy and uneven patiobricks in their red-soled Louboutins, I was sensible and sporting in my motorcycle boots and wool wrap dress. Plus, walking around in Amsterdam the majority of the shops displayed outfits I'd wear and want to wear. That settles it.

As much as it's hard to keep the focus on a style that actually fits me when I'm surrounded by opposing cultural dress memos/messages, heeding what I truly want to wear is the only answer.

 

Finding it for sale locally is a different problem.

Being Grounded Is Overrated: Getting Distance From The Inner You

I come from a land of Earth Mothers. On trips back to the West Coast -- Northern California, Oregon -- I note many hip young women are proud of their soft, rounded bellies, a more feminist 1970s standard of womanliness than the anorexic aughts. Like them, to me "being grounded" has meant a low center of self-gravity. Being solid in yourself. Tapped into the source. Unflappable. There's a problem with concrete though. It cracks over time, in quickly changing conditions, and sometimes even under its own weight. Settling into a life choice or a mindset that feels right today can suddenly be unsatisfactory two minutes into Tuesday. Ever a joined a group only to realize you simply wanted partial-membership in it?

So I've been thinking about fluidity. Imagine being a bobbing buoy, tied to a point deep below the surface of changing options.

By putting some distance between me and my center of gravity, I have room to be in a wider orbit around the inner me.

The winds and waves take me to new realms of myself. Life phases, bad hair days, culture shocks. Friend, colleague, wife. Turkish resident. Foreign employer, American daughter-in-law. Inspirational (or incomprehensible) online acquaintance. They're not always the same person and they don't want to be.

A related post by artist Rose Deniz questions how one’s worldview literally shifts as a result of location. Just like the hybrid self, living a hybrid life to its fullest extent may require us to toss the concrete plan.

In a new expat+HAREM real-time discussion series launching February 28th, Deniz will curate a live-recorded conversation spurred by this notion. Ten international women will gather at the cross-roads to ponder the freedoms of blurry boundaries, and reveal the anchors of their multifaceted lives.

What determines your present orbit, and how does it change your self-view?

What Expat Bloggers Are Made Of

I was honored to be included in a group of Cross-cultural and International Bloggers to Watch in 2010. As the guest curator in a review series at SheWrites, I'm pleased to note a few fellow expat bloggers. I'm drawn to the subject matter of these writers (and many others who I hope to highlight in the future). Posts seem compelled by the daily negotiation of expat/immigrant/exile identity. Shaped by unfamiliar environments. Inspired by moments when belief systems are challenged or uprooted.

You'll recognize fiction-writer Catherine Yigit as a contributor to the Expat Harem anthology and the group blog expat+HAREM. In Skaian Gates, the Dublin native writes with a wry sensibility about “living between the lines” of culture and language on the Straits of the Dardanelles. She takes us through the gauntlet of getting a Turkish driving license. Although prepared for the exam, she discovers she'll have no control over the vehicle since her examiner has a lead-foot on the dual-control pedals! Even if we learn the rules and practice the gears in our lives abroad, we often sense we're not in the driver's seat and we have to be okay with that.

Professionally-trained artist Rose Deniz lives in an industrial town near the Sea of Marmara, a body of water named for its marble-like surface. Her spare blog reflects deep ideas and personal geographies, like the trouble with being the kind of person who visualizes color, numbers and forms in the midst of a chaotic Turkish family setting; and finding the art in life outside the studio. Her real-time, online 2010 discussion series in which "art is dialogue and the studio is you” will be hosted at expat+HAREM.

Petya Kirilova-Grady, a Bulgarian who lives in Tennessee with her American husband, writes about bi-cultural misunderstandings and shares her embarrassment over a recent gender role snafu. The only way to explain why  the progressive young woman “couldn’t be bothered to do a ‘typically male’ task” in the domestic sphere is because Bulgarians are traditionalists at home. Petya writes of the realization “I can’t remember the last time I felt as Bulgarian.”

Expat bloggers flourish when we face a fresh appreciation for not only where we are but where we come from -- and what we're made of.

Who are your favorite expat bloggers and why?