d i a s p o r a
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Inspired by the structure of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, I created three stories—one historical fiction, one about my own experiences, and one science-fiction epistolary story set in a world of space travel and colonialism. I used the program Twine to illustrate the connections between these seemingly disconnected narratives about displaced stories within displaced families.
I wanted to ground my project in historical context, so I began by researching an imagined family history, because my grandparents never could or would tell me anything about their actual history. Making things up is all I have. From there I expanded my focus to storytelling throughout time, especially within families. Learning to use Twine gave me the idea to turn this into a piece of interactive fiction. With Twine, I was able to include additional tangents and link scenes to emphasize recurring themes and motifs more explicitly than I would’ve been able to otherwise.
The time you felt the most powerful
Working on my piece for the Slam Poetry Workshop made me feel at least more powerful than I’m used to feeling. Just writing the poem was extremely personal and cathartic for me. I’m never comfortable sharing anything out loud, so this was way out of my comfort zone. Poetry is associated with an indirectness that gives people (including me) the courage to express opinions and thoughts and feelings we’re too scared to express otherwise. So I felt especially awkward recording myself saying these things out loud. It’s like reading your own secrets out to the world. Vulnerable, but powerful.
by alicia kwok