Thesis Project 

A third culture kid (TCK) is someone who was raised in a culture that differed from that of their parents during their early developmental years. Throughout their lives, TCKs often question their identities as they become immersed in multiple cultures. Today, there are more people living transnational lives than ever before. The assimilation into different cultures has become more prevalent as individuals travel and move away from the cultures they grew up in and into ones that are less familiar. Having moved myself, I became interested in the ways we build our own cultural identities, and my work investigates how these identities are shaped by the moments of transition and integration that are experienced within cultures.

My thesis aims to visualize a life immersed in two cultures by looking at my own experiences growing up as a TCK and Polish immigrant. Utilizing three different media: archiving, video, and visual exploration, I am able to explore different facets of my identity. The archive looks at cultural integration logically through an archived collection of objects and utilizes a value system to organize them. In the video, I focus on the non-places that I traveled through as a way to explore the familiarity and foreignness within moments of transition between cultures. The visual exploration was created in collaboration with painter Ellen Kanellias, and through illustrations and text explores our identities and ways in which they are tied to our cultures. With this thesis I aim to encourage viewers to think about moments when they were between cultures and how that shifted, and maybe continues to shift parts of their identity.