The Special Team Elite: A (re)presentation of displacement and belonging in the context of diaspora through creative narrative

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation only


In Belonging and the Politics of Belonging (2006), Nira Yuval-Davis observes that, belonging is about emotional attachment, about feeling “at home”, and to some extent is a combination of inclusion but also of exclusion. This is connected to an individual’s sense of identity and/or desperate need to politically and/or socially belong. Yuval-Davis’ observation surrounding the ‘politics of belonging’ is fascinating; concepts of home, belonging and displacement are concurrent for individuals of diaspora and have been
discussed by theorists for centuries. The need for a fixed home or a return to a (imaginary) homeland, although directly linked to belonging and displacement, presents varying qualities. For immigrants who have struggled with identity in ethnic contexts and who regularly feel stuck between two (or more) cultures, belonging is a facet of their identity that they habitually have difficulty accessing and/or representing.
As a Persian-Armenian-Australian, questions of belonging and unhoming are aspects of my identity with which I have struggled for a long time and, therefore, felt an artistic need to express and (re)present through my creative narrative as a director-storyteller. As a result, The Special Team Elite emerged in two parts: a children’s book and an immersive performance. While, consciously, the rudiments of these projects were generated via the amalgamation of my doctoral research, subconsciously, the initial ideas for the story derived from my real and fantastical experiences growing up as a displaced individual within a world that, at the time, I felt was not accepting of me.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventAustralasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA) - Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 27 Jun 201730 Jun 2017


ConferenceAustralasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA)
Abbreviated titlePerforming Belonging in the 21st Century
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
Internet address


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