As a filmmaker, I’m constantly searching for the story behind the story—the untold stories. My inspiration for this project started when I first moved to the UAE. I was often asked, “So, what are you?” This question is quite different from questions that I feel are the “usual questions.” I often get asked, “Where are you from?” or, “What is your nationality?” Unlike these last two questions, I perceived this new question to be one of identity, rather than ethnicity or nationality. Due to the appearance of this new line of questioning from others, I started to think about my own identity as a whole. I interrogated my sense of who I am and what defines one's own identity.
Through my project, I aim to capture the stories behind each “nationality” and participants’ relationships to their first and second citizenship countries. More importantly, I hope to explore the diversity of today’s transnational culture through this specific lens; what do the concepts of identity and heritage mean within such a multi-faceted world?
I captured and continue to document a diverse range of participants; I need to do this in order to discover similar, different, and shared experiences between the participants. I found it to be a challenge not to have assumptions in regards to participants’ emotional attachments or dis-attachments to their countries of first citizenship. No matter what they appeared to be on the outside, the true relationships and loyalties towards their identities and homes were only found on the inside.