Alright Everybody! I Need Your Help – Big Time!


My dream assignment is to document the expatriate experience worldwide, using real-life expats to reimagine historical paintings, iconic photographs and famous literary passages depicting travel and expat life. And you can help!

The contest is called Name Your Dream Assignment, and the winner receives:

$50,000 to go anywhere and shoot anything, plus a video camera, your own blog with built-in readership, and the amazing Lenovo® ThinkPad® W700ds created just for photographers.

I want to get as many votes as possible, so that my proposal gets into the Top 20 and moves onto the judged panel. Voting ends April 3, so please – I’m begging you – go and vote NOW! Then, copy and paste any one of these links to an email or Twitter post and harass everyone you know to place their vote, too!

Now, look. There’s one thing – you have to sign up in order to vote. It’s an EASY, FAST process, and I don’t want to hear any whining about it. This really means a lot to me you guys, so please please PLEASE help me win!

Thanking you in advance,

Your dear old Miss Expatria

(You can read the whole proposal after the jump. Evidence of my photographic know-how is here.)

Ernest Hemingway. Peggy Guggenheim. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Jackie Onassis. Josephine Baker. Jim Morrison. Gertrude Stein. Pablo Picasso. Madonna and Johnny Depp! These are the famous faces of expatriation, and their stories read like legends; but there are millions around the world, from every walk of life, who currently call another country home.

Who are they? What are their lives like? What inspired them to live in a land far from friends, family and familiar surroundings? My dream assignment is to discover the answers to these and many other questions people have about the expatriate experience.

Some may ask, why not write a book? As an American expat who splits her time between Rome and the South of France, I find that I’m able to explain my own experience more fully, and more realistically, through photography.

Take that phrase, for example – “an American expat who splits her time between Rome and the South of France.” Doesn’t my life sound glamorous? Do you imagine me sipping Champagne on Mediterranean beaches all day long? Well, to be honest, I have done that once or twice. But the photographs I take reveal a daily routine much like yours – I’m just choosing to do it in places other than New Jersey, where my legal residence, bank account and childhood memories reside; or New York, where I was a fast-talking, bagel-eating grown-up for 14 years.

So, the $50,000 question remains: How will I carry out my Dream Assignment?

I plan to research historical paintings, iconic photographs and famous literary passages depicting travel and expat life in a wide variety of locations worldwide. (From my preliminary research, there should be about 10 cities on four continents on my final list.) Then I will travel to those places, meet with expats, and tell their stories in words and pictures on the Dream Assignment blog. The expats I meet will then become the subjects of my main photography project, modern-day reimaginings of the expat-focused art research.

My own expatriate experience has inspired me not only to photograph expats in their habitats (natural or otherwise), but to do so in a way that brings the true expat experience to light in the hopes that it will inspire others to follow their dreams all the way to the arrivals gate at their destination.


5 thoughts on “Alright Everybody! I Need Your Help – Big Time!

  1. Am I correct that your ex-pat subjects can be from any country? I wish you every success once you’ve won the right to proceed. I highly recommend the serial teleplay “Summer’s Lease”, by British barrister John
    Mortimer, and starring the late Sir John Gielgud, deliciously naughty in one of his final roles.

    The story begins with a dream summer interlude coming to pass for upper-middle class housewife Molly Pargeter. She has secured la Felicita, an appealingly furnished villa in Tuscan Italy. She soon learns that there is already an expat network of grocers, swimming pool experts, and purveyors of all things British (in this case), including everything from
    newspapers to Nutella. It makes sense for the year-round suppliers to
    quickly educate and add the short-term folks to their client lists. The clash of cultures provides dramatic evidence of the cost of ignorance when “Mr.
    Fixit”, an ex-pat provider, is found dead in the drained pool at la Felicita.
    A love triangle and clumsiness at the water board “(Hydrico)” contribute’ to his fate. The story is wonderfully cast and is very dark, but for someone with your ambition, it is tremendously funny as well. I hope you
    can find a copy (probably VHS) at a library. Bona fortuna!

  2. you’ve got my vote. Would love to see the project go forward, funding from here or elsewhere. And yeah on the plain-old-regular life wherever you live it. good luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s