Citizens of Everywhere Speak Out

Citizens of Everywhere is commissioning writers, artists, scientists, academics, cultural organisers and more to write pieces for the Guardian and The Conversation that broaden and debate what ‘citizenship’ means today. You can use this page to keep up-to-date with our latest publications and search previous ones.     

In the Guardian, novelist Tom McCarthy asks whether Theresa May really knows what citizenship is: "[O]ne is a citizen not simply because of an internal relation to one’s community, although that’s part of the picture, but because of a relation to a complex, often troubled outside; through the acceptance of the outsider into your place and yourself into theirs."

In the Guardian, travel writer Horatio Clare reflects: "The peculiar thing is, I still do not really believe borders need exist, or that they do, in the ways they pretend, or that they will stand for many more decades. The life of a repeat traveller exposes frontier fences and crossing points as philosophical obscenities, unnecessary burdens on humankind and the planet."

In the Guardian, poet and translator George Szirtes argues: "The literatures of our particular island are many, all constantly being annotated and rewritten by those who arrive and leave to travel elsewhere. We all move, even within the island, if only from town to town. Each move amplifies and modifies our sense of place. The annotation does not erase the local: the palimpsest extends it."

In the Guardian, writer Joanna Walsh reflects: "Fun is for the poor, and as such, it is ripe for our use in fighting a government that, by identifying Britishness with keep-calm-and-carry-on austerity, is making us morally, culturally, and materially poorer."

In The Conversation, researcher Sam Solnick argues: "The idea of holding dual-citizenship with the Antarctic isn’t shallow idealism. Even the most ardent brayers of Jerusalem should recognise that England is likely to be a lot less green and pleasant if, say, ice-melt from the cracking Larsen ice-cap helped disrupt the Gulf Stream."

In the Guardian, author Nikesh Shukla reflects: "Instead of movie and TV tie-ins, I was reading the world. I was heading through time and space, through country and county. I learned about myself, other people, different cultures, my own culture. The library made me a citizen of everywhere."

In the Guardian, poet Andrew McMillan reflects: "The power of writing, to be able to articulate our own experience, is the thing that allows us to feel like a citizen of everywhere. Yet those who have gone into a school or a pupil-referral unit as a writer, or worked with young offenders and prisoners, or in the community with disenfranchised groups, will know that people often feel that literature itself is a citizen of somewhere else, over a hard-fortressed border that they can’t cross."

In Frieze, the Biennial's Sally Tallant reflects: "In this time of uncertainty we must find a way of gaining perspective, and develop ways of seeing that allow us to build new hope. This is what art allows us to do, and we seek it out not only through artists, but through art institutions."

In the Guardian, poet Ilya Kaminsky reflects: "When I tell stories of my Soviet childhood to US audiences, people are always sympathetic. Americans are immensely sympathetic to suffering in exotic lands. But when I start speaking about the injustice of the border right here in San Diego, where I have lived and taught now for a decade, the room grows quiet."

In the Guardian, poet Tishani Doshi reflects: "If we think of history not as an ascending spiral of human advance, but an unending cycle in which changing knowledge interacts with unchanging human needs, where freedom is recurrently won and lost in an alternation that includes long periods of anarchy and tyranny, as political philosopher John Gray suggests, then we could say that something is happening now that is the opposite of an opening up."

In The Conversation, Dr Will Slocombe reflects: "[C]itizenship depends, it seems, as ever upon who we call “us” and who we call “them” – citizenship understood as an exclusive club."

In the Guardian, novelist Carl Shuker reflects: "With my New Zealand passport, I could cross the border quite easily, like a ghost – and I did. I think about the businessman and the border guard often. That kindness, where they are now, what that Syrian guard has done as his people passed the other way."

In the Guardian, poet Sandeep Parmar reflects: "In Brexit Britain and Trump’s US, I feel increasingly cautious about both my nationalities. Although I am privileged not to be stateless, I know that no matter how long I live in either country, I’ll always be seen as an immigrant." 

In the Guardian, novelist Will Self reflects: "People who regard themselves – at least emotionally – as left-liberals can no longer turn a blind eye to the ever-increasing gulf between rich and poor in Britain[.]"

At The White Review, writer Vahni Capildeo reflects: "We settle here; but the ghosts of history, the oppressions, migrations, escapes, re-rootings, re-routings, betrayals and unlikely solidarities that occurred and do recur in our warring species, pop out and jangle us."

In The Conversation, Dr Kathy Burrell reflects on how the things migrants send back home help them build a bridge across continents. 

At The PoolLauren Elkin explores the power and the history of women marching: "Every time women march, we defy those who have tried to make us feel unsafe or unwanted in public."

And on BBC Radio 3Sandeep Parmar and Lauren Elkin discuss the Citizens of Everywhere project.