PhD Showcase


Maria Theresa Moerman Ib

Maria Theresa Moerman Ib — School of Fine Art

Citizen of nowhere: mapping the nomadic self and the landscapes of loss through creative practice.

Third Culture Kids (TCKs) are people who spent a significant period of their childhood and developmental years outside their parents’ homeland(s). Renowned for their adaptability, TCKs are often described as ‘cultural chameleons’: they connect with the cultures they inhabit yet do not feel they belong in any of them. Having been uprooted, some TCKs remain in a state of bereavement and liminality throughout their lives. While existing studies examine so-called interstitial cultures and the psychological impacts of a nomadic upbringing, this PhD explores territory that has been largely overlooked: how can a crosscultural individual use creative practice to process unresolved grief and reconcile a fractured sense of home and self? By using practice-led and qualitative methods including creative writing, visual art and autoethnography to connect lived experience to wider social and cultural issues, the PhD charts the displacements that occur when shifting between languages, places and selves.

Maria Theresa Moerman Ib is a visual artist and writer who grew up between Belgium, Denmark, England and the Netherlands. A graduate of GSA’s Fine Art Photography programme, she also holds a BA in English from the University of Southern Denmark and an MLitt in Creative Writing from the University of Stirling. Rooted in autobiography, her practice navigates the realms of grief, identity and memory.