About the WeAreXpats

The Expatriate Archive Centre (EAC) started the @WeAreXpats RoCur Twitter (X) account in 2016 as a project to experiment with archiving 21st century media. @WeAreXpats owes its original concept and structure to @sweden, which in 2011 pioneered the idea of demonstrating the diversity of Sweden by rotating the curation of the account to a different person each week. Instead of focusing on any specific geography, @WeAreXpats curated the myriad life situations and mindsets of being an expat: a temporary resident in a country different from one’s origins. We were also interested in expatriate-adjacent topics and roles, such as repatriation, Third Culture Kids, etc. Each week a new expat curator tweeted from Monday 12:00 CET through the following Monday 11:00 CET. The tweets from @WeAreXpats have been archived by the EAC.

Who did we look for?
Any person who is an expat, expat-turned-immigrant, repatriate, adult Third Culture Kid, or other expat-adjacent role could have been a curator. We know that “expat” can be a loaded term. At the EAC, we aimed to include as many people as possible since we define “expatriate” as anyone who lives temporarily in a country other than their “home” country, regardless of the reasons. The notable exception is anyone considered a refugee; refugees are forced to move from their home and are a legally protected class of people.

What did curators get out of it?
Curating @WeAreXpats was an opportunity to tweet about what mattered to them. @WeAreXpats was also a unique opportunity to participate in a long-term research-based initiative. As communities have created new ways to communicate and express themselves, expats have been at the vanguard of adopting media to keep in touch with loved ones back home, connect with new friends in new places, and make their voices heard on a global stage. In response to these new trends, archives worldwide are considering and innovating new ways to preserve and archive 21st century materials, like those found online and in social media.