Project 'HOME'

Curated by Marialena Tsantila

For Odysseus, it is not the destination but the journey that creates the Self. As humans, we breathe through our stories, the ones that we’ve lived, the ones that guide us and the ones we oramatise of. Where do we locate ourselves in this changing space of storytelling?

 

What do the landscapes, communities, historical memories and shared meaningful experiences have to say about what we perceive as home? Is it a space, a place or a feeling?

 

In this globalised world that surrounds us, where everyone is moving around constantly and changing lifestyles, the territoriality boundaries of this notion are expanded. For some, home can be a sensation, a person, the home country that they have and the one that are leaving from. It can also be one’s skin; all of our stories are imprinted on our bodies.  

 

The COVID-19 Pandemic challenged our notion of home. In times of instability and loss of personal space and choice, when restrictions are being placed upon our physical and mental mobility, the quest for home is now, more than ever, necessary. From a Palestinian who cannot return home to a person that experienced isolation, this idea that keeps us breathing, this place that goes deepest inside of us is constantly shaped.

Voices of 'HOME'

A year ago, home for me was just Spain, my home country. Relocating to a new country during the pandemic made that that sense of home went away. For a while, I thought I had no home. Until one night, I realized that the concept of home for me was now just a moment. The moment of going to bed next to my partner in life. Mi amor. That moment in which I could hear his breathing in the middle of the silence of the night. That bed, that cozy security of almost every night, is home for me.

Tamara Delgado, Spain 

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Our vision of home is generally represented by the house where we have been raised together with the culture in which we have gained certain values. During the pandemic, I started to perceive home as a whole environment where I can express myself without any boundaries. It is not linked to a single place on Earth, but it represents a connection to the people around me who are allowing me to grow. Whenever I feel lost, the warm presence of a person is the answer to my confusion. In other words, home is safety within someone who welcomes you with open arms.

Natalia Rubio, Spain, Czeck Republic

Home is a jam jar moment
I imagine home as a moment in time that you put in a jam jar. And when you feel bad, you can just open the lid, and snuffle a little. Your heart keeps this jar safe for you so it can never break.

Hannah Jakubowski, Germany

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Went home, through empty hallways, empty rows of plane seats, empty airport terminals, where my parents are, waiting once again to pick me up as if I'm back from a school trip, cosy in the car I slip into practiced routines, told jokes, old feelings. Brother, sister, dog, greet me with indifferent calm, and in the city old faces' eyes widen mildly when they ask where I've been and I answer another country. Eagerly the dog keeps his tether taut, I stroll on loose and sharpened slate stones, as memories in no order flood my mind. This was my home.

Daragh Exton, Ireland

‘‘Run out out out of all houses, all fleshes, all bodies’’. Home became a strong longing but also a stressful idea that I tried to denounce, to detach from. Because along with the warmth and the feeling of protection that it entails, it also bounds me to a place. Home became a nest and a prison. And the more I was pushed to stay at home the more strongly I felt attracted by the ‘‘outside’’. My quest for a home clashed with the terrifying realization of feeling homeless. Home, an open field where I could lie flat. Home, an open window. Home, my own restless steps that drift around. Home,an evening nap. Home, a poem. Home, a short conversation. Home, another human body. Home, my inner shout. Only temporary. Home is not to be found behind heavy walls. Home is not to be revered. Because it domesticates me. My biggest gift is my freedom of wandering around. A flânerie.. .this is my home.

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Antonis Kouvalakis, Greece

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Peggy Grigoriou, Greece

Photographs: Natalia Rubio