The notion of home may be attached to a house, a village, a city, a landscape, a region, or a nation. It may itself be mobile, associated with multiple physical locations at different times in the life of the individual. A sense of home may also be dislocated from a physical space and instead embodied by a specific person or network of relationships, by a language, accent or sequence of sounds, by smells or flavours, by habits, values and practices, by objects, by memories and emotions.
The ways in which these things or experiences mean something to us may surface in the very process of leaving home: home is perhaps defined in absence. Individuals who migrate, live mobile lives, or live always in one place but between two or more cultures, may feel most ‘at home’ when they are displaced from what would be identified as their home. Their sense of who they are and how they live may be inscribed not in a single location where they can trace a clear heritage or history, but in spaces of transit and movement.
Home may also be a source of anxiety. The notion may recall a set of traditions, relations, expectations and practices which constrain the individual to prescribed behaviours and from which she or he may long to escape – or to migrate. What is possible in mobility may be unacceptable or unimaginable at home. Home becomes in this way – and in the experience and practice of individuals and communities addressed in this project – not a fixed reference point but a field of possibility. Home moves.
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