everyone has a relationship with home, be it fraught, nostalgic, or a complicated mix.
during my three-month-long roadtrip around turtle island / the united states, i facilitated an interview project on the subject of home. i conducted interviews with a few dozen people, letting the conversations direct themselves and take their own unique form. i included the following question in each interview:
in what ways are you seeking and making home,
and in what ways have you found home?
i wanted to examine the commonalities that frequently popped up, as well as the the stories that seemed unique to specific people. i found that some people seem to be able to make home wherever they go, without necessarily having ties to a specific place. on the other side of the coin, some people never feel at home. and i heard from several people about the inherited trauma of their ancestors they carry — ancestors who fled, who survived, who assimilated, who live in diaspora to this day.
home was an interesting and heavy thing to delve into while in a near-constant state of transit. in 12 weeks, my partner eli and i slept in 38 different places. we stayed some places just for a night, a few special places up to a week, and most places two to three nights. we stayed in temporary homes, well-rooted homes, collective spaces open to people near and far as a second home, and places we each used to call home.
having returned back home (of sorts) to the bay area in early may, i have countless hours of work ahead of me to transcribe and edit the interviews. eventually i intend to create a fully fleshed out project that will include a podcast with edited audio interviews, and a zine with interview highlights, photos, and more of my own writings and reflections. i expect this to take a really long time!
in the meantime, with individuals’ permission — i’d like to share portions of interviews and photos here on this blog.
i’ve never done anything like this before, so i very much welcome feedback, suggestions, and ideas if you’re willing to share them! also, i would totally accept help transcribing, if you get a kick out of that kind of thing.
i want to acknowledge a couple of limitations about this project.
- first, while the people i interviewed come from many different backgrounds and hold a multitude of identities, the majority of them are white people — young white americans, at that. i want to think and talk more about how that reflects the overwhelming whiteness of my greater community, and the broader implications of that. for the time being, i want to make it visible to other white people reading this — that the population interviewed in this project isn’t a representation of all people.
- second, a great many of the interviews discuss home in relationship to land, or a geographic place, in what we call the united states. what we call the US is actually indigenous peoples’ land that many of our white ancestors settled and colonized. i am still in the early stages of unlearning colonization, and i know there is much more to learn and think about here. to start, i want to acknowledge and think deeply about what “home” means when home is stolen — from some people, for others. i encourage those reading to do the same.
i aim to be as accountable as possible in continuing to flesh out this project, so if you have resources, insight, or feedback related to the above (or anything i’ve missed), please feel welcome to reach out.
here are the interviews i’ve compiled so far, from most recent to oldest:
- “community & home are synonymous.” (natalie, austin, tx)
- “if we didn’t inherit a land-based home, how do we create that in this lifetime?” (eliana, fancyland, ca)
- “there’s something beautiful about places that are a lot of people’s home.” (margot, millerton, ny)
- “what does it mean to try to survive in places where people are telling us we don’t belong?” (brawny, atlanta, ga)
- “i know where i can go to feel welcomed and wanted.” (alli, portland, or)
- “i had her, and she was mine.” (susan, portland, or)
- “it doesn’t matter where you are, the smoke’s still gonna rise.” (connie, boston, ma)
- “staying in one place can be a revolutionary act.” (felecia, portland, or)
- “come as you are, and if it’s in a shitstorm, still show up.” (mana, earthaven ecovillage, nc)
- “part of having a home is about being nurturing in a way that sustains you.” (alex, austin, tx)
- “you want to create a better world? you can’t start with the vision of something you can’t see.” (dandy, brooklyn, ny)
- “everywhere i’ve lived feels like home.” (julia, truth or consequences, nm)
you can write to me with questions or feedback by emailing cheersfreddie at gmail.
thanks for reading!