For the past 5 years, urbz has been following families who's lives are spread between Mumbai and their ancestral villages in the Konkan (Western India).
What would be your answer to ‘what’s home for you?’ Is it a place, a city, certain objects or an emotion? In a world where people are constantly migrating between the cities, towns and villages, the answer is not very evident. A person hails from a certain place, grew up in another, migrates towards job opportunities and may move again to follow dreams, leaving a trail of footprints across their personal circulatory life map. Little parts of each of these places make up the idea of ‘home’. At the constellation.s exhibition in Bordeaux, we tried to understand what ‘home’ meant to various visitors. The questions we asked them were ‘where do you live now?’, ‘where do you hail from?’, ‘what other places have you lived in?’ and ‘what is your ideal habitat?’. These questions take away from the idea that the house is synonymous with home. In an effort to investigate the relationship between the different spaces that the individual has occupied, we directed our questions to differentiate between the house, home, habitat and the ideal living condition.
While the answers varied from individual to individual, a common expression for the ideal home emerged: home is not one place. For some, home was coming back from a long day and finding comfort in slipping into their bedroom slippers. For some, the ideal was picking little favourites from the various places they had lived in, and having it one place: their childhood house in the countryside, their friends from where they studied, their job from the city, their pool from a holiday house, their favourite food from their county and so on. For a lot of people, home was about the people that mattered, even if they were scattered across the globe. ‘Home’ could be multiple places which would move with people’s trajectories. For others, the ideal arrangement was in the movement of moving between the various places they were connected to. As one of the visitors put it, ‘home is not a place, it’s a condition’.