FINDING HOME: catalogue

FINDING HOME CATALOGUE

This catalogue documents the research project Finding Home and the outcomes.

Introduction

Our stories are lifelines, traveling with us, tossed between continents, hidden, preserved, pulled out when needed. They are narratives told at refugee hearings, poems written long past midnight, films emerging from long pandemic days, phrases wrought from the scars of exile, the joys of freedom.

A story my father used to tell. As a child soldier during World War II, he was captured and placed in a prisoner-of-war camp. Leaving out the grisly details, he told us only this: in the camp, he made drawings, and then traded the drawings with the cook to get extra food. This simple story sat with me, and became more complicated over time. The drawings at first seemed of little consequence to the story. They were merely currency; the narrative seemed to be about food, and survival. Over time, I understood what enormous risk this eighteen year-old daredevil was taking: if you were caught drawing, you could be shot. I began to understand that the drawing was itself life, as important for survival as the food. The drawings said,

I am here. I exist. I am human.

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