The idea for the ‘Home Away from Home’ publication project emerged from my experiences navigating a new identity as an immigrant in the UK. They were formed against a backdrop of a global pandemic: worsening xenophobia, little real-life contact and the further marginalisation of minoritised people. In these testing and precarious times, I am eager to create a collaborative platform for artists and writers from a minority ethnic or diasporic background—like myself—to connect with each other and communicate through creative expression. I hope that this can be a place where we can define the terms in which we wish to be seen and heard.
I was fortunate to be awarded Sunderland Culture’s 2021 Creative Development Fellowship, which enabled me to commission work from artists and writers as part of this publication. The project has evolved over time and now manifests in two forms: a physical publication and a digital VR exhibition that both presents and extends the ideas through multimedia works.
The ﬁrst edition of ‘Home Away from Home’ looks into the ﬂuid notion of ‘home’ and narratives surrounding it—from frustrations to contentment, shared vulnerabilities to collective hopes. The publication brings together artworks and texts by ﬁve contributors who have made Britain their home. These individuals are Claudia Obag, Dovile Lapinskaite, Marga RH, Soﬁa Barton and myself.
Readers are invited to reﬂect on how the ideas raised might relate to their own experiences of belonging and their sense of home. Is ‘home’ deﬁned by a location? Or is it deﬁned by people? Is having a home a right? Or is it a privilege?
— Christie Chan