With the open world, more and more people are living outside their own countries.
During different historic periods of time, people migrated for different reasons: wars made people flee their homes because of danger and looking for safety, various economic crisis made them migrate looking for a better life in terms of economic conditions. In many cases now people move simply because the global and open world lets us do so.

In 2015, according to UN Population Fund data, 244 million people, or 3,3% of the world’s population lived outside their country of origin.
Many people who move against their own will feel a huge trauma of displacement, which leads to identity crisis: especially when there is a big dissonance between their own identity and the mainstream identity practiced in the place that they moved to.

During migration, not only the physical places change but also people themselves: their values, the experiences that surround them, their identities, as well as the concept of home.

As Pico Iyer said in his TED Talk:

“Home is less and less about soil and more and more about soul.”

In another TED Talk Taiye Selasi said that home is our experience where we are from and can be defined as a set of these three things:

  • Rituals: daily rituals, where do they occur, where people know your face
  • Relationships: people who you face every day and who shape your daily experiences
  • Restrictions: where are you able to live? What passport do you have? Are you restricted by anything? Where are you now? Why aren’t you THERE?

To say in short: “home” is no longer a physical place and if it’s a set of experiences, there are 244 million sets of experiences around the world (not even including people who live in constant locations). SO WHAT IS HOME?

Project goals: to explore the concept of “home” and leave a set of collective memory for future generations.


There can be few different audiences in this project:

  • people who stay and live in their own countries
  • people who live outside their countries of origin

The latter can be divided into three more subgroups:

  1. People who migrat(ed) due to political reasons and have the biggets trauma of displacement (refugees, migrants who moved before the WWII)
  2. People who migrat(ed) during economic crisis to look for better life
  3. People who migrate now due to economic reasons (looking for better life, education, etc.) (young professionals, students)

All of them had different reasons to leave and all of them, probably, feel differently about their home countries and their own identities, as well as concept of home.

Just as I mentioned above, the goal of this project is to explore the concept of “home” and leave a set of collective memory for our future generations.

Possible ideas to do this are the following:

  1. Video documentary with a collection of short interviews, where people answer a question “Where is home?”
  2. Interactive album / website with the photos and captions on “Where is home?” (people are asked to send photos that best show what is home to them)
  3. Home as an object: people are asked to send an object that symbolizes “home” best to them (or a photo) and a collection is shown in a form of a physical installation
  4. Home as an action: people are asked to describe “what is home to them” in a form of an action (e.g. going to theatre; buying coffee at a kiosk in the morning, etc.). This is shown in a form of a blog, where people can post their entries (semi-curated)
  5. More curated interviews (Vogue style) asking people about home and put on the blog together with the “home as an action” part
  6. Twitter bot: bot following people posting about home and replying with a question “What is home to you?” Later the replies are put into collection on the site


Experience map / user journey

  1. Research: researching tweets with the topics connected to home (country names, missing home, etc.)
  2. Initial contact: bot identifying tweets that match the requirements
  3. Data capture: saving the matching tweets into the database
  4. Twitter bot response: replying to matching tweets with the question “What is home to you?”
  5. Possible conversation: receiving reply back
  6. Saving responses into separate platform: to create a collection of answers to “What is home to you?”
  7. Final product: ongoing conversation on Twitter & a collection of responses on a separate site

2 thoughts on “Idea for midterm: collective storytelling project about the concept of “home””

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