© Ben Soedira
When away, people sometimes use the expression ‘home from home’ to describe a place where one is as happy, relaxed, or comfortable as in one’s own home. ‘Home’ is a word with a strong emotional resonance, beyond its literal meaning of ‘the place one lives’.
Home is represented by a combination of factors, affinity with one’s place of residence, by the proximity of family and friends, by personal and community identity, by how one lives and works, by shared values and experiences. Feeling ‘at home’ in a place is never a given, it is something that needs to be worked at. It requires us to adapt to new situations and surroundings, to contribute to society and to become involved in and engaged with the lives of those around us.
The Place I Call Home uses photography and lens-based media to explore the notion of home as it relates to contemporary experiences of the Arabic diaspora living in the UK and British people living in the Gulf. With the huge transformational changes happening in the Gulf region and UK – geopolitical, economic, social and cultural – the question of how we create places and spaces where we feel at home is a highly pertinent one. Real estate opportunity, the immense new wealth from oil, gas and mineral extraction, financial speculation, globalisation and technology are powerful drivers for trade and business growth. Equally, intercultural exchange, education, innovation and creativity offer momentum for positive societal change such as increased freedom and mobility, health and wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, and environmental sustainability. These factors make our cities and neighbourhoods more liveable, our communities more vibrant and harmonious, and our sense of belonging stronger.
The exhibition has three themes:
- Place-Making: how planning, design, cultural, environmental and technological considerations define a region, city or neighbourhood
- Interculturalism: promoting dialogue and interaction between cultures to challenge isolation and self-segregation within cultures
- Citizenship: social responsibility, hospitality, inclusion, respect and tolerance
The exhibition content and accompanying public programme aim to stimulate an intercultural dialogue focusing on shared history and culture, a debate which is future facing and globally oriented showing how the world is changing and the new opportunities that presents for young people in the Gulf and UK.
The Place I Call Home is commissioned by the British Council and curated by David Drake, Director of Ffotogallery, the national photography agency for Wales.
Eman Ali, Abi Green & Sebastian Betancur-Montoya, Ben Soedira, Josh Adam Jones, Moath Alofi, Mohammed Al-Kouh, Richard Allenby-Pratt, Hassan Meer, Hussain Almosawi & Mariam Alarab, Gillian Robertson, Ammar Al Attar, Sara Al Obaidly, Mashael Al Hejazi and Zahed Sultan.
Summerhall, 1 Summerhall, Edinburgh EH9 1PL
0131 560 1580