The Home That Travels
by Hillis Vassilas
Hillis's project is a poetry film that engages with the shifting emotional connections one has to the idea of home. A multi-vocal mix of travelogue reflections, song fragments, overlaid vocals and musical accompaniment, the piece explores memory, identity, vulnerability, everyday journeys and emotional connections to place and space. The poetry film offers points of shared connection, juxtaposing the familiar spaces of campus with locations of particular personal resonance.
As Hillis writes,
Home. Is where your family lives.
Home. Is where you grew up.
Home. Is where you were born.
Home. Is where you spent your childhood.
Home. Is where you go for Christmas.
Home. Is where you’re from.
Home. Is where it’s easiest.
Home. Is where you feel safe to explore.
Home. Is where you don’t feel like you have to be anyone, and can be everyone.
Home. Is where the things that matter shine.
Home. Is where you are not trying to make it feel like home.
Home. Is where actions become words without thought.
Is there one without the other? Does the material rule the conceptual? Are your feelings for home monogamous?
I lived in a house for 16 years and I called that Home. In the past 3 years I have had 3 homes. Or 3 houses I lived in. The distinction seems massive. ‘a Home’ is a phrase that issues layers upon layers of emotive depth; ‘a house I lived in’ seems distanced, disconnected, distracted. But isn’t Home just a location with specific visual indicators that triggers emotions and memories that strongly affected your psyche for a certain amount of time?
But Home reaches beyond the corporeal house and alludes to a warm feeling that blankets over you when existing in a certain place. For me, it is the growth I share with that place that brings me home. The people I meet. The laughs I can hear around me. What I can learn. About me; about others; about this funny thing called existence. That is the beauty of Home. You can find it anywhere. It exists inside you; so it’s up to you with who and where you build it.
I am not from here. I lived with no family here. I have not spent my childhood here. I have never spent Christmas here. This country is not where I’m from. But is it home? If I feel it is, is it? If I’ve been trying to make it feel like a home, have I been missing the point?
I don’t know.
Whatever it is, it helped me grow, and I shall take it with me wherever I go.
Home Is where the sun feels best.
Home Is where the moon whispers loudest.
Home Is where the trees stand closest.
Home Is where the heart is.
Home Is with you everywhere.
Watch Hillis's video below: