A Place to Call Home


It's become a common theme for photographers to explore notions of home. But can a photograph ever really capture what home means? It only captures what the photographer sees as the home.


"A house constitutes a body of images that give mankind proofs or illusions of stability," French philosopher Gaston Bachelard wrote. "We are constantly re-imaging its reality: to distinguish all these images would be to describe the soul of the house; it would mean developing a veritable psychology of the house," Bachelard wrote in "The Poetics of Space."


The image above is part of a project I did on prefabs, the little houses constructed after World War II to deal with an acute housing shortage. It's on a quiet street in Birmingham - see more of my prefabs series here.


I'm a bit unusual in that I have lived in the same house in London for more than 20 years - and fingers crossed I'll never have to leave it because I love it. It's my haven in this busy city.


Britain has been my home for more than 30 years, longer than Germany, my native country, and it's truly my home, if a country can ever be described in such a way. I have found love and deep friendships, kindness, opportunities and most enjoyable quirkiness on this island.


So much is up in the air due to Brexit, but for so many people migration has nothing to do with choice but with poverty, despair or persecution (or all of those). I had the privilege to choose where I want to live. We should always be able to make a home, wherever we go, whoever we are.

© 2018 by Astrid Zweynert