Archive for the ‘erwin wurm’ tag
If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any farther than my own backyard, because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.
Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz
Our language tells us a lot about the complexity of how we construct meanings of home. Dictionaries provide long entries for the word “home,” which can be used as a noun, adverb, adjective and even as a verb. We talk and think about home towns, home states and home countries since “home is where the heart is,” and “there’s no place like home.” Home base is where we are stationed and from where a mission starts and ends. In games like baseball, home is a rubber slab that we dodge towards, avoiding being tagged “out.” Homing pigeons can return home by accurately finding a starting point from a long distance, and when we come to a deeper understanding we say a “point has been driven home.” Most of us would agree that a mere dwelling or house does not define home, although we interchange the words. Home is not always where you live, it is also a safe space, where you have the right to be—without question.
Decades of immigrants to the United States have created mythic narratives about finding home in America in numerous media forms. The archetypal hero quest is replayed in movie homecoming after homecoming. One of the best loved versions is The Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy begins her journey by dreaming of distant lands, “somewhere over the rainbow.” When Dorothy loses her home (through an overwhelming tornado that she didn’t see coming) she journeys to a land that mirrors her home. Dorothy loses her home, and her understanding of her place in the world, only to realize that she had found it all along!
In the United States, at the time that The Wizard of Oz was made, the family farm had come to embody the ideal of home, and Americans were literally losing their homes. The Great Depression destroyed financial institutions, wiped out family fortunes, shattered the American Dream of family homesteads, and forced millions of Americans to become homeless. Currently, many Americans face similar conditions. Can we draw comfort by thinking about how to salvage our dreams together?
In The Hero and the Perennial Journey Home in American Film, Susan Mackey argues that the purpose of the hero quest is not limited to the discovery of a holy grail. It is also about finding oneself and finding a home in the universe. This ultimate understanding of home simultaneously includes the hero’s literal home at the start, as well as the personal growth he or she experiences during the journey back. Mackey-Kallis shows that an outward journey into the world of action and events is what propels the hero towards a journey inward. The journey outward is what creates an interior journey of growth and ultimately allows the hero to find and define home and then share (with the culture at large). Dorothy can’t wait to get back and tell her family about what she has learned!
This month in Fort Collins, we have the opportunity to really think about how we define home by attending Finding Home: Sharing the Collective Journey of Immigration events and discussions. Whether you have called the United States home for generations, or for a shorter time, current events and economics ask us to all really think about living together. The journey is not always easy, and we won’t always agree. But, if we are brave enough to question our personal definitions of home, we can collectively shape our future home. All of us long for an environment of affection and security—and we can embark on epic journeys of self discovery without leaving Fort Collins!
The next two weeks include opportunities to attend Anon(ymous) at the OpenStage Theatre & Company or the open house series at the Museo de las Tres Colonias which hosts Dr Norberto Valdez of CSU on April 21 and Toni Natale and Robert Lujan on April 28. Both of these events have been running through the month of April. Then this week, on Tuesday, April 14, Bas Bleu presents Immigration Tales: El Latino Experiencia followed by a showing of the Milagro Beanfield War on Wednesday April 15, at the Lyric Cinema Cafe. The weekend opens with Impact Dance’s presentation of BORDER/Lines happening on Friday and Saturday evenings and then also on Saturday, the Fort Collins Museum presents their Archival Workshop: The Memory Project where you can reserve a spot to create a digital album of your own stories for your family and friends!
Next week brings the first of our thought leader speakers — Frank Sharry will be at the Lincoln Center on Tuesday April 21 to engage us all in some earnest discussions of the controversial issues around immigration reform and then the weekend sees Dan Zanes entertaining us all on Sunday April 26 with his show Nueva York!
There’s more still to come — Check out the beetstreet calendar for all the details, and I’ll see you in our neighborhood!
I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.
Maya Angelou, American Poet