Highlights from 360: Homes, 6 Degrees Citizen Space
Speakers: Adrienne Clarkson, Hadeel Ibrahim, Wadah Khanfar, Sunny Bergman, Yannis Behrakis, Kiku Adatto
Where or even what is home? The vast majority of humans now reside in cities, and many of us have changed towns, cities, and nations to find better lives. In Toronto, the most diverse city on the planet, an internet connection “back home” can be as essential to well-being as a neighbour next door. We all long for a place called home. What isn’t so certain is whether this can any longer simply be a roof and four walls, address and postal code. How does belonging take root in 21st century lives?
Our final 360 asked how continuing displacement and the impossibility of return shape narratives of home. Memory, nostalgia, and language call for a deeper understanding of home as something carried over geographical distances. Some have created new homes, but are asked — repeatedly — to justify this new belonging in their new communities. In Canada, how to speak of home with the injustices done to the Indigenous peoples of this land, injustices that often make belonging impossible?
“I have come to the conclusion that I will never feel at home anywhere. But I will feel that I have a place.” – Adrienne Clarkson
“The most profound way to be hospitable is to recognize that we are all strangers.” – Kiku Adatto
“I’m a progressive because I believe that the future has to be better than the past.” – Hadeel Ibrahim
“Home is where you’re allowed to be yourself, and the geography of that may change very rapidly.” – Hadeel Ibrahim
“The word home for me is not an accomplished project. It is a process in making.” – Wadah Khanfar
“My home is my spirit, and my values. My home is when I break free from the chains of materialism.” – Wadah Khanfar
“Home is a place where my heart beats slow. Where I’m safe and people love me.” – Yannis Behrakis
“What we have to do is educate white people.” – Sunny Bergman
Photos: Alyssa K. Faoro