Going Home was an exhibition of photographs and writing on the theme of home at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax from October 6 to November 14, 2010. All photos and text by the youth of Leave Out ViolencE. Click on the images to view a larger version.

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Home vs. Ideal Home

People in my house are only concerned about themselves. Everyone is surviving by making sure they have what they need, meanwhile people around them are completely struggling. People in my house pretend they care about each other. In my house, if you’re hungry you go to the fridge and eat, trying to steal what leftovers you can from the food they got last night at 3 am.

If I had my way I’d like people in my house to actually help each other. I’d like to be organized enough to sit down and eat a meal with each other like normal families. I’d like to be able to go to sleep before the sun comes up. I’d like for my brother to be able to rely on someone to make sure he has a bite to eat and get in bed. I want people to have love for each other in my ideal home.

Liz

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Home

My home is non-existent.

But if I had it my way, home would mean love, smiles, peace, and safety. It would be a place to go home to and not have to worry about getting kicked out.

Naomi

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When I arrive home I am greeted by the staff at the shelter. After walking in the foyer I see the eating area to the right, where I spend most of my time drawing. In front of me is the staircase to the second and third floors and a door to the girls’ area. I can only go to the second floor. As I enter the common room I see two couches, two coffee tables, three desks, a T.V., a counter with a sink, a bookshelf, and two computers (only one of them works).

I like and hate this place.

Xero

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My home is hanging with my friends, since there’s nothing else anymore.  I lost a lot of friends when I moved to Eastern Passage, but I made some more. Now I’ve moved to Spryfield, so I have no one to hang with anymore.

Jordan

If you really knew me, you would know that I care far too much and give my heart away too easily. I let myself get walked over if it benefits others. I put myself last. I can’t help it. I feel empty most days. The future terrifies me. I have a phobia of being forgotten, being alone, and being rejected.

Anonymous

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Home is where I can go and let all the pain out, forget about all the bullshit and go to my fantasy world.

Brianna

Where I’m From

I’m from a place ever changing

I’m from a home not yet set

A young boy with no set place

I’m from violence

Stress in my own home

Peace is never known

Growing older, still looking over

my shoulder

Some things just don’t belong

I’m from a new home

a new place

I now belong

I’ve grown a little older

a little stronger, a little colder

grown with a brother, less of a burden

to just my shoulders

This is my home

so well known to me

My family tree

Someday I’ll be on my own

yet not so alone

Chubz

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My home cannot be described

I found it

eight crazy girls under one roof

we work together

all different

from all walks of life

There’s always something to smile about

and always someone to hold you.

Never arguments,

a tight group, no men

all comfort

always welcome.

Cookie

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Homies

My homies raised me on the block. Sellin drugs and rippin people off. I’ve carried knives, guns, pipes, and screwdrivers. But now I gave up being a dopeboy. Cleaned up my act. Now I’m back in school, doin my work. I’ve placed myself around people I trust. Now, they’re my homies.

Nathan

My Ideal Home – Family

My ideal home is a two storey house with a driveway, garage, and two bathrooms. My ideal family is two parents and a brother or sister, and we all get along and there are very few problems.

Anonymous

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Home

What is home to me? I guess you could say that my home is where my heart is. Where I lay my head at night and where I write my heart out. Home is where I begin to make my dreams come true, where I sing my soul out and where I escape from the world. At home it is me and my animals, I am free to be who I want to be and don’t have to hide anything about myself. Because home is mine, it is my sanctuary. I can dance around like a fool if I want to. Home to me is also my friends and family, where our love for each other shows consistently. We are usually smiling. Sometimes there are hard times, but whatever happens, we’re home.

Robin

Home is where I eat, work, sleep, and chill. My environment at home is quiet, sometimes loud if my uncle’s around. There’s a lot of annoying people around me, whatever they say, goes. I never have a say or get to have an opinion on anything. People around me now are so different from living with my Mom, because when I lived with my Mom she didn’t come into my room and unplug everything. She also allowed me to wash my clothes on Sundays and she minded her business. There’s not a lot of conversation between me and my family because I am always gone or in my room. The person I talk to the most is my brother.

Anonymous

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Right now my home doesn’t feel like home at all. One day I’m gonna lose all control. Everyday I tell myself “don’t give up, just give it some time, things will start looking up.” But everyday it gets worse a little more. I do it for Mommy and my little sister. I can’t leave them, my world revolves around them. I’ll admit it, my Mom’s my best friend. It brings tears to my eyes to see her unhappy. So I keep my chin up so that’s one thing off her chest. She hates when I’m upset so I just keep it to myself.

Anonymous

My Ideal Home

My ideal home would be coming home after school and getting something delicious to eat. Sitting in front of the TV and when people come home, they don’t just walk by and do their own thing. Instead, they sit down and have a conversation and actually communicate with each other.

Courtney

Max_01

the smell of stale cigarettes

and the empty hearts

that pass through there

there’s a bitter taste in the air

but still

my heart gets lighter when I step inside

there’s not much, empty walls

a computer

and a bed on the floor

but it’s mine

it’s my space

and despite all the shit

you can’t get me here

Sam

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Home

Home, what is home?

Is it doing what the fuck you want,

not giving the fuck about us and leaving for

all this long?

What are we supposed to do,

what am I supposed to do?

I’m only 18, I have no clue,

besides he misses you.

He’s been asking where you are, since you’ve been

gone

and you say I’m making it hard, like you

ain’t wrong

Like what the fuck, I hate this shit

you make me sick

If I had one wish

it would be to get out of this

take him away

and erase his memory

I want to know the problem.

Is it him?  Is it me?

Your affection again

is what we want to find

but instead you leave us behind.

Instead of love, it’s like home is blind.

Anonymous

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Ideal Home

I’m not quite sure what an ideal home is for me, because I’ve never honestly felt at home. But if I were to describe my ideal home all I want to find is belonging and acceptance, something to look forward to when you go to sleep. Having a family that actually creates a good feeling when you’re around them. A place where you’re going to feel good, even after a tough day.

Felicia

Home

Noisy, sticky fingers, can barely even think.  I get no alone time. BANG BANG BANG, come down stairs now! I didn’t do it, well if you didn’t do it and she didn’t do it, then who did? A ghost? Love, care, kindness. Just a normal day in my house.

Mariah

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The Ideal Home

-rural

-lakefront

-big yard

-three car garage

-big fish tank

-enough space for family

-happy

-jokes

-smiling

-children running around

-BBQs

-“classic” – close knit

-parents that are home, involved in kids’ lives

-love

-home, not house

-smell of food (Sunday dinners)

Jade

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Life’s hard, long story short

everybody needs somebody to talk to.

a place where they can be themselves

one hundred percent.

where they can let out their thoughts

and problems and they actual get feed

back.

a place that holds no discrimination

no matter what you’ve

been through and/or what you’ve

done.

Shyhiem

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feeling really unappreciated

feeling kinda down.

feeling like my smile has turned to a frown.

my head is in the clouds.

my feelings are speaking loud.

I feel all alone, with nothing but a baby to own.

life just don’t feel worth it,

don’t know what to do to work it.

Santana

Sam_01

My neighbourhood is a good place and a bad place at the same time. Everyone is hanging with each other by day, then when it is nighttime people are creeping around and trying to start trouble and shooting people. I don’t know what to do when I’m in my neighbourhood. I got to watch my back and trust no one but myself, my family, and my friends.

Shareid

Home is sad, but mostly happy. Home is hard, but sometimes easy. Home is where friends and family are. Home is where you live.

Phoenix

Sam_02

For my son, I want to provide the best life I can. I want to make it a fun and exciting life at home for him. I want him to look up to me and his father as the best parents ever. I love Maderian and he is in for an exciting life.

Marlena

Home should be where you feel safe and not get yelled at, a place to have fun.

Travis