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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Home is where I can go and let all the pain out, forget about all the bullshit and go to my fantasy world.
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
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
My home cannot be described
I found it
eight crazy girls under one roof
we work together
from all walks of life
There’s always something to smile about
and always someone to hold you.
a tight group, no men
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
the smell of stale cigarettes
and the empty hearts
that pass through there
there’s a bitter taste in the air
my heart gets lighter when I step inside
there’s not much, empty walls
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
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
and you say I’m making it hard, like you
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.
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.
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.
The Ideal Home
-three car garage
-big fish tank
-enough space for family
-children running around
-“classic” – close knit
-parents that are home, involved in kids’ lives
-home, not house
-smell of food (Sunday dinners)
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
a place that holds no discrimination
no matter what you’ve
been through and/or what you’ve
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.
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.
Home is sad, but mostly happy. Home is hard, but sometimes easy. Home is where friends and family are. Home is where you live.
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.
Home should be where you feel safe and not get yelled at, a place to have fun.