The Journey Home
Letter from founder Anat Litwin.
The meaning of ‘Home’ has become ever more elusive, threatened and complex, especially in these times of financial uncertainty, globalism, hyper technological development, violence and terrorism, environmental crises and rapid urban change. Yet despite inner and outer threats, Home remains a universal archetype, a defining experience and aspect of identity which runs through humanity as a foundation – Home as the mold in which we are formed, or as reffered to in the words of anthropologist Joseph Campbell, home as an extension of the womb, a cradle in which we are developed until we reach the age of maturity when we are ready to face the world.
One of the biggest ruptures in today’s society stems from a sense of alienation – towards self, the other, thy neighbour, towards our environment. The underlying assumption in creating the HomeBase Project has to do with the growing need to return ‘home’, to the roots of our being. It is created out of a wish to create a greater, more intimate understanding of humanity, and to construct a meaningful cultural remedy to an overwhelming sense of exile.
The role of the artist has been and will always will be crucial in penetrating through ignorance and areas of darkness, integrating the ‘shadow’ (Jung) into the conciousness towards a fuller existential dimension of ‘human being’. Artists as gatekeepers of the unknown have the tools and the means, as well as the desire, to work both individually and collaboratively towards exposing inner fears and desires, towards creating inspiring and innovative perceptions and solutions, addressing both epic subjects as well as mundane sides of the everyday. Artists have a quest for carving out a complex picture of contemporary life, which can serve for reflecting and connecting our fragmented parts towards a more sensible, meaningful, and sensual future – if you will a home coming at large.
Looking at the topic of ‘home’ through the perspective of art, as a window into identity, community, sustainability, enables the beginig of a process of evolution – the intertwining of contemporary art into the city towards the enrichment of society. By conducting a personal yet communal exploration of home in gentrified neighborhoods, rooted in research, site-specific art and community exchange, HomeBase enables a greater understanding of ‘self’ and ‘other’ to grow, thus bringing to the melting down of walls of allienation while surfacing critical issues in social awakening – a new consciousness of interconnectedness and compassion. no longer the disconnect of art from life, no longer the elitist divide from art lovers and the community, or the commercial, commodity based transaction as the central one – but rather the direct raw friction of art in our everyday experience and urban neighborhoods in various exchanges and manifestations as a way for positive cultural eruption.
This Journey home is now taking on its seventh year. After seven projects taking place in neighborhoods in NYC and Berlin it is now arriving to a third continent – The Middle East, in a city which is home to three major religions – Jerusalem, and in a site which used to be an assylum and a healing compound for thosee who were considered the ultimate ‘other’ - An Historic Lepers Hospital. It is an opportunity and challenge to create a home for artists in the heart of the political controversy and to create , even if temporary, another reality – a microtopia that defeats the gravity of hatred and that sinks itself into human values in an effort to grasp the connection of home, healing and humanity by the core.
As this journey continues to develop, it’s route unfolds in relation to other innovative organizations, which include public policy making and entrepreneurial social enterprises, such as Doctors Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, and TED. It is inspired by leaders such as Jane Adams Hull house, Artists such as Joseph Buyes, and activists across the globe that are pursuing the same direction.
I hope that HomeBase as a movement, will continue to beam light of creativity, and mark a meaningful model and road, and will bring us at the end, much closer.
We invite you to join.
July 11th, 2011