Sometimes we find ourselves feeling unexpectedly “at home” during specific activities, in special places, or during important events. Home is where we gather strength and confront our fears. Sometimes we must leave home in order to rediscover it, appreciate it, and better understand its significance.
The artists featured in this exhibit were asked to submit a photograph that embodies one example of home for them. These images offer a personal glimpse into what makes each individual unique. Yet they share the idea that we all find home in different “places” and for different reasons. No matter how or where we find it, our sense of home is always powerful.
We hope their work generates your own reflections about home. Where do you find a sense of belonging? Where is your space of empowerment? What is home to you?
About the artists: The photographs and descriptions are provided by Sacramento State University students associated with the Multi-Cultural Center (MCC). Curtis Cherry, David Gutierrez, Katreena Alder, Monica Barba, and Rani Marcos are all interns currently working in the MCC. Yeimi Lopez, and Devin Yoshikawa graciously volunteer at the Multi-Cultural Center. Maribel Rosendo-Servin and Shukri Farah serve on the MCC Advisory Council. Charlene Martinez is Director of the Multi-Cultural Center. Many thanks are due to Dr. Natchee Blue Barnd for coordinating and organizing several elements of the “Home” exhibit. Please be sure to thank each of the contributors for generously opening their “homes” to us.
David Gutierrez, Facility Intern for the Multi-Cultural Center
I live on a mass which revolves around the sun. My planet is home to over 80 million different species. I live on the same revolving mass as my ancestors and their ancestors before them. I walk on the same planet Homo sapiens walked on and Homo erectus before them. My home is planet Earth.
I live on an Earth bound by borders and ruptured by systems that created these borders. On this Earth I see the grave consequences of these borders and the systems that facilitate them. I see humanity being sucked into a game of chance. I see Earth divided and conquered by a privileged few. I see the majority of Earth’s people struggling for survival. On this divided Earth I see many problems, yet I also see the possibility of mass cooperation.
From a different vantage point I see no borders. I see no need for nations. I see a planet unified by the collective activity of the majority of Earth’s people. I see Earth’s resources collectively owned by Earth’s occupants. This Earth is my real home and when I open my eyes wide, I can see the prospect of it.
The view from space has no borders and what a lovely view that is.
Rani Marcos, Program Intern for the Multi-Cultural Center
The Pacific Ocean—my haven. It is the bridge to my motherland, land of sampaguitas, caressing the noses of the gods and immortals, of the holy and humble. Its’ cold waves wash over me, over my head, baptizing my fortune to be connected, informed, and able. I sit on the ocean’s territory to reflect, refocus, and redefine the constant tides in my life—the struggles to be uncontaminated and the hopes to be whole. Its ability to destroy my existence teaches me to be responsible and help others be the same. Whenever I’m near, hearing its refreshing and comforting sound, I have this infant-like feeling, waiting for its healing touch. The ocean is the hand of Mother Nature. It is vivacious and free. It is my home.
Katreena Alder, Facility Intern for the Multi-Cultural Center
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When I think of home, I think of family, faith, music, and books. My photograph represents all of those things to me. My mother gave me the “Dogs” calendar, my father the earphones. My family is my rock. We have been through so much together, I cannot imagine my life without them. They give me comfort and strength. Although not physically represented in the photo, I carry my faith with me always. It gets me through every day, through the toughest times.
The book represents my love for reading, and the MP3 player my love of music. I have loved to read since before I started school. I still remember one of the first books I ever read; Fraidy Cats. Books have been with me through the good and the bad. When I moved and felt uncertain about what would happen next, I could always pull out a book. Music allows me to express myself and to learn about other people’s expression. My father is a musician and my whole family is musically inclined. I love Music.
These things are all parts of what make up my notion of home. I take comfort in the things that have always been there for me. They are a part of who I am.
Maribel Rosendo-Servin, Multi-Cultural Center Advisory Council Student Representative
When I think of home, I think of family. When I close my eyes and think of a place I prefer to think of “Mama Picha’s” house in Frias, Guanajuato. My grandmother’s house is the centralized place for family, it is the place of “chismes.”
Mama Picha’s is a home of peace, love, strength, and wisdom. The sounds of the animals, wind, and children’s play bring us peace. The constant hugs and laughter of the elders express our love. The migrant experience demonstrates our strength. Strong women and elders stay behind keeping ties, and maintaining family solidarity in tough times. The lived experiences of the elders bring wisdom. Even if they have started dying their beautiful gray hair, it is a symbol of knowledge.
This place is very symbolic to me. It signifies a “home away from home,” because Mexico is where I am from, and where my parents were raised.
Charlene Martinez, Director of the Multi-Cultural Center
Home is family – a perfectly imperfect mixture of love, contradiction, comfort, gratitude, and purpose. This image was taken New Year's Eve 2007 while playing Scrabble, one month before my grandfather left to the spirit-world (RIP abuelo). When I look at this photo I am reminded of spending time with my grandparents and family during the holidays in San Diego. Even though my grandfather often cheated at Scrabble, he always had some explanation for the ridulousness he played. He was brilliant. Abuelo is a reminder that life is precious, just as the people we interact with everyday. In this photo, here are some of the beautiful beings that make me whole. Some parts Colombian, some parts Taiwanese, some parts friends, all parts family. And, while I can not be physically with them everyday, I know that when I think of them, I am home.
Monica Barba, Diversity Peer Educator for the Multi-Cultural Center
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Of all the people in this world, the members of my family (immediate and extended) are my closest friends and confidants. Traveling and re-establishing our home across parts the U.S. has been an integral part of my life. The places we have shared memories have made a significant impact on my life. It has shaped me into a person who is more open and aware of others’ similarities and differences.
These differences are evident in my family as well. Yet we’ve all found a common ground to support one another and embrace our lives together. We watch out for one another and protect each other from harm. Every step of the way we share our love unconditionally—because home is where my heart is.
Curtis D. Cherry, Special Projects Intern for the Multi-Cultural Center
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When I think of home, the first thought that comes to mind is comfort, and sports has always provided me with a welcoming space that allowed me to express myself and to feel at ease. Every since I was about eight years old, sports have played a major role in my life. Bowling, Tennis, Football, Rugby, Basketball: you name it, I’ve played it. Regardless, if I was playing or simply just watching, sports have provided me with a different lens to view the world philosophically, politically, and even emotionally. Sports have no race, ethnicity, nationality, or proper background. It truly has a transparent heart, with an agenda that brings people closer together like nothing else. I am at home when I play, watch, or talk about anything that pertains to sports. At one time it consumed a huge part of my life, and now it provides me with the opportunity to explain to others how it has done wonders for me. Sports provide me an escape from everyday trials and tribulations. It has shown me that I can overcome any obstacles that stand in my way, on and off the court.
Yeimi Lopez, Volunteer for the Multi-Cultural Center
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Home is a place you call your own. It is what gives you that feeling of unconditional belonging. It is your hideout, your refuge from anything and everything. I could not quite call any one apartment my own, because I knew it was only a matter a time until my family would be up and going. I did not get to decide where I grew up or how often my parents moved from apartment to apartment, but I do get to decide what I want to call home. Unconditional belonging was also a challenge because my dad, who is very traditional, would say “If you decide to leave, don’t come back.” The one thing that has allowed me feel connected and a sense of belonging? What accompanied me when I’ve decided to step out of my comfort zone? The one thing that I can run to when things get shaky and scary? The one thing that has been my refuge?
Soccer, my passion, my home!
Devin Yoshikawa, Volunteer for the Multi-Cultural Center
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The place I call home is Penryn, California. It is not only where I currently reside, but it is an area that holds a great amount of personal heritage for me. I am Japanese American and all of my family is from the Penryn area. Both sides of my family are historically fruit orchard farmers. The picture I have selected is a modern view of the land my family used in the past to farm apples, oranges, plums, grapes, cherries, peaches, mandarins, kumquats, loquats, and pears. The Penryn area is also home to an elderly Japanese American community. The majority of this community was interned during the Second World War. This elderly generation is my extended family and family friends. The support of my family has become a very important aspect in my vision of Home. Home is where my personal heritage and family history meet; where I feel belonging no matter where life takes me.
Shukri Farah, MCC Advisory Council Chair
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When I look at this picture it reminds me of how far my family and I have come. This was my parents first home in Turbo, Kenya. It represents struggle, strength, and unity. Because my parents were a “mixed” couple – my father is Punjabi and my mother is Arabic – both of their families disowned them. As a newlywed couple, they were forced to build their life together without family support.
Because of their struggles and strength, this “home” is my foundation. This is what unites our family. It is the reason why I wake up every morning and continue to strive for the best . . . NEVER giving up in the fight for life. My family history anchors me down, and reminds me of where we come from. My family gives me strength when I feel weak. Without the sacrifices they made I could not be who I am today, and I wouldn’t know where I am going tomorrow.