Home Is Where the Heart Is – Daniel Oyegade

‘Home is where the heart is’ explores the efficacy of the pursuit of the ownership of land, specifically homes. The project asks why we seem so preoccupied with private land at the cost of community. Whereas, earlier humans lived communally and shared recourses, it seems as though people are retreating more and more into their own separate social bubbles. Until around 10,000 years ago, there were few, if any, permanent homes or villages. People constantly moved around from place to place. The nomadic life of a traveler meant that the people had few possessions. They only took what they could carry. With the proliferation in agriculture, humans traded the life of a hunter-gatherer in favor of growing crops. As time progressed, amassing land became a priority since the amount of land one owned was proportional to their standard of living.

Rather than living communally as humans had done previously, we developed concepts such as private property, further excluding ourselves from others. The project asks if our attachment to the ownership of homes is irrational. There is not necessarily a need for private property perhaps it would make more sense to live communally sharing resources rather than working for years to own a home. As the recent and ongoing lockdown has shown many of us, catharsis is found not found in maintaining one’s own personal bubble but rather, in venturing out and connecting with others.

The project is in essence, a thought experiment, illustrating how life might be if we were to take the preoccupation with privacy to its absurd conclusion. The project consists of twelve images and a short film, using visual storytelling to start a conversation about the way in which the lust for privacy may be increasing instances of loneliness and other such emotions.

I decided to use the familiar backdrop of isolation to frame the ideas. The central character remains dissatisfied with her surroundings, despite her adornment in numerous luxury garments. Her pretence of being content with this lifestyle is gradual shattered through the introspection that comes writing notes to herself.

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