Anna 'At Home'

In the months I spent photographing EU nationals and listening to their stories the common theme that emerged was that for a migrant the concept of home is rarely static.

When we decide to move away and leave behind the comfort and security of our country of birth – our original home – we begin to construct another identity for ourselves. An identity in which resilience and adaptability become the essential building blocks, but that can’t be forged successfully without a strong sense of belonging.

The Brexit vote has shaken that sense of belonging for many of us, and has made us really question, perhaps for the first time, our place in the world. Do we belong in this country? If not, where is “home”?

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For me ‘home’ means something quite different from the common perception of what a home is. I don’t see it as something physical but as something emotional. ‘Home’ is wherever your heart is, wherever your soul can grow, wherever your goals and aspirations can be realised.
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Through the years I have learnt that I have the potential to feel ‘at home’ wherever I am. We cling too much to the material, to the here and now, when we should try to look beyond that and explore the endless possibilities out there.

I came to this country in good faith and made it my physical home. I learnt the language and adapted to their culture because I felt it was the right thing to do, just as I would expect from someone wanting to move to Spain. If Brexit ends up meaning that I am not allowed to stay then I have no problem leaving, but I’m trying to keep an open mind about it.
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To me Brexit is just a political strategy, a way to rearrange the fabric of society and control people at will based on lies and false promises. But that’s politics in general. It’s a real shame that they are not focusing more on the human aspect of the situation.

Theresa May famously said “If you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere.” but I don’t agree with that. We are all part of something bigger than the place in which we happen to be born. The world is our home and instead of trying to fence people in we should consider ourselves lucky that we get to experience it through free movement.