When the Bay Area shelter-in-place order went into effect last March, students were just six weeks away from debuting their multimedia exhibition on the theme of home. Originally planned for temporary display in the Humanities Building, “Imagining Home” moved to a website that will remain live in perpetuity. Students’ concepts of home changed, and it is reflected in their very personal work.
“Imagining Home” integrates topics such as motherhood, food, cultural heritage, racism and houselessness. It features video diaries, short films and essays from 21 students in five classes in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts, Cinema, Communication Studies, Liberal Studies and Theatre Arts. The College of Liberal & Creative Arts’ Extraordinary Ideas Grant helped support “Imagining Home.”
Hiromi Barnes, from Tanya Augsburg’s Liberal Studies Senior Seminar, contributed an essay about the comfort that Japanese snack food provided her after it was left behind when her roommate had to move out with little notice.“It was in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I, as an Asian immigrant, had to deal with my waves of emotions,” Barnes said. “Dr. Augsburg’s flexibilities and supports for this assignment and the second half of the spring 2020 semester gave me a great sense of relief. I could freely write about my fears and frustrations.”
Janice Domingo, a graduate student in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts, found home in cooking during the pandemic. Using footage shot by her friends, she produced a cooking show sharing their recipes from Saint Kitts and Nevis, Ethiopia and Portugal.
“These are three cultural dishes that I love now because of my friends. Those are my friends’ ‘homes,’” said Domingo, a content insertion assistant for Disney Streaming Services and co-host of the forthcoming podcast “Oh for Food’s Sake.” “Cooking for them is definitely a communal event.”
Jazmine Logan, a graduate student in Theatre Arts, created “Finding Home.” Filmed in her bedroom at her parents’ home in the San Diego area, the video is a monologue sharing her inner thoughts. She originally designed it as a live performance.
“I found home through my family and the people who love around me. That’s my home,” said Logan said, who will enter a doctoral program in theatre at UC San Diego this fall. “It’s not necessarily a fixed location, as long as you have the people around you who love you, support you and care for you.”
“Imagining Home” will become a yearly project, with both in-person and online student work planned.
— Matt Itelson