Accepted paper:

"The places from which we are absent": notes from a process of filmmaking.


Marta Kucza

Paper short abstract:

This paper is a reflection on how remembering the lost home and dreaming of a future home shape the materiality of our actual dwelling. What is that connects us back to the places where we actually stay even if we do not call them home? How do we inhabit our present?

Paper long abstract:

The situation of displacement brings about particular temporality. Fairly grounded in the present, we are floating in the virtual realm of technology-mediated relationships, wandering through the memories of the home we left behind and the fantasies of an ideal home, yet not existing. Remembering or dreaming is a slow motion. I believe that the process of filmmaking as ethnographic and artistic practice has a particular capacity to reveal the consequences of this altered temporality. These explorations are based on my work on a complex video project entitled The Places from Which We Are Absent, in which I have been exploring the paradoxes of a migrant's journey in counter tension with what it means to pursue a better life, real and imagined, in Western Europe. The Places from Which We Are Absent is an interaction of two parallel storylines; on the one hand, my family's life in Poland and my cosmopolitan life in Western Europe, and on the other, the everyday life of a Guinean-Polish friend living in present-day United Kingdom. I have been editing my filmed sequences with home movies and public archives in order to highlight the tensions between the real and the imaginary. Referring to the Bergsonian philosophy of time and duration, and making use of Charles S. Peirce's categories representing modes of experiencing reality, I will try to trace how the recollections of home in Poland and in Guinea, and the unfulfilled dreams of a better life elsewhere, shape our dwelling in the Western Europe.

panel Home03
Temporalities of dwelling elsewhere: placing and displacing home (SIEF Place Wisdom Group)