STAYING IN            (ongoing project)

Staying In is an ongoing personal narrative exploring an evolving sense of belonging and identity—one forged through a lived experience of geographical dislocation and cultural displacement. At the age of thirteen, my family left my birth country, Zambia, to emigrate to Gaborone,
Botswana, where I spent six years of my life. I later moved to Cape Town, South Africa, to pursue a bachelor’s degree. I have since lived the latter thirteen years of my life outside of Zambia, periodically returning for short visits for no more than six weeks a year.
Spanning three countries, this photographic series subsequently conveys my existence within a transnational space while reflecting on how it informs my evolving understanding of home. Centering around the freedom of movement, Staying In aims to foreground notions of home
rooted within the bonds of intimacy and connection, while speaking to the forces that seek to disrupt it. The photographs reflect on my search for belonging and my will to choose where to live, how to do it, and who to become along the way.
It interrogates the paradox of migration by considering the possibility that embracing belonging in one place might mean losing it elsewhere. Migration then becomes the process of exchanging a rooted space of belonging to a precarious one that is always at risk of being taken away. Staying In unfolds as a deliberate embrace of intimacy and a reparative step toward imagining a habitable transnational space, devoid of alienating processes that manifest to separate us.

Using Format