All of you know what a home is. It’s the place you hang your hat. It’s where your heart is. It’s the place that you miss when you’re away, or maybe home is even a person. That longing to be back where you belong, or to find such a place, is the inspiration for Pandemic’s May theme: Homeward.
For most, returning home is as simple as buying a plane ticket. For others, home is only a memory or abstract concept. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates 65.6 million people are currently displaced from their home. Every day 28,300 more are forced to flee their home in order to survive, leaving behind the devastation of war, or persecution at the hands of their countrymen.
Violence and death are not the only reasons people find themselves without a home; economics and biased policies play a part as well. Redevelopment plans that aim to “beautify” or “revitalize” the city often push vulnerable members of society to the streets. The UN estimates that over 100 million individuals are homeless, and an additional 1 billion are inadequately housed. At other times national immigration policies can deny people the right to call their home “home” because of their “illegal” status.
For these people, the craving for a home, in whatever sense, still exists – though it may never be fulfilled.
This month we would like you to reflect on what the concept of Homeward means to you. We suspect that the results will be as varied as the four articles we have to start this month. The feeling you get moving towards home may be too difficult to put into words, so we’ll gladly accept your infectious ideas in whatever form they come be it a painting, song, or creatively coded computer program.
We look forward to hearing from you!
The Pandemic Team
Moria: When Home is Neither Ahead, Nor Behind
Home is a Feeling
The Siege of Eastern Ghouta: crimes without accountability?