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Used to Call Home

Used to Call Home is an experiential project that culminated in a family-style photo and poetry book. Born in California but moving out of state at the age of three, the term "home" never defined one location. Growing up hearing that California was my true "home", I travel to places I used to call home. After not being in these places for 19 years, I document what I see.

Only hearing and viewing descriptions of the places based on family members and home videos, I compare my memories to revisiting the locations through free verse, straightforward poetry. The poetry references my memories of the places in the past. The photographs capture it in the present. Photographing as is, revisiting the places produced a bittersweetness as I held happy associations with each location. From discovering the political stances of the neighborhood, decaying playground equipment and buildings, to litter and eroding boulders, I was surprised with how much the "homes" changed.

The most memorable experience was revisiting the Rock Path where I had a memory of pretending to play "House" with friends. At the time, the boulders were large and their surface jagged, which made it the perfect place to imagine "rooms". However, when viewing the location again, the rocks were a lot smaller. They were round and smooth due to erosion by the wind. Trash was littered between the rocks. The place was not as I had remembered.

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