The word stranger suggests someone (or something) unknown, unfamiliar and perhaps unusual. At a young age, we are taught not to talk to strangers.
The word home is essentially the opposite of the above. Home is a place we know well; a place we understand; a place where we feel safe.In April 2015, I started a personal project depicting scenes from my small yet beloved Brooklyn apartment. Each illustration was a self-reflection of sorts; a bite-sized personal history; a snapshot of my life as a twenty-something. The project ended up being more intimate than I had anticipated because in sharing parts of my home, I was sharing parts of myself.In light of everything that has transpired in 2016, I want to create a visual catalog of other people’s homes. The illustrations will be accompanied by stories, giving context to the images. In doing this, I’m hoping to make the strange more familiar. I’m hoping to inspire empathy. The objects in our homes represent our traditions, our interests, our memories, our travels, our vices, our obsessions. We often tout the value of cultural exchange via food and music, but the home is powerful because it’s so private. No two homes are the same, just as no two people are the same. This project is a celebration of those differences.If you want to share a part of your home (and self), please email strangerhomes [at] gmail.com. A photo and a description is all I need. I will only share your initials and location (unless you prefer to be completely anonymous), and will send you the illustration to approve before posting it. I especially invite people of color, immigrants (or first-generation) and members of the LGBT community to participate. Your stories are the ones that need to be heard the most.A note on the logoMy idea for the logo was simple: take the conventional symbol for “home” and flip it, thus rendering it unfamiliar. Upon rotating it 90 degrees, I realized that it resembled Hillary Clinton’s campaign logo, designed by the legendary Michael Bierut. I chose to embrace this likeness because at its core, this project is about looking forward and moving forward.
© 2016 Alexandra Menglide