There's No Place Like Home

Claire French


Manchester, England, United Kingdom

Going into lockdown already in the grips of depression was a shock, all the things I had put in place to help were no longer available to me. Coupled with my children also struggling with different challenges and it seemed a dark place.

It is especially hard for the children. Parents are the last people teenagers want to spend their time with, but, all of a sudden, they are stuck with us. Or rather, they are stuck in their rooms gaming, watching Netflix, and FaceTiming, so apart from dinner, I wanted to find something that gave us a moment of humour and some bonding time. Something we could collaborate on and maybe make us smile, even for 5 minutes. I was trying to find touch points with my teenagers that they will remember and enjoy... hopefully. And, for me, it’s nostalgia for that innocence of toddlers playing hide and seek, who believe you can’t see them, if they can’t see you, a much simpler time.

The name was taken from the line in the Wizard of Oz – because on one hand it champions the love and security that you can only find at home, and yet if you really look at it, it’s much more ambiguous than that.

In the words of Salman Rushdie: “So Oz finally became home; the imagined world became the actual world, as it does for us all, because the truth is that once we have left our childhood places and started out to make our own lives, armed only with what we have and are, we understand that the real secret of the ruby slippers is not that "there's no place like home," but rather that there is no longer such a place as home: except, of course, for the homes we make, or the homes that are made for us, in Oz, which is anywhere and everywhere, except the place from which we began...

…now it is my fate to be unable to satisfy the longings of a child. This is the last and most terrible lesson of the film: that there is one final, unexpected rite of passage. In the end, ceasing to be children, we all become magicians without magic, exposed conjurers, with only our simply humanity to get us through.”

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