An Ordinary Eden

  • Dates
    2019 - 2023
  • Author
  • Topics Contemporary Issues, Documentary, Portrait, Social Issues
  • Location Scotland

“Where do I want to go? Somewhere slightly better than here”

An Ordinary Eden contemplates the universal need to belong, to lay roots, to be connected to people and place. It reflects on what happens when having a stable home is interrupted by circumstance, when life’s journey is somewhat complex and imperfect, when people don’t always lead the life they thought - or hoped - would happen.

These are experiences that remain hidden to most. Experiences of precarity, of instability, of inadequate support that damage lives. To be without a permanent home is both a tangible and an emotional experience, where the necessity for safety and security accompanies a need to belong. In An Ordinary Eden, individuals across Scotland offer an insight into the practical and psychosocial impact of past or current homelessness on their lives.

‘Home’ can be both a sense of comfort - inside one’s mind and place of residence - and a connection on the outside, in a community. It is belonging to something larger than oneself whilst having security and hope for a better future. In this work, each individual’s idea of ‘home’ is not a wish for a future idealised scenario, an unattainable fantasy. Rather, it is the ordinary, the everyday that is sought: safety, security, stability.

This work is rooted in an appeal to our basic humanity. That the impact of being without a home—in all the ways that can happen—is understood not only in an immediate practical manner but also on an emotional level: the need to belong and have meaningful connections with others. We should all be able to do that in a society where collective care and compassion allow greater equity and dignity for all.

This is not a search for utopia, an unreachable fantasy. It is the simple wish for a regular life. A pursuit for each individual’s Ordinary Eden.

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