Couchsurfing Chronicles: International Hosts
Dates2019 - Ongoing
Home, a space that is personal for many, yet there’s a group of courageous individuals opening their doors to strangers.
Home, a space that is deeply personal for many, yet there is a group of courageous individuals who open their doors to strangers. Their stories, perspectives, and experiences have always fascinated me. In 2019, I embarked on a photographic journey, capturing the environmental portraits of Couchsurfing Hosts in New York City.
Couchsurfing is a unique homestay and social network community that connects travelers (surfers) with hosts who generously share their homes in exchange for cultural exchange. Armed with my DSLR, a single speed light, and a diffuser, I visited these hosts, conversed with them, surfed in some of their homes, and created portraits that captured their essence.
My exploration of the Couchsurfing community in New York City has been an enriching journey, inspiring me to continue this project and extend it to other countries. What started as a school project has now become a lifelong commitment to explore and learn about different cultures' perspectives on hosting strangers in their homes. I am intrigued by how different cultures shape the experiences and interactions with strangers, and I am curious to discover the common threads that unite hosts from diverse countries.
Through my ongoing project, I aim to delve deeper into the nuances of hosting culture worldwide, capturing the unique ways in which hosts welcome and interact with strangers. The universal and distinct elements that emerge from this exploration fuel my curiosity and passion as a photographer. Ultimately, my photographic series, Couchsurfing Hosts, is a visual exploration of the human connection, cultural exchange, and the power of opening our homes and hearts to strangers.