'Perhaps I was looking for something that refuses to be photographed. I was only chasing shadows, perhaps.' - Santu Mofokeng, 1956-2020.
I was sleeping one morning in 2013. It was the second day of Eid, my mother knocked loudly on my door screaming that our house is on the brink of collapse. I woke up in shock and ran outside to saw neighbors whose homes had already been destroyed. They stood on the fence of our plot which was on higher ground, but the water was relentless and eventually reached the borders of our home. We left at the very last minute, my mother, sister, auntie, and I. Our house was destroyed and ever since I have felt the void. Home - once a fixed space in time - has now become a deep sense of longing and search for fulfillment.
That cataclysmic event propelled my search for safety and belonging, but with time the question became: when was I ever really home? A product of my nomadic tribe and my fragmented family. Raised by hardened widows and abandoned by a father who was gone long before he died. Surrounded by women who have only known dysfunctionality in the guise of love. A grandmother who turned to the spiritual world of Zar for a sense of community. All of us coming and going, with no destination but a dream of an entrenched sense of self. The hunt for an anchored identity in a world that remains in a constant state of flux.
"Homecoming" is my therapy, my refuge. A safe space for me to explore ‘home’ as a philosophical, spiritual, emotional, and physical construct. To find meaning beyond the linear and the formulaic, and delve into the beyond.
'I embrace the apocalypse. I can easily blame my mother and father for my obsession with meaning and purpose.' Santu Mofokeng 1956 – 2020.