In Absence of Home

participation / workshop / experiential

This project follows an individual, Ellie's Grandpa’s, journey from Ukraine to Bradford as a forcibly displaced person with the ambition to learn from the ways he found ‘home’ in a foreign environment.

He was born in Paulograd, 1927, and fled during the Soviet ‘Great Purge’ to England, under a false Polish identity. He settled in Bradford, alongside a Ukrainian community which has now all but dissolved.

Bradford became ‘home’, a place of comfort through social relations to place and people.

Currently, the number of displaced persons is growing exponentially. These people are thrown into unfamiliar social structures, under pressure to integrate with their new ‘home’, causing groups to bond together more tightly.

Bradford is a city of immense diversity. However, these communities have been described as living in ‘parallel’ with little communication between cultural groups.

This proposal aims to begin the conversation.

Through the act of telling the Ukrainian story, allowing insight into a deeply personal subject, I hope to begin the narrative exchange. The proposal is sited on a place of memory, Rawson Market, at the centre of Bradford and the centre of the table, condensing all the extracted narratives of Ukrainian life into an experiential manifestation.