Professional woman, living in London, age 34
Carrying this object has made me think about my own family. My grandparents were refugees. I wish I could talk to my grandmother. I wonder what she decided to take with her. I know she took the wedding ring off her finger.
When I look at these objects I see scraps of people’s lives— on the run with their families. I think they would have likely taken a little piece of home, and as they moved on, realised they could bring less and less. However important something might have been it had to be shed. These are all signifiers of difficulties along the way. I have moved from one country to another, been in transit, making transitions, learning new languages. Coming from the Middle East we live with transition. I think about things that mark us as a member of a community.
When I first started carrying this object it seemed foreign—I wasn’t familiar with it. I keep it in my wallet near my money. I think this object belonged to a teenage girl, a key to a jewellery box where she kept pictures, letters. Did she leave it on purpose or was it an accident? It could have been an act of leaving behind as a ceremony, leaving an old life behind. It’s never easy for teenage girls. It’s hard for everyone but it’s never easy for girls. I’ve been thinking about what she is facing vs. what I’m facing in my life. I find this to be a grounding exercise.
I was in a trendy restaurant and was trying to explain the project, show my friends the object. They didn’t want to talk about it. This might be because there are no easy answers.
Here I am holding this object and complaining about the lack of air conditioning.
We have everything; they are depending on pure chance.