By Museum of Freedom and Tolerance
About Home: 1996 Exhibition
“The ache for home lives in all of us." Maya Angelou's words inspired artist Chiluba Young's documentation of a visit to her childhood home in Zambia.
The trip became an emotional pilgrimage. Young’s work explored memories with cousins and aunties, which all came flooding back as she arrived at the street she grew up on.
The artist outside her childhood home, 19 / 03 Makanya Road, from her series Home: 1996, which documented the artist's visit to her home country, Zambia, as a member of the diaspora. First exhibited at Paper Mountain in Perth, Western Australia.
As I arrived at the street I grew up on, where I had once played marbles with the neighbours, so many memories came flooding back. The street looked so different from what I remember.
The large mango trees in my neighbour’s garden were no longer there. My childhood home looked smaller than I remembered. The front yard no longer had a luscious green lawn. I wanted to knock on the gates and ask it’s new occupants to let me in, let me explore my home. I was overcome with emotion and I couldn’t stop crying.
Cornrows I (2020) by Chiluba Young and TobyMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance
"My aunt insisted that I should get my hair done as soon as she saw how messy my hair was. She took Toby and I to a wig shop which I had no idea about until we got there. I thought it would be uncomfortable given the difference in cultures but it wasn’t."
"It was so beautiful seeing the different hairstyles and shops selling beauty products for black women, something that I don’t get to see a lot here in Australia."
Guava Ladies (2020) by Chiluba YoungMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance
"These ladies saw me trying to take a picture of them from afar. They told me if I bought some of their guavas for 1 Kwacha, they’d be happy to pose for a picture. It set the tone for the rest of my trip."
"Taking these photos made me realise that I have a responsibility as an African photographer living in the diaspora, to present Africans in a way African people would."
Church (2020) by Chiluba YoungMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance
"My aunty and I had been sitting at a bar listening to music and drinking beer. My Aunty was on her third bottle of Hunter’s Gold and somehow managed to convince the bartender to connect her phone with a selection of music to the speakers at the bar."
"Among the noise and laughter in the bar, we heard a choir singing across the road and wanted to check it out. We found a church with people singing and dancing to gospel music."
Kupapa Ubwana (2020) by Chiluba YoungMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance
"It was so strange that people were praying across from a bar. The juxtaposition of this was a little disorienting. At that moment all I could do was be silent and listen."
From the exhibition
Hosted at Paper Mountain in Perth, Western Australia, Home: 1996 showcased photographs made on Chiluba's trip to Zambia, interspersed with family photos from Zambia and Australia in the 1990s, and photographs from a past series titled Black Girls on Film (2020).