Home: 1996

An exhibition of film photography by artist Chiluba Young, documenting a visit to her home country, Zambia, as a member of the African diaspora

By Museum of Freedom and Tolerance

Chiluba Young

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.

19 / 03 (Makanya Road) II, Chiluba Young, 2020, From the collection of: Museum of Freedom and Tolerance
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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.

Chiluba's Story

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 YoungMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

Cornrows

"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."

Cornrows III, Chiluba Young, 2020, From the collection of: Museum of Freedom and Tolerance
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Cornrows II, Chiluba Young, 2020, From the collection of: Museum of Freedom and Tolerance
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Guava Ladies (2020) by Chiluba YoungMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

Guava Ladies

"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."

19 / 03 (Makanya Road), Chiluba Young, 2020, From the collection of: Museum of Freedom and Tolerance
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Baby Lily, Chiluba Young, 2020, From the collection of: Museum of Freedom and Tolerance
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Church (2020) by Chiluba YoungMuseum of Freedom and Tolerance

Church

"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."

Gogo II, Chiluba Young, 2020, From the collection of: Museum of Freedom and Tolerance
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Gogo, Chiluba Young, 2020, From the collection of: Museum of Freedom and Tolerance
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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).

Chiluba at Home: 1996 Exhibition, Jim Bob, 2020, From the collection of: Museum of Freedom and Tolerance
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Home: 1996 Exhibition, Jim Bob, 2020, From the collection of: Museum of Freedom and Tolerance
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Dancers, Jim Bob, 2020, From the collection of: Museum of Freedom and Tolerance
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Credits: Story

All photographs by Chiluba Young unless stated otherwise. See the full Home: 1996 collection.

Photographs from the exhibition by Jim Bob.

Words by Chiluba Young.

Learn more about Paper Mountain.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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