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Away Being, Coming Home

Samira Ahmed explores understandings of 'home' and the experiences of people leaving, desiring to leave and returning to their former dwelling places.

Samira Ahmed explores understandings of 'home' and the experiences of young people leaving, desiring to leave and returning to their former dwelling places.

When the Beatles wrote their iconic song She's Leaving Home, they painted a picture of the post-war suburban house as a claustrophobic cage, trapping the free spirited young woman eager to make her way in the brave new world of 1960's Britain.

Decades later, the 'boomerang generation' abounds, as rapidly growing numbers of young adults return to the parental home due to economic or employment pressures. This situation can be emotionally and practically challenging for all the family.

The term 'home' implies much more than simply a building or a geographical location. It can also be a community, a family, an institution, a sense of emotional well being. Not all houses are a home to those who reside there.

Samira Ahmed considers 'home' and how writers and musicians have explored relationships between parents and children, at this pivotal point of leaving home. The title - Away Being, Coming Home - refers to a cross arts project in which young people, writers and musicians created work inspired by photographs of empty croft houses in the Hebrides, and the stories of their former inhabitants. The programme opens with a poem, Barren, a response to an image of one of these homes left behind.

Includes music from The Beatles, Yo La Tengo, South African bassist and composer Benjamin Jephta and The Smiths. There's poetry from Tony Harrison, Cecil Day Lewis and Grace Nichols, and readings from L-Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks, and Jill by Phillip Larkin.

The readers are Rachel Atkins, Natasha Gordon and Peter Ormond.

Producer: Lucy Dichmont
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.

30 minutes

Music Played

  • The Beatles

    She's Leaving Home

    • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
    • EMI.
    • B0025KVLTM.
    • 6.
  • The Animals

    We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

    • The Bootleg Beatles: Hits Of The '60s.
    • EMI.
    • B0011W6KMS.
    • 6.
  • Benjamin Jephta

    Homecoming

    Performer: Benjamin Jephta Quintet.
    • Homecoming.
    • Benjamin Jephta.
    • B00TKVUCIK.
    • 1.
  • Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts)

    London Is The Place For Me

    Performer: Lord Kitchener.
    • London Is The Place For Me: Trinidadian Calypso In London, 1950-1956.
    • Honest Jon's.
    • B000068GU3.
    • 1.
  • Shankar - Jaikishan & Shailendra

    Mera Joota Hai Japani Revival (Revival)

    Performer: Mukesh.
    • Shree 420 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack).
    • Saregama.
    • B00LRBHRSY.
    • 2.
  • Morrisey & Marr Johnny

    There Is a Light That Never Goes Out

    Performer: The Smiths.
    • The Sound of The Smiths.
    • Rhino.
    • B001ECE6CQ.
    • 15.
  • Yo La Tengo

    Leaving Home

    Performer: Yo La Tengo.
    • They Shoot, We Score.
    • Egon Records.
    • B0051FLDH8.
    • 1.
  • One EskimO

    Hometime

    Performer: One EskimO.
    • One eskimO.
    • Artist First.
    • B002JODUO8.
    • 1.

Readings

Title: Barren

Synopsis: poem inspired by a photograph titled 'Unmade Bed, Lewis' depicting an empty croft house in the Hebrides,  seemingly abandoned hastily. The poet imagines what might have happened to the former occupants.

Author: Marjorie Lotfi Gill

 

The poem is unpublished but image and text can be viewed at The Thrive Archive 

 

Title: the L- Shaped Room

Synopsis: Thrown out of her family home after becoming pregnant, the unmarried protagonist contemplates her new home, a room on the margins of mainstream society.

Author: Lynne Reid Banks

From: the L- Shaped Room

Publisher

Random House, 2014( reprint original 1962)

ISBN      1446426270,

              9781446426272

 

Title: Bookends

Synopsis: Poem exploring how the poet's relationship with his father changes after the sudden death of his mother.  Read by the author.

Author: Tony Harrison

From: Tony Harrison: Selected Poems

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; 2nd Revised edition edition (29 Jun. 1995)

ISBN-10: 0140587314

ISBN-13: 978-0140587319

 

 

Title: Walking away (For Sean)

Synopsis: Poem describing a father's emotions as he watches his young son walking into school for the first time

Author: by C Day Lewis

From: The Gate and Other Poems

Publisher: Cape (1969)

ISBN N/A

Walking Away is read by permission of Peters Fraser & Dunlop on behalf of the Estate of C Day Lewis

 

Title: Extract from the Women's Room        

Synopsis: protagonist Mira reflects on the process of children separating from their mothers.

Author: Marilyn French

From: The Women's Room

Publisher: Andrew Deutsch (1978) Warner Books reprint (1992)

ISBN 0   75150538 2

 

Title: Like a Beacon

Synopsis:  Smells and sights trigger powerful memories and longings for home.

Author: Grace Nichols

From: Poems on the Underground, Tenth Edition, edited by Gerard Benson, Judith Chernaik & Cicely Herbert

Publisher: W&N, 2001)

 

ISBN-10: 0304348589

ISBN-13: 978-0304348589

 

 

Title: A house of my own

Synopsis:  The author reflects on the freedom of having a house that belongs entirely to her.

Author: Sandra Cisneros

From: The House on Mango Street

Publisher: Bloomsbury (2004) reprint of 1991 Vintage

ISBN-10: 0747560870

ISBN-13: 978-0747560876

 

Title: Extract from 'Jill'

Synopsis:  a young working class man arrives at university, and is disturbed  to find his room occupied by students of a different social class.

Author: Phillip Larkin

From: Jill

Publisher: Overlook Press (1984)

ISBN

0879519614,

9780879519612

 

 

Title: Saturday at the canal

Synopsis: a young man dreams of running away to the hippy haven of San Francisco.

Author: Gary Soto

From: Home Course in religion

Publisher: Chronicle Books (1991)

ISBN ISBN-10: 087701857X

ISBN-13: 978-0877018575


Related Links

Related Links

The programme title: ‘Away Being, Coming Home’,  refers to a cross arts project in which young people, writers and musicians created work inspired by photographs of empty croft houses in the Hebrides, and the stories of their former inhabitants.  The programme opens with a poem, 'Barren', read by author Marjorie Gill, in response to an image of one of these homes left behind, entitled  'Unmade Bed, Lewis', by photographer Ian Paterson.

More images and details about the exhibition can be found at:

Leaving Home

The Thrive Archive


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