HOME - A photography competition

Friday, October 4, 2019 - 19:41


Anywhere I am gonna
lay my head, boys,
I will call my home

Tom Waits

Once one has torn up one’s roots, one becomes a piece of driftwood, after all, or floatsam.
It is the tides and currents that become one’s fluid, uncertain home.

Anita Desai

‘Home’ is a difficult concept nowadays. Often bound up with political strife, economic struggles of various kinds and, more recently, environmental challenges, the concept seems either to recede into a distant landscape for large numbers of displaced people or become the coterie of a privileged few millions.

In a time when the attachment to a home or homeland is continuously challenged – often by choice and opportunities, but increasingly also by conflict and need triggered by the global(ized) world, home is a concept in search of a definition. The contemporary international political situation tells of the dangers of merging a sense of home with an idea of nation, exclusionary and turned inwards.

Every semester the Faculty of Human Sciences welcomes around 100 international students who enroll in our BA, MA and PhD programs or chose our School for their semester abroad, under an Erasmus or another exchange program. They come in search of new knowledge, expecting to meet new people and to experience life in a different environment. In doing so, they leave the familiarity of their surroundings, the comfort of their relations, the naturalness of their native language. In other words, they leave home.

But is home simply a place one chooses to leave? Or does one by leaving choose to broaden what you call home? Is home what is left behind, in space as well as in time, or what you carry with you? A place of childhood infused by scents and sounds, by remote voices, or a space one create anew wherever one finds oneself? Is home to be found in a place? Is it a language? Is home in the realm of the past, an origin? Is it the aim of a diffuse longing, the quest for a sense of belonging? Or is it a place under construction, endlessly malleable, always emerging anew out of relationships, connections to places, experience(s)?

We invite all students at FCH – national and international – to submit a photograph that best conveys their sense of home and a brief paragraph (250 characters) explaining their choice. Let us see your picture and together create a gallery of what it means to be home.

Please submit one photograph (.jpeg, high resolution, 300dpi) by November 15 to the following e-mail address: home.photo.ucp@gmail.com

The best 20 photographs will be displayed in an exhibition at the Faculty in December.



Alexandra Lopes – Culture Studies
Marília dos Santos Lopes – Culture Studies
Paulo Campos Pinto – Cultura@Católica
Cátia Ferreira – Photography, Visual Communication
Augusta Gaspar - Psychology
Carla Ganito – International Relations Coordinator