Unlike economic migration, exile, or variations of forced migration, ‘existential migration’ is conceived as a chosen attempt to express or address fundamental issues of existence by leaving one’s homeland and becoming a foreigner. This is not simple wanderlust or international travel. It is a motivated quest that is deeply resonant with the person’s whole relation to life. Grey Madison
As a young woman living in the South Bronx I always had this feeling of leaving home. Not just down the street, or to the next borough, or to another state, I wanted to go as far as my legs could take me. I wanted to cross the pond. Forty years later I was able to cross the pond to the Netherlands, however, after awhile it did not feel like home. Three years later I returned to the states only to feel that it still did not feel like home. My restlessness was exasperating at times. Then in 2013 my husband and I moved to France. France was always a favorite of mine. Perhaps because while living in New York I watched a lot of French movies, keeping up with the subtitles, but never really learning the language. In Gaillac, I took French classes, but it didn’t sink in fast enough, and I felt like an outsider. When people would speak to me in French and realized I was not fluent, they politely excused themselves and went on their way. It was too much work to try to understand my Franglais. So now I am trying to think of a way to create work that reflects this feeling of feeling alienated and displaced in a foreign land as well as the land I grew up in. I know at some point I need to go back to New York and find some semblance of connection. Or perhaps I have lost the connection to the place that nurtured my wanderlust.
And so I shall go deep within myself and think and feel and try to express these feelings through whatever medium I can. Ok, the challenge is on!