When to call home is a book, with images sourced from googlemaps streetview and text by Kate Liebman.
When to call home is an experimental writing project that pairs personal, poetic narrative and found photographs to address the issue of place and what a sense of belonging might look or feel like. In pairing poetic narrative and photographs sourced from googlemap streetview, When to call home thinks through the notion of belonging by taking up topics such as: the distinction and overlap between psychological and physical distance, self-surveillance as self-expression, the feeling of seeing and being seen, changing notions of privacy, and the relationship between the human, technology, and ecology. Ultimately, the personal text and publicly sourced images coalesce to examine how we see ourselves, our place in the world, and how one defines personal, emotional, and physical narratives in the context of incomplete information.
The narrative shifts from the deeply personal to the historical in an attempt to place myself within the histories that have shaped me and where I have lived: the history of California, of America, and of the Jewish diaspora. Explorations of loss and memory figure prominently in the telling, and questioning, of this narrative and these histories. Twelve ‘chapters’ correspond to the twelve months, and the photographs are organized by month uploaded. In these twelve chapters, I weave together multiple histories in an effort to understand place, including the rise of photography and its relationship to the transcontinental railroad, the Native Americans who lived in California pre contact, California’s entry into the Union and today’s environmental catastrophes, the discriminatory laws in the Pale of Settlement in Russia, and American colonization. Bringing in these histories is an attempt to circle and answer the questions we all ask ourselves: who am I, how did I get here, and what is this place I’m in?
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