Home – a mounting collection of memories and things deeply rooted and etched into our identities across the years. More than 11 million seniors will become vulnerable to making the hard decision of moving out of their sometimes long-lived homes to other supporting communities — anywhere from senior living or long-term nursing care to moving near or with a family member. With these moves often come the painful exercise of downsizing and the risks that some memories will be left behind. “Earth Under Our Feet” is a documentary collection of photography and writing chronicling and lending its voices to seniors who are embarking on this journey.
Memories and things often work in tandem with each other and neither can we take to the grave. A memory recalled can spark a search for a long-forgotten item just as a found item can spur up a memory not thought of in years. The iron skillet buried in the cabinet still weathers the warmth of Sunday dinners and packed kitchens with someone yelling for this or that – even years after there is no one left to cook for. The Old-Maid cards found tucked in the box in the attic rewinds life to lazy summer days when the kids played for hours on the back porch stoop.
How can we or is it even possible to protect these two entities as we move to one home place to another? “Earth Under Our Feet” will follow seniors who are in this transition capturing the full experience they face in the letting-go process to the immeasurable task of making new spaces home again. The final exhibit will be a collection of images documenting their lives as they make these decisions and will include shared stories in the form of documentary poetics and prose.