Approaching my senior year, I knew that I wanted to wrap up my time here with a project that summarized my four years.
I take pride in the fact that I was involved in many extracurricular activities and pursued opportunities left and right as they arose.
Working on two degrees — International Studies & Oboe Performance — as well as entertaining my interests in social justice, community action, and performing arts of all kinds was nearly impossible, yet I somehow managed.
(this is the Michigan difference…)
As I reflected on my experiences during my time at Michigan, one thing I noticed was that I was constantly trying to explore the sense of home, sense of belonging.
And that’s how the idea for my senior performance, “Home & Away”, came to be.
The concept of “home” is not the easiest for everyone.
Perhaps you’ve grown up in the same town for your entire time.
Perhaps you’ve moved around quite a few times, hold citizenships from multiple countries, have family members living all over the world, or you may not even have a home… the possibilities are endless.
Where do you call “home”?
My homes include:
- Fort Lee, New Jersey
- Yokohama, Japan
- A quiet “me” space
In order to travel, you need to have a home that you can come back to.
But is home really “sweet” for everyone?
Can everyone really say “home is the best after all (yappari uchi ga ichiban) ” ?
Going away from home is a privilege-checker.
I’ve had the privilege to enjoy traveling to many parts of the world, including India, Canada, Brazil, Nicaragua, and Switzerland. Each of these traveling experiences have made me learn so much about myself, the cultures I’ve interacted with, and the importance of constantly examining my power and privilege.
For many people in the world, being away is complicated.
Some are forced to travel outside of their home because their home is unsafe or non-existent.
Some worry about their paperwork all the time.
In contrast, some have too much entitlement that they think they can take over other people’s lands.
Being “away” really lets us reflect on our privilege — or lack thereof.
Putting the Show Together
Putting the show together was such a beast, and I definitely could not have done it by myself.
I can’t thank my collaborators enough — Noniko Hsu and Joe Iovino who gracefully helped me throughout the journey;
Duderstadt Media Center staff who dedicated their expertise to a girl who had no clue at first;
Liz Ames, Karl Ronneburg, and Emmy Barrett who added so much to the project with their musical virtuosity; and everyone who attended the performance either in person or via live stream.
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