Solitude As Home
In solitude one is in their own company. Drowned in one’s own thoughts an internal conversation is invoked. But if dialogue necessitates the presence of two parties, with whom does this dialogue transpire?
When in solitude, this conversation occurs between the person and the persona. Whereas the existence of the latter conception is undeniable, it is only in solitude that one can engage their internal interlocutor. Solitude thus enables the acknowledgement of a self separate from that which we outwardly convey.
Home, as that which one belongs to, manifests socially, as the comforts of familiar sensibilities; physically, as a space where one is most at ease; or even metaphysically, as a human relationship that transcends the strictures of judgement. One might determine that home, as an unbounded state of mind, is constitutive of identity: a state where one’s true self manifests unencumbered by the external.
Finding home in solitude allows for an identity construct vis-a-vis ones’ true self (person) as opposed to one constructed vis-a-vis
society (persona); a construct that is ultimately personal and beyond the reach of external forces, be they political, societal, or religious. In this sense, solitude, or belonging to oneself, becomes the most homely of homes.
As we are inescapably subjects of both realms, the inner and the outer, one must constantly negotiate a balance between the two; a home informed by material and social context with another confined to one’s consciousness, manifested in solitude.
The versatility of this project is reflected in the arabic term sakan(سكن). Whereas the term’s most common usage is in the sense of “housing”, I am more interested in its alternate definitions as “motionlessness” and “tranquility”. This collection of photographs was produced in an attempt to deconstruct my notion of home in ways that closely parallel the semantic qualities of “sakan”- to unlearn and relearn the concept through an exploration of the physical environment I call home. Sakan is an exploration of the intersection between my home in solitude and my physical home, an inquiry into the way my true self manifests in the physical environment.