"Home is where the heart is". So what does it mean to be homeless? This panel examines how home and homelessness are conceptualised in relation to feelings of belonging, exclusion and identity.
Home signifies more than merely property or a fixed address. As a culturally contingent concept, it has multilayered meanings - spatial, material, relational, temporal - and it is also the site of emotion and conflict. We get emotional when we remember or reconstruct home; we long for home when we are homesick; we have spiritual homes, and we sometimes feel the power of affect when calling up a "homeland". Yet the concept of "home' always includes the possibility of loss, too. What does it mean, then, to be home-less, if we think about home in an emotional sense, as a feeling of belonging? This panel aims to explore the multitude of meanings and functions given to the concept of home(lessness) and their effects on individuals and communities. What constitutes home and homelessness in the modern world? Who defines these and for what purpose or on whose agenda? How do physical home(lessness) and emotional home(lessness) interact? These are just some of the questions that this panel could explore.