Home & Away

Ann Van de Vyvere


Imagine the following situation: your house is about to explode and you have exactly three seconds to save one item. Which precious item do you rescue from the fire? This film zooms in on 10 individuals and the items they cannot do without. Collecting objects is one of those things that separate man from animal. Every human being has baggage, despite his or her origins or destination. Humans collect items to safeguard their identity. Our favourite objects can recount our lives or harbour beautiful memories. They can even be a metaphor for thoughts or creeds that we hold dear.
The chosen items disclose amazing and compelling stories about the 10 individuals. The only thing the owners have in common is that they are all modern nomads. In other words, they have no permanent address and are always ‘on the go’. In the documentary, we learn that for some people, the nomad lifestyle is anything but a personal choice. They can be homeless, drifters or refugees. Others such as expats, newcomers and adventurers simply seek excitement. Activists choose to migrate constantly for their ideals and beliefs. Although the characters are diverse, they each have their own prized possession that makes them feel at home wherever they go. Home is a place where someone lives and feels safe. It is the centre of a household, of important relationships and interests.
The chosen objects in the documentary embody all these concepts. This makes them irreplaceable to their owners. Lies for instance, always carries a blender in her bag. Since she is currently living in three places, mixing soup is a ritual that helps her to feel at home wherever she is. Khaled is a Palestine refugee who seeks comfort in his keffiyeh at times when he feels down. This garment was made famous by the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The scarf reminds Khaled of his home country and his mother. Stephan inherited a traditional mask from his father. However, the higher social status it represents is not acknowledged in the 'Klein Kasteeltje'.
Hamou on the other hand, claims strange objects and stores them in the building where he is squatting. In his room, he makes the objects perform like puppets in his own private theatre. Jean Marie is a Rwandese refugee who believes that home is where your… corpse is. Which is why he carries a self-made coffin wherever he goes.
The documentary introduces these remarkable individuals to us through their objects. Gradually, we see the construction of an exhibit in the Jubelpark Museum in Brussels, which houses many other objects. The exhibit is the foundation of the film. Our characters work towards it, though it is in no means the goal or core concept of the film. Home and Away is a film about home, objects and people who do not have a fixed address. The documentary tells the story of the characters. At times those stories can be hilarious, moving or even heartbreaking. It is also an impression of what it means to be on the road all the time: the migrating, the moving and the freedom. It questions what people around the globe understand as living conditions, not just physically but mentally as well.




Ann Van De Vyvere


Ann Van de Vyvere is the artistic director of the Brussel based artistic organisation Irma Firma (www.irmafirma.be), which she founded in 2004.  Before that, she obtained her master’s degree in Artistic Painting in 1998. Ever since, she has been actively involved in various artistic projects such as performance theatre, visual art, documentary, art film and workshops.

Artistic vision and work method

The projects are socially relevant and aim to raise awareness among viewers. Things are not always what they seem. Ann Van de Vyvere does not believe in creating new spaces and ideas but in redefining the ones we already have by shedding light on reality, on every day objects.
A real voyage of discovery consists not of seeking new landscapes but of seeing through new eyes.
M. Proust, A la recherche du temps perdu

A selection from the many project of the past years: HOME & AWAY: screenplay & production documentary film (’52) co-produced by Off World, Globe aroma, Kaai theatre, Margartia Production, Klein Kasteeltje + Artistic direction, Object exhibition Jubelparkmuseum. // Theatre Festival: panel member debate on audience mediation and festival formats. With Therese Legierse, Ann Van de Vyvere, Guy Bovyn, Els Leysen, Tom Bonte, by Julie Rodeyns (A-D-A vzw). // PECHA KUCHA: performance, Bip, Brussels (B) // WAARHEID, LEUGEN EN SPECIAL EFFECTS (Truth, lies and special effects): play, Vrijstaat O, Ostend (B) // SALLE DES PAS PERDUS (Room of lost steps): dance performance + publication book of photographs + CD audio edit, Brussels (B), in association with BBOT-BNA. // THE WALK: performance walk/promenade + play première Bourse Theatre Brussels (B) // WALK THE WALK: audio walk, in association with BBOT-BNA. // A SMALL WALK WITH GIANTS: performance, MAÏS#4, Bruxelles / Brussels (B) // HAVE A SMALL WALK IN AN HOUR OF 50 MINUTES: walk performance, Recyclart, Brxl BRAVO. // HOW TO SURVIVE IN A CITY, work shop/performance, Kaai theatre Brussels, Brakke Grond & DasArts, Amsterdam (NL), Buda Kortrijk, Cultural Centre Berchem, Dag van de student/ Journée de l’étudiant (Student day), GC De Markten, Bruxelles / Brussels (B) + Maksdag, Stuk Leuven,  BRXLBravo  Art festival, Bruxelles / Brussels (B) // Meir de Irma, interactive walk/ promenade interactive, Antwerp / Anvers (B) Tweetakt festival.