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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Home turf : re-earthing family narrative Jonsson, Tomas


At the same time as my father’s deteriorating health, the culmination of a long process of development in the neighbourhood my family had lived in for 40 years occurred. Through periodic transfers between home and hospital, we witnessed the uprooting of trees, the construction of roadways and subdividing of properties, including our own. Our house was soon marked for sale and redevelopment, and our affects moved to a new location following his passing. These materials, an archive of ephemera, photos and letters that tell the story of our family from their journey from Denmark and eventual settling in Canada, now sit in cardboard boxes and Tupperware containers. Using these personal ‘affects’, I am engaged in a long-term performative engagement, using them as a lens to interrogate larger conditions urban development, migration, colonial histories, logics in which our history is implicated. These are teased out of the contents of the material and texts in my family’s collection. Familial objects, gathered from my mother’s archive are mailed to our former address. As this house no longer exists, the materials are redirected, wearing the imprinted marks of the journey. Supplementary materials available at: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/65757

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