What is Home? Finding Belonging in Uncertain Times

An Open Space Online event hosted by Improbable

Invitation from Matilda Leyser, Phelim McDermott & Lee Simpson:

Improbable are looking for a thing we have never had - a home - and in the process we want to invite in and hold space for a wider conversation about the nature of 'home' within our sector and beyond. It seems a pressing and critical search at a time when so much in our world is unstable, when so many are in need of refuge.

'The Gathering' is the name we have given to our search. You can read our original post about this here. We called it The Gathering because, to date, the practice of gathering has been our home, our way of offering shelter. For the last twenty five years our home has been the temporary structures we have created in our rehearsal rooms and within our Devoted and Disgruntled Open Space events, during which we gather in a circle. It seems only right, therefore, that we hold an Open Space as part of our quest for a more permanent structure. We want to invite artists, producers, directors, audience members - you! - to engage with us and with each other about the idea of home. We want to help create a supportive network between the different kinds of homes which are emerging at the moment, since we know we are not alone in dreaming of a place to settle, to hold and be held. Our search is revealing that the question is as much about 'who?' as 'where?' Who are the people with whom we need to connect? If the question of 'home' speaks to you, then you are one of them.

So, what is a creative home, for you? Do you have one? A studio, a workshop, a barn, a great big venue, or a poky little back room in someone else's place? Or do you feel homeless? And do you like having no fixed abode, being light-footed, itinerant? Or do you long for a place to belong? Recently, as part of our Gathering process, we shared a post by actor Richard Katz, about the often opposing experiences of those with buildings and those without - where do you sit within this uneasy polarity?

And do you have a vision of your ideal home? Of one you would love to find, or create? Or of how you would like to reinvent the one you have? How does this so-called professional home, relate to your personal one? Are they the same? Or separate? And what makes you feel at home? The food or the furniture? The people or the practice? The landscape around, or the hearth inside? Or some ineffable mixture of them all? We are asking these questions of ourselves and we would love to ask them of you, with you, and to give you the space to ask some other questions, and to play with some different answers. 

You can attend this event - guess what? - from the comfort of your own home! We will gather online in a virtual circle, to enable people to participate from across the UK and the world, to make connections between many homes, open some up, and maybe, together, create some new ones. 

Event information

Logging on to the event
We will be using two online tools (Zoom and Qiqochat). You will receive instructions outlining how to log on to Qiqochat closer to the time of the event.

Tech orientation sessions
Improbable will be hosting a 30-minute tech orientation session on Friday 5th November at 17:00 BST - this is optional, but if you would like a chance to familiarise yourself with the online tools we'll be using, a facilitator from Improbable will be there to explain how they work and answer any questions. You can book for this orientation session at the same time as booking for the main event. 

Access information:
This event is accessible to d/Deaf and blind or partially sighted participants. Opening and Closing Circle (i.e. the beginning and end of the event) will be captioned and BSL-interpreted. After this, BSL interpreters or captioners will be provided during the breakout sessions for each participant. The event will be a relaxed environment - so feel free to log off, turn off your video or mute yourself whenever you want; children are also very welcome.

You can find more information about access and using assistive technologies in our Access Information documentIf you have any access needs, please make sure to include details in the booking form (including whether you prefer BSL interpretation or captioning, if applicable), or get in touch with us in advance by emailing [email protected]If you have any access needs, we strongly recommend that you book for the tech orientation session.

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