From Home Project

Help us document history

From Home is a unique cultural project for the Brighton Digital Festival and beyond, examining what life at home is like for us at home in 2020 and 2021 – and we need your help.

You can become part of the project by anonymously answering a few questions about your ideas of home here.  

How will my story be part of a bigger Story of Home?

Together with Lucy Nordberg and Marc Green from Moving Pictures Theatre, Tom Ottway from Language Umbrella Media is creating an ambitious piece of virtual reality immersive storytelling which weaves together the stories of home and brings to life not only the material from lockdown, but also narratives about people’s different experiences, hopes and dreams, of what home meant to them in the years leading up to lockdown. We will be using the questionnaire data as part of this piece, together with creative material such as videos we’ve already collected from people all around the world.

There are plans to turn the virtual artwork in to a piece of physical immersive storytelling that will tour the UK, and further afield.

How you can help make history

Home has become a daily headline, a buzz word; probably so overused by now that we may have forgotten what we once felt it meant to us. So we are now asking you to take part in the short survey that takes a snapshot of this extraordinary time. Your responses will inform our research, feature at the next Brighton Digital Festival and other important festivals, as well as forming part of Tom Ottway’s final PhD piece on home.

So please, take part and share your experiences whether they are happy or sad, and be a part of making history for future generations. The more responses we get, the more accurate and diverse the Story of Home will be.

A year like, no other – the story so far

© Tom Ottway

There has been constant messaging from the Government to STAY  HOME – SAVE LIVES. If there was any novelty value at all, it has almost certainly worn off by now as we experience Lockdown 2.0 and 3.0 in the UK. Similar patterns can be seen all around the world, with the Southern Hemisphere entering summer as we plunge into the depth of winter after the reverse was the case.

Filmed performance by the Rainbow Chorus

The From Home project has been documenting all of these developments as a piece of living archive, or social history in action since March 2020, with a view to create a piece of art that reflects our common but distinctive and separate experiences.

Safe by Shevon Burrows
Still from Safe by Shevon Burrows

In the first lockdown, we asked the public to send in short videos of their experiences. We had a great and varied, often highly creative response – you can view links to these videos here. It is amazing how quickly they have dated, becoming precious records of everyday life that will inform historians and sociologists in many ways in years to come.

We have started to interview some of those who had submitted videos to discuss things in greater depth. You can listen to some here, and search for the FromHome podcast on Spotify, itunes, etc.

Samuel West and crew filming Homecoming

The topic of home also inspired Lucy Nordberg and Marc Green to create a short film, Homecoming, starring Samuel West and shot in the empty Brighton Theatre Royal between lockdown 2.0 and 3.0, which will be released later in 2021. Find out more about Homecoming here.

A chance meeting

In October 2019,  Tom Ottway, of Language Umbrella Media, met Lucy Nordberg and Marc Green at a Moving Pictures Theatre event at  Brighton Digital Festival, and decided to collaborate on a project about home. Tom has been researching ‘home’ and stories of home at the University of Sussex for many years and we felt that exploring aspects of ‘home’ was ideal for a  piece of immersive theatre or interactive media. Then COVID-19 hit the globe and the rest as they say, is history. But a history we are still in the process of writing daily.

Who We Are

Marc Green & Lucy Nordberg of Moving Pictures Theatre and Tom Ottway of Language Umbrella Media

Moving Pictures Theatre (MPT) was formed to create quality film productions using both traditional and innovative techniques, including 360 capture. The company has a focus on using interesting locations that inform the story.

Language Umbrella was formed with the aim of helping to tell stories and inspire learning, and since then has worked with prestigious clients, such as Oxford University Press, Pearson Education, Harper Collins and Santillana Publishing.