Session 9: Home

In this session we dare to re-vision what the world calls to be ‘home’. We engage in a discussion thinking about the images and conventions we see in popular culture which represent home, and think about the diverse reality and possibilties of actual homes. We prefer to open this session without any introduction or discussion and simply engage in the first activity without explaination, allowing the participants to discover the theme on their own. Its through the first activity – Role Plays on Homes – that the participants began to organically analyze the notions of home through discussion and dialouge.

As for the writing activity, in the past, we’ve tried many different writing activities in this session but nothing has proved to be popular and effective across the board. With DIKSHA and Sanlaap we did a writing activity modelling Sandra Cisneros’ vignette “My Home.” Although the past participants found this poem to be a powerful read, few participants were able to model a poem after it. So, instead, the writing activity we’ve chosen to post on this blog is an activity we tested with Praajak and Vikramshila. It is a guided poem activity very similar to the writing activities in previous sessions like “Family” or “Emotions.” We’re not completely satisfied with this writing activity for this session — in some ways we wonder if its getting repetitive. At the same time, the poems that emerged from this writing process were excellent in past, especially when we conducted this activity with boys living on railway platforms. But, again, we still wonder, is the process too repetitive, espeically for a really mature and initated group? Must keep thinking and experimenting….

For printable version of this session, click on Session 9: Home


Magazines or Newspaper cuttings representing stereotypical family images. (Recommended)




Lights! Camera! Action! Note to Facilitators: For this opening this activity, we actually ask facilitators not to introduce this activity in context of theme, “home.” We want the participants to uncover (and eventually problemitize) the theme on their own through these roleplay. So, dive straight into the activity simply as role plays. We suggest this because we don’t want to bias participants into defining what creates a “home.” They decipher the notion of home this independently in the follow-up disussion.

  1. Divide the participants into groups of three or four.

  2. Assign each group with a Scene Depiction from the options below and ask the group to create a role play around that situation. Tell groups that the situations provided is simply the bare bones. They are do add conflict, narrative, or twists as they want within the situation provided.

  3. Ask groups to not shared their assigned situations with other groups. Keep it secret.

  4. Once each group is ready, enact the scenes. Keep all comments, reactions for the follow-up discussion.

Scene Depictions

A. A grandfather, mother, father, son, and daughter in a small rented home. They are having dinner.

B. Single mother and daughter in a rental room. They are having dinner.

C. Young wo/man living in a government hostle. S/he is having dinner.

D. Same-sex couple in a flat. They are having dinner.


Frame a discussion analyzing the Role Plays and problemtizing the stereotypical notions of Home. Use the following questions to prompt dialogue. The questions we’ve provided here will help participants analyze the construction of HOME and deconstruct it. Makes this discussion as conversational and participatory as possible.

1. What do all these scenes depict?

2. What do they have in common?

3. Do you think each of these situations represent HOMES?

4. What makes a Home?

  • Specific Individuals?
  • Specific Relationships?
  • Specific Spaces? (Stable, unstable, permanent, temporary?)

5. How does the world define Home?

  • Think of magazines, ads, and stories. (Use the optional materials)
  • Think of Images from popular films. (Hum Apke Hai Koun? Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam, Baaghban)

6. Are the patterns, images, definitions we see in popular culture REALISTIC? Are they UNIVERSIAL?

Lets think of our own personal Homes…..

When you physically go Home (or the place you live, or the place you want to call home), do you experience the assumptions the world makes about home (love, peace, restfulness)?· What other feelings do you also experience? Think of negative feelings.

Facilitator’s Message: Home is any place you choose, it can look like anything, it can give refuge to whatever combinations of people – same-sex partners, friends, or just you! A home is a place of both negative and positive, and both the positive and negative make you grow.


My Home

Pick a place where you feel completely yourself – a place you can claims as you own, a place where you don’t edit yourself. It doesn’t have to be the place you live; it can be a clubhouse, a store, a friend’s place. Write a descriptive poem about that place. If needed, use this structure to write the poem, or use it simply to get started:

1. Sight

2. Touch in Hands

3. Where you are, exactly

4. Feeling you have inside

5. “And this is my Home…”


Go around the room and ask the group to “sign” how they felt about this session. Thumb up, Great Session. Thumbs Down, Bad Session. Thumbs Sideways, So-so session.

Not to be used or reproduced without written permission from Kalam: Margins Write unless it is for educational purposes.

Explore posts in the same categories: Community, Sessions

4 Comments on “Session 9: Home”

  1. queer3779 Says:

    well, we haven’t had this session with the don bosco boys yet, but there is something i feel that i need to voice. to be really honest, haveing a same-sex couple in the list of skits is a little too ambitious for certain groups. i know it went perfectly well (maybe a little too well) with sanlaap and diksha, but they are a rather initiated group, especially in terms of knowledge of sexualities. but for, say, the garden reach group, we di not include it. after all, our point is not to shock the participants out of their wits. i wonder if we should have that particulr skit for the bosco boys. what do you say? if we do not, should we replace it with something else? with what?

  2. Sahar Says:

    You bring up a really good point Bishan. Maybe we should keep a list of diverse “home situations’ for the facilitator to choose from, and that way the facilitator can assess what is suitable for their group and then proceed. So we could have…

    1. Extended Family
    2. Single Parent and Child (sex of parent and child can vary according to facilitator’s preference)
    3. Single Person in a Hostel with Roomates
    4. Two Siblings?
    5. Single Person? (Alone)
    4. A non-parent adult (Uncle or Grandparent) and Child?

    Along with these relationship combinations, I realize its important to emphasize diversity of space as well in terms of Home (we did it a little bit in our session plan, but maybe we should put greater emphasis through stark diversity?). So hostels, houses (concrete homes/shantys/shacks), rented rooms, streets/footpath are important to be included as settings for these relatinoship. I think its important for this activity to stir assumptions about what makes a home not just in terms of relationships, but also space.


  3. queer3779 Says:

    the space idea is absolutely crucial. a stress on its diversity should also make the participants think and come up with newer concepts of home for their own poems.
    so, maybe instead of the same-sex couple, we should have ‘an uncle and child on a footpath’. what do you say?

  4. Sahar Says:

    Wish I was there to see it. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: