ASTRO was conceptualised in 2019, with the aim of documenting through art the complex relationship migrating people have with the idea of home. The start of this project coincided with the outbreak of the Covid 19 Pandemic, which has led us to broaden our focus from migratory experiences to a wider research domain around the concept of home itself.
ASTRO is an archive of people’s experiences of a home away from home and the documentation of those experiences through artistic practices. Its aim is twofold:
Firstly, ASTRO is looking to collect and showcase creative works around the subjects it studies such as: Home as Origin or Choice, Identities (Physical or Mental) in Relation to the ones Homeland, Migratory Localities and other similar themes but also other themes from this discipline, in order to create a substantial archive that can be used to examine the subject and contribute to the ongoing dialogue.
Secondly, it hopes to create a space, both digital and physical, where creatives, whose work is concerned with similar themes, can connect through workshops, talks, events and online or physical exhibitions
The word “astro” (from the classical Greek “ástron”: star) derives ultimately, like the English “star” from the Proto-Indo-European root “h₂stḗr” also meaning star. This, in turn, appears to derive from the root “h₂eh₁s” meaning “to burn”, cognate with modern English “ash”
The name was inspired by folklore sayings in multiple cultures, stating that we are all under the same sky, no matter where we are on earth as well as by the concept that when we are looking at the stars and other celestial bodies we are not seeing their present moment but into a previous state of their existence because of how many light years they are away from earth.
Since ASTRO is dealing with the complexity of “Home” as a concept for people and also the distance from it, the name serves as a reminder of a shared experience of home which is universal.