Today I am Home • Roxi Pop
Three years ago, I left to study photojournalism in the United States with a Fulbright scholarship. At the moment, I felt it was the chance to do the thing I love the most. I built my life there. I made friends. We were like family. I had people who cared for me dearly. Each day I was growing and feeling inspired. I didn’t want to come home. I was obligated to do it. When I boarded on that plane on July 29, 2015, it felt like everything was taken away from me, leaving behind a big part of who I became.
On the other side of the ocean my sister who lives in Germany, was waiting for me, and her baby-boy to be born. My mother came from Romania for the birth. It has been one year since we have seen each other and it felt like I got on this roller coaster of emotions without any way out.
Today I am Home
Funny enough that home doesn’t feel like home, but more like a new territory to explore, discover… understand. I see my father, my grandparents, the garden, the house, the place where I grew up and now it feels so foreign and distant.
I decided to photograph my transition, hoping that afterwards looking at my photographs everything will make more sense.
In this ongoing project I continue to document my journey of searching for my identity, my roots, while learning how to make peace with my own country. It is not the easiest place to live in, but it’s definitely home.
Roxi Pop is a freelance photographer, currently lives and works in Cluj. She is one of the founding members of Fotopia Collective and the initiator of In/Out Transylvania Photo Festival.
In 2012, she left with a Fulbright Scholarship to study photojournalism at University of Missouri, U.S. She learned about documentary photography and business practices in photojournalism from the American documentary photographer Matt Eich. For her master’s project, Roxi documented the life of a gated community located up-state New York, and she hopes the project will finalize with the publication of the book “(don’t) Jump the gate”
From the transitioning process back to her home-country Romania came out the ongoing project Today I am Home. The project was presented at the De Donkere Kamer – photography night at Bozar Museum in Brussels, Belgium, and was featured in FotoRoom, Scena 9, DoR, Sub 25 and The New Yorker.