Home in Ha Noi - Margo Reed

After she left her mother's womb

As humans, we often try to create homes for ourselves by living within our comfort zones. But we are forced to work outside these boundaries since the day we left our mothers' wombs. We are made to be uncomfortable and conditioned to find a way back to our bed of roses.

This photo essay explores Linh's life in what I would call her hometown, Ha Noi, Viet Nam. She is used to her routine, the humidity, the laundry drying on the 5th floor, her mother who takes care of her. As we walk through old quarters, people talk about Linh, negatively commenting on her dark lipstick and purple hair in Vietnamese, assuming she’s a foreigner despite her accent. She watches her adulterous father hurt her family, but makes room for in her heart. She stands out as a creative in a place she feels artists are under-appreciated and street vendors prey on her for business because her scooter shouts affluence. Linh is a free-spirited artist forced into an uncomfortable “home”.

For reasons I could describe best in pictures, she left.

In this series Linh invites me, first as a friend and also as an artist, into her life a little more closely. She has traveled across the globe silently in search of a home. During her return trip to Ha Noi, we scootered through the city as she contemplated her life before and after leaving Viet Nam. I aimed to capture my emotions in Ha Noi through the eyes and life of my best friend. In some ways it felt like a dream, and in other ways it was someone’s slightly haunting reality.

Linh, like many has been faced with challenge, sadness, and discomfort. She is still in search of something, finding love in people along the way. She mentions Mom, Ớt Anhanh, Johane, Brianna, Bobby, Margo, Tricia, Brooke, but she’s still searching and I hope to see her find whatever contentment she is looking for.

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