POLAND: CHUDOBCZYCE, POZNAŃ; THE NETHERLANDS: AMSTERDAM, UTRECHT; BELGIUM: ANTWERP; ENGLAND: LONDON
Nothing about returning is ever only black or white. Coming back, people follow their own, tortuous and harrowing paths. Vague and bitter-tasting those returns truly are; one false move, one misguided choice… and there you are, on detox again, confined to residential treatment, in a cell you have been in once before, counting the days until the end of your stretch and dreaming about freedom. Coming back may be cheap, you own nothing and no one awaits you. You look for fare in the ecological gourmet all-you-can-eats of sorted garbage, sleep in the cheapest hostel of the world, in a globalised city, with international companions at your side. Coming back has its price, you pay the fee for the path you tread, for the stigma of cosmopolitan homelessness. You return because you hanker after and yearn for life, freedom and the right to dignity that is never respected.
Several stories about people sharing one common goal – the return. Time and again, they return to the right course in their lives, to the path of sobriety and ordinary cleanliness as well. Sometimes they come back to Poland after failed emigration which often made them homeless. Sometimes they attempt to return to the family they have abandoned or regain social acceptance. The return is also a time you put away seeking work that once had been lost. It may be a loss… of the last vestiges of self-respect. It may be a shame that haunts you until the end of your days. It can also be a blind, dark alley at the end of which your life is extinguished.