If you can't go home, here is the smell of soil that reminds you of your childhood.
Patria Soli (homeland soil) is a socially engaged art project for people who are not able to go back to their homeland at the end of their life. This project delivers soil from one’s homeland to a person.
People develop attachment to the land where they grow up, and the homeland forms one’s identity. It is common for many people to wish to die in their homeland. A great composer, Frédéric Chopin, who never returned to his homeland, Poland, until his death, carried an urn filled with soil from his beloved home country. Per his wish, when Chopin’s body was laid into the grave at the cemetery of Père Lachaise, a handful of the Polish soil was strewn onto his coffin.
Patria Soli was started from our care for issues around the end of life. We hope that the simple gesture of this project will provide a conversation starter for necessary, otherwise difficult, communication between people and their family. In this diverse country, one’s ideas and beliefs around death greatly vary, and, therefore, respecting these has become more important than ever. Our eventual goal is to indirectly and directly help people and medical professionals understand that there are various ways of dealing with death in this world.
As our society becomes more and more diverse, it is common for patients and their loved ones to find the hospital experience stressful partially because they have different values and beliefs from ones of medical professionals. Even individuals within the family often have their own unique views. Many people are afraid of having discussions. However, there is more uncertainty and fear if people around you do not understand your views when you die than having open conversations beforehand.
Our goals of this project are to provide a chance
for a participant to think about his/her own views around death and wishes.
for a family to know each other's ideas around this topic both the philosophical and the practical, such as how a participant wants his/her body to be treated.
for people who miss their homeland to have a sense of their place by receiving soil.
for people in end of life industries to widen their knowledge about various philosophies.