24th April 2015 / 5:00 pm
Edward Said Library, Al Feneiq Center (Dheisheh Refugee Camp)

Home Sick

By Jim Savio & Joanne Savio

Home Sick

Home Sick is a short, multimedia experiment in documentary storytelling. It situates itself in memory, imagination, and close to the heart of one of our most basic human instincts: the longing for home. The result of a two-year working/research and creative collaboration between Joanne and Jim Savio, it is part memoir and part transnational reflection on what home means. It is not meant to answer the question, but to instill a sense of contemplation in the audience. Home Sick is a story about all of us. Influencing the project is a memoir written by Gene Monayar, Joanne’s uncle. His book attempts to piece together a family, and the steps of its migration from Palestine to Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Mexico, Cuba and the United States. Our research presented the opportunity to meet and interview people from these regions, and to travel to Lebanon and to the ancestral villages of Amioun and Zahle, where Joanne’s mother and grandparents were born. Our hope is that the film will seed an exhibition, and a further examination of what home means.

Biographical note

Joanne Savio is a photographer specializing in portraiture and dance. She taught film production at NYU, Tisch School of Arts, before joining the faculty at NYUAD. Sessions with the artists Robert Rauschenberg, Trisha Brown, Merce Cunningham, Bill T Jones, and Pina Bausch are part of her portfolio. Selections of published work include Dance and Art in Dialogue Life’s publication, The Year in Pictures, and Defining Contemporary Art. Recipient of a Nikon award, Savio has exhibited in Europe and the United States. Her book Vital Grace explores African American male choreographers and the cultural difficulties encountered in choosing dance as a profession. She has recently completed a mixed media project with her husband, Jim Savio, titled Home Sick, a meditation on the complexity of home and family in a transnational landscape.

Jim Savio is a professor in the Writing Program at New York University Abu Dhabi. He teaches a course called Ghastly Beauty – A Brief History of Human Emotion, as well as the Intro and Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop. He is a certified yoga instructor in the Athletics’ Dept. Prior to teaching at NYUAD he taught for twelve years in the School of Art and Design History and Theory, at Parsons School of Design in New York, and at the City College Center for Worker Education. His collection of short fiction The Fairy Flag and Other Stories was published by Spuyten Duyvil Press in December of 2001. Several stories that appear in the collection won fiction awards. His fiction and essays have appeared in, The Promethean, One, Three, Eight, The Brooklyn Rail, sonabooks.net and The Salt Journal. He is currently working on a novel titled, What We Did.