“Home and identity have always been elusive concepts for me," says Magnum photographer Moises Saman, who was born in Peru but has lived a peripatetic life ever since
“For me home is a very difficult concept because I was born in Peru, but grew up in Spain and lived in America,” Moises Saman tells me over the phone from his current base – Tokyo, Japan. “At first I was confused because I’ve moved around so much in the past few years. So for this project, I took the opportunity as a way to trace back to where I was born.”
Born in Lima in 1974, Moises Saman relocated to Barcelona, Spain with his family when he was just one year old. He spent a month travelling in Kosovo photographing the immediate aftermath of the last Balkan war; during his seven-year stint at Newsday as a staff photographer, he covered the fall out of the 9/11 attacks, and spent an extensive amount of time in Middle Eastern countries before becoming a freelance photographer.
For Saman, the HOME project was an opportunity to return to Peru, and he spent two weeks there, travelling around the country and seeking out new places. “It was important for me to return to Peru and to really get to know the country where I was born, but it’s a country that I don’t know very well because I haven’t really spent much time there,” he says. “So it was sort of like searching for my home.”
From high in the Andes to down by the coast, chance encounters along the way helped guide his project. When I ask if it helped him get any closer to his birthplace, Saman says he has a strange sense of mingled familiarity and foreignness.”I wanted to explore this grey area, of being from a place and not really knowing it,” he says. “It’s strange because I feel a connection, but at the same time a disconnection with this place.”
HOME, a collaboration between Fujifilm and Magnum Photos runs from 18-27 May 2018 at The Vinyl Factory London and the photobook can be ordered from shop.magnumphotos.com. Further information on the project and international exhibitions is available on home-magnum.com