With nationalist ideologies, identity politics and conversations about borders taking front row in recent global discourse, "home" feels like an illusory and contentious concept. In her new song and video called "Home To You," Welsh singer Cate Le Bon uses a luminous wash of avant-pop to explore one community's search for belonging and a sense of place.
Alongside British director Phil Collins, Le Bon explores the Lunik IX neighborhood in the Slovakian city of Košice. The community is home to a large group of Romani people who, at the hands of multigenerational antiziganism, often live in slums and dilapidated estates, lacking access to housing, employment and basic services like electricity and water. Filmed in a variety of locations, including a bustling flea market and the halls of a music conservatory, Collins splendidly captures moments of shared humanity that echo far beyond Košice's boundaries.
In a statement to NPR about the piece, Collins says, "In an age of discord, in which the politics of division and xenophobia — from Brexit to Trump — tears communities apart across nations and continents, it is crucial to stand in solidarity everywhere with those subjected to routine discrimination and a denied sense of belonging."
The track is filled with buoyant optimism, balancing sweeping string arrangements and playful xylophone with Le Bon's soaring refrains. For Collins and Le Bon, home isn't a place, it's the warmth of a glance between friends and the beauty of a reciprocated smile — the sublime power of individuals lifting each other into togetherness.
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A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that director Phil Collins is German. He is based in Germany but is originally from England.