If your house was burning, what would you bring with you?
It’s a philosophical conflict between what’s practical, valuable and sentimental. You’re forced to prioritize and boil down a life of accrued possessions into what you can carry out with you. What you would bring reflects your interests, background and priorities. People’s stage in life also dictates their selection.laughingsquid.com
A father of five in his forties would grab very different things than he would have as a bachelor in his twenties. Think of it as a full interview condensed into one question.slate.com
That's the question Foster Huntington asks on his blog, The Burning House. And to answer the question, you have to submit a photo of what you'd take.
The Burning House is a fascinating ongoing project by photographer Foster Huntington that catalogues in images what people would take with them if the house was on fire. The project started on May 1, 2011 with Huntington’s own “burning house” items and continues on a Tumblr blog.apartmenttherapy.com
Few of these piles really resemble what one might grab in a panic. They are carefully contemplated and arranged. And the responses vary. Some interpret the question to mean: What would you need to survive? (Advil, scissors, rubbing alcohol.) And others take it to mean: What are your most irreplaceable possessions? (Photos and stuffed animals.)npr.org
Huntington, who started the blog, falls into the latter camp. He'd grab family photos and a few blank rolls of film, he says.
At the time of its launch, he was a fashion designer in New York City, "surrounded by a culture interested in definition by possessions," he writes via email.businessinsider.com
Last summer he quit his job and bought a Volkswagen van, and since then he's been living on the road — dispatching his photos on a personal blog and via Instagram, with the hashtag #vanlife.bitrebels.com
The results — rich, surprising, refreshingly human, from people separated by 80 years and spanning six continents — are now gathered in The Burning House: What Would You Take?npr.org
Brenda Bell, 60, Pinetop, Arizona White Mountains (wild fire country May/June), Homemaker
Alejandro Sosa, 36, Venezuela, Technology consultant
So, what would you take with you if your house was on fire? Submit it to us by writing to [email protected]