What is home?

Hiraeth is a Welsh word meaning “longing for a home that no longer exists or never was.” The Hiraeth Project began in 2016, when a group of artists and writers in Amsterdam came together with the goal of using the literary and visual arts to combat xenophobia in our communities by gathering and sharing stories of “finding home.” The initial concept of a magazine soon expanded into a diverse platform for creative exploration around the question: What is home? Since then, Hiraeth has become something of a bazaar; a meeting place for cultural exchange including a range of events, collaborations, and a digital magazine and podcast. We have bases in Amsterdam and London, and connections around the world.

People have been moving from place to place across the globe for thousands of years, and we still do it today. Whether it be for work, love, adventure or refuge, we are always seeking home. Home is a feeling that we can’t quite explain, yet are always trying to find or create. At Hiraeth, we explore this theme through written, visual and oral storytelling via our digital magazine, podcast and live events. Hiraeth is a not-for-profit creative platform run by a small team of passionate volunteers, whose collective mission is to spread empathy and unity through storytelling and art. So–welcome! Read or listen to our stories, and submit your own. Join us on this journey, as we travel across the world in search of home.

Meet the Team

Sarah Bringhurst Familia

Sarah Bringhurst Familia has lived on five different continents in the past fifteen years, but she’s still not sure where (or if!) she wants to settle down. In the meantime, she enjoys Amsterdam’s cosmopolitan village vibe. She is currently pursuing a history Research Master at Leiden University on Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence. Sarah has a husband, a daughter, a son, and a papillon, and blogs about her international adventures at Casteluzzo: in search of a dream to call home.

Rowena Dring

Rowena Dring is a British artist who lives and works in Amsterdam.  She has a BA from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London and an MA from Goldsmiths College, University of London.  Rowena mixes the traditional women’s work of embroidery and appliqué with the high art of painting, making sewn fabric landscapes stretched over canvas. However she does not view her work as “blurring the boundaries between art and craft” as much as “addressing the politics of representation”. Inspired by Andy Warhol’s paint-by-numbers series, Rowena uses snapshots taken while traveling, which are then made into a pattern by drawing and assembled by a sewing machine. The resulting Landscapes merge abstraction and representation, handicraft and digital reproduction, to underscore the cultural framing process present in even the most natural states.

Jeremy Keighley

Jeremy was born and bred in Derbyshire, England and studied Comparative literature at the University of Essex. He moved to Vienna and then Amsterdam and has now spent more than half his life living abroad.  He now lives in Alkmaar and works (non-poetically) in Amsterdam. Jeremy is a performing poet and has released 3 CDs with music by 3-Bop and has had poems published in various magazines. He also has one completed, but unpublished novel and is currently working on his second.  He is an incurable (if sometimes eccentric) romantic and has a penchant for nostalgia, which is probably responsible for most of his poetry. Apart from poetry, he has also worked in amateur theatre in various capacities. In his spare time, he is also a long-distance runner, but has yet to find a way to combine this with writing poetry. He is married and has 4 children.

Xenia Bordukowa Pattberg

Raised in Moscow and Berlin, Xenia is living the merits and drawbacks of a Third Culture Kid.  She has been carrying her life in a suitcase and finding her sense of belonging between two book covers for some time.  However, she now finds herself settled in Amsterdam, defining home for two kids of her own.  Fascinated by storytelling as an essential part of our cultural and human identity, she has ventured on every possible form of it, from an academic essay to theatre performance. She has a degree in Literature and Translation, and had the pleasure to explore the artistic world as program and production assistant for various international productions.

Monica Perez Vega

Monica, is an artist, originally from California. Her interest in hearing stories of home stems from the diverse people she’s met along her own journey. After ten years in Amsterdam, Monica now lives in London where she produces the podcast for Hiraeth magazine, while pursuing her MFA at the Slade School of Fine Art.

Pepe Villaverde

Pepe Villaverde is a Creative Director and Brand Strategist whose work has been recognised globally among international festivals and media. A continuous unlearning process makes him curious about the ‘why’ behind everything and everyone, especially human stories and their interactions, as well as how we communicate with each other and with things. Pepe feels he is not really from anywhere specifically, and that his home is not made of bricks but made of his family and friends. He collaborates with Amsterdam University, a range of editorial projects, and is Associate Jury of the Webby Awards. He likes strong strong coffee and tortilla de patatas.

     Recent Posts

Podcast Episode 41:  Cancer in the Time of Corona

Podcast Episode 41: Cancer in the Time of Corona

Ana is currently undergoing active treatment for cancer, and during our interview she shares her journey toward healing, what she has learned along the way, and how it feels to be a cancer patient during a pandemic. We talk about how coronavirus and lockdown have impacted her, and what she wishes people knew about cancer in the time of corona, and how we can take care of the vulnerable among us.

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Podcast Episode 39:  A Way of Reordering Your World

Podcast Episode 39: A Way of Reordering Your World

Rowena Dring is an artist who challenges traditional boundaries by incorporating the traditional ‘women’s work’ of sewing and needlework with large-scale painting. She first started this type of art after her father died, and observes that ‘when you feel like your world has been shattered apart, actually working with collage, putting things back together with sewing and stitching is a way of reordering your world.’

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Love, Death & Darkness in February

Love, Death & Darkness in February

Did you join us at our first 2019 creative meetup? We met on February 10 at the lovely Zamen in Noord for an evening of poetry, conversation and collaboration on the very February theme of Love, Death & Darkness. The evening was led by JC 1/4, with poetry...

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  • Ep. 42 - Using The Fine China 24/06/2020
    Dori Griffin is a designer and design historian interested in popular print culture and the narrative construction of social and cultural identity. Her first book, Mapping Wonderlands: Illustrated Cartography of Arizona, 1912-1962, explores tourist maps and the stories they tell about the state’s history, landscape and culture. Dori has also studied culture through looking at […]
  • Ep. 41 - Cancer In The Time Of Corona 17/06/2020
    Ana Martins has been a local in Amsterdam for several years, but originally comes from Portugal. Amsterdam, she says, is the first place that has ever felt like home. She has been an actress and yoga teacher, and now writes a blog called Amsterdive exploring her own relationship with Amsterdam and the Netherlands while focusing […]
  • Hiraeth Ep. 40 - Exploring The Streets Of Cairo 04/06/2020
    Erica Eastley has lived an adventurous life in several different countries in Central Asia, the Middle East and beyond. We’ve never met in person; in fact, I think I first came across Erica when I stumbled on her fascinating blog, The Golden Road to Samarqand, where she was explaining how she cut the bindings off […]
  • Hiraeth Ep. 39- A Way Of Reordering Your World 20/05/2020
    Rowena Dring is British, and spent time in Berlin and France before settling here in Amsterdam. She is an artist who challenges traditional boundaries by incorporating the traditional ‘women’s work’ of sewing and needlework with large-scale painting. She first started this type of art after her father died, and observes that ‘when you feel like […]
  • Hiraeth Ep. 38 - 24 - Hour Curfew In Saudi Arabia 13/05/2020
    ‘Emily’ is an American, but grew up moving around a lot, and spent her teenage years living in Mexico. Now with four kids of her own, she has made the move to Saudi Arabia to give them a taste of international life. We have changed her name so she can speak freely about her adventures […]