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. 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.


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 and works for the Expatriate Archive Centre, a private, independent archive in The Hague that preserves primary sources relating to expat life for academic research. Current projects include @wearexpats, a Rotation Curation Twitter account and experiment in digital archiving, a new blog archiving project with the creators of the Wayback Machine, and Saudade: A Project Celebrating the Intersection of Archives and Art. 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, a California native, holds a BFA from the California College of the Arts. Her interest in hearing stories of migration stems from the people she’s met along her own journey. Monica is a painter but has also taught art and design at an international high school, co-operated an art space and designed the ‘Make a Scene Stamp Kits’.  After ten years in Amsterdam, Monica now lives in London where she produces the podcast for Hiraeth magazine, and is currently 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

In A Blink Of An Eye

Have you ever thought about a window when you thought of home? I don’t mean the metaphorical window, but the very real thing that is not meant to be looked at, but rather looked through to see something else. Or to be seen (if you’re that kind...

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Light- An Evening of Poetry, Storytelling and Art

Thank you to everyone who joined us at Hiraeth Magazine's evening celebrating light in November. The Butcher's Tears craft brewery in Oud Zuid was kind enough to host the evening for us. We heard poems and storytelling, saw beautiful art, and enjoyed delicious...

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Calmness Amidst Chaos

Francesca Aikman is a young artist from the North West of England who lives and works in Amsterdam. She arrived directly after finishing a degree in Fine Art at university in Preston to take up a residency at OT303, and, without her really realizing or planning it,...

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  • Hiraeth Ep. 24- Calmness Amidst Chaos 20/11/2017
    Francesca Aikman is an artist from the North West of England who lives and works in Amsterdam. She arrived directly after finishing a degree in Fine Art at university in Preston to take up a residency at OT303, and, without her really realizing or planning it, Amsterdam became home.  Recently, she has been making small, […]
  • Hiraeth Ep. 23- A Moving Legacy 02/10/2017
    In this episode, Sarah talks to Lucille Abendanon who has three nationalities and has lived in six different countries. Lucille shares not only her own story of movement, but also the incredible stories of her Dutch Oma and Opa who survived life in Japanese concentration camps. Lucille is a writer and values the power of […]
  • Hiraeth Ep 22- Crimea Calling 18/09/2017
    In 2010, Masha and her brother inherited her grandparents’ home in Crimea, the place of her birth. Last Spring, she traveled there and felt a tug to return and explore her roots. She has long felt the pull between lands and questioned her sense of identity- having lived in the US since the age of […]
  • Hiraeth Ep. 21 - Embrace The Journey 04/09/2017
    I met Cynthia on instagram- While she runs the very serious business of recruitment and coaching for expats through her company Xpath Global Careers, she also happens to run a hilarious instagram account called @expatmemes which pokes fun at the trials and tribulations of international life...  Many times, I found myself commenting (or at least thinking) […]
  • Hiraeth Ep. 20- Summer Wrap Up 21/07/2017
    In this episode, we talk about art, politics and plans for the future.  This episode is a series of audio clips from team meetings and conversations recorded over the past six months.  It is a reflection on the year so far- as we wrap up for Summer vacation.  We will resume in the Fall, and […]

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