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 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, 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.



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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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  • Hiraeth Ep. 32- The Third Space 06/05/2019
    In this episode, Monica talks to artist Farnaz Gholami. Farnaz is originally from Iran, but has lived in Boston, South Africa and now London. Farnaz talks about how her experience of moving and living in different places has affected her work. She talks about what it means to to find home, neither here nor there, […]
  • Hiraeth Ep. 31- Reckless in Saying Yes 11/02/2019
    Describing herself as a child of "leavers and movers", Alissa Herbaly Coons has spent her life finding home around the world. From age five until the 9th grade, she lived in what she describes as a "very American" suburban neighbourhood in Montana. In high school she suddenly landed in Hungary in the middle of a […]
  • Hiraeth Ep. 30- Choosing to Walk Away 20/12/2018
    Donna Bardsley grew up in a big, warm Mormon family on the west coast of the United States. Even more than her nationality, she considered Mormonism her primary identifier, and couldn’t imagine how to leave, even as the belief system she grew up with felt increasingly irrelevant to her life. For more info visit: www.hiraethmagazine.com
  • Hiraeth Ep. 29- Window To Another Reality 24/09/2018
    ‘I like to think of my work as a window to another reality, perhaps escapist and enchanting, like an hotel room, which is a symbol of a different reality than our daily life; perhaps a dreamlike experience, a place which is a temporary home.’ Michal Raz was born in Jerusalem and in spite of growing […]
  • Hiraeth Ep. 28- Coming of Age in Trump's America 16/07/2018
    I had the pleasure of talking to two very astute young ladies. My daughter Luna and her friend Okxana. Both are 19 years old and go to college in Los Angeles, California. Luna has grown up between Europe and California. She lives in LA with her mom during the school year and, with her brother, […]

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