Hiraeth is an ‘untranslatable’ Welsh word conveying a sense of deep longing for a home which you cannot return to, or which maybe never was.
Its closest English equivalent would be ‘homesickness’, but it’s closer to the Portuguese saudade or the Russian toska.
The word was the inspiration for a project supported by the student volunteering organisation Cambridge Hub, exploring how different groups of people relate to home and belonging in Cambridge and how we map our memories in relation to place and material.
In the summer of 2019, the Hiraeth Project particularly focused on migrant memories, and the challenges of constructing a home and identity in the context of displacement. The work from this fantastic project will be on display at the Museum of Cambridge in a unique exhibition related to these stories and memories.
The exhibition will explore how different groups of people relate to home and belonging in Cambridge, through audio recordings of participants talking about places in the city, maps of the city they drew from memory, alongside photos and further information about the project. There will also be the opportunity for visitors to the exhibition to contribute their own memories to a collective map of Cambridge, both as part of the exhibition and during a participatory mapping workshop on the 9th November, as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences.
Find out more on their website.