Hiraeth is a Welsh word. According to the Welsh-English dictionaries Hiraeth means longing, nostalgia, homesickness or grief. On the other hand, Welsh insist that there is no direct translation of this word in the English language and the closest meaning they give is “longing for Wales”. However, Hiraeth is linked with the Welsh landscape, history, myths and stories about a spirit calling you back in Wales. Obviously, is not easy to put all these in one English word.
At the same time, I am Greek feeling longing for Greece; I feel a spirit calling me back in Greece in the same way that Welsh claim about Wales. Nevertheless, I have spent two years in Wales. Having an understanding about longing and Wales, I would like to find Hiraeth around me and in a way illustrate it in a series of landscape photographs shot on the Welsh mountains where Hiraeth lives and I feel like home.
© Anastasios Ktistis 2010