Write a letter to the place where you grew up. Write it from where you are now. In the writing make the journey back and forth between then and now.
Whether it is far away or round the corner it is a different mix of time and place.
As you write see how you connect with the journey you make to connect with the places, images and people of your homeland or homelands. There may well be more than one as you go back through the generations.
Walk alongside the story of your life without going head to head with childhood and family.
As you write, write it for yourself but also write with sharing in mind. Write the letter side-by-side with a friend who has a similar or different ‘homeland’ story. Read and revise your writing together and experience giving voice to the words and images of your homeland memories and experiences.
Read the letters which have been written and shared already on this site. Draw inspiration from them as they mix creative writing, with social history and a publicly personal therapy.
We do not make judgement or promote one kind of letter over another. Every homeland story is unique. We are learning that each time we engage with writing to our homeland it brings a different process alive and leads to different connections. Our interest is the space between personal and public culture and the eyes, ears and voices of those taking part in this exercise will hear different tones and different orchestrations of feelings each time.
Be respectful of your own others experience. Be curious about it. Above all be compassionate toward your memories of the places and people that made your homeland and its time in history and its culture and geography.
Find out about one of our letter writing workshops or invite us to come and arrange one with your community or network. We are offering workshops in different parts of the UK in the months ahead and will announce these shortly.
If you have written a Dear Homeland letter and want to add it to this site then email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the letter in the body of the email and include your name and mobile number.
We began this work and the site as part of performances and a workshop at the Edinburgh Festival and want to thank those who joined us there.
Who are we?
We are psychologists, therapists and artists who specialize in making ‘relational maps’ of our cultural, social, national and regional identities as part of our teaching.
We use creative writing and therapeutic writing to review and re-write our links to our past and its contribution to our well-being, life history and sense of self.
We have done workshops around the world but most recently we talked and performed at the Edinburgh Festival where local and global identities are alive and kicking. This was especially true in the lead up to the independence referendum. We saw Scotland, with its heightened awareness, its respectful and honest debate as a society in dialogue with itself. We saw it as a mirror through which to help people from all over the world to look at their own version of Scotland back home.
Dee Affleck Jamie Kirkland and Steve Potter