The art and power of healing

Connected media – Connected media

“In a creative environment there is an encounter of the self, an awakening to one’s unconscious, to one’s experiences,” said Tammy Federman, a filmmaker whose new documentary “Memory Game” centers on a theater troupe of survivors of Holocaust in Israel managed by AMCHA, an Israeli social support services organization. “But there is also a group meeting because one person talks about this very traumatic experience and another person can identify with it. It gives you the courage to open up, to share your experience, and there is also joy, there is humour, there is movement and creativity.”

And while research from Brandeis University and IMPACT, a non-profit organization born out of a Brandeis initiative, found that creative sector efforts tackling tough challenges “are not adequately understood, under-resourced and/or under-funded ”, there is a growing awareness that through art, individuals and communities – including those who “have been suppressed or repressed” – can make themselves heard.

Recognizing this, mainstream institutions and donors, according to Tiffany Fairey, a visual sociologist in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, have begun to take the arts seriously as a “vital type of soft power” peacebuilding tool. “The main criticism of liberal peace is that it neglects the people who are directly affected by conflict, that communities themselves have no say in peacebuilding policy and planning,” she said. Now, she said, “people rely on the arts for their ability to engage communities.”

Ronen Berger, an Israeli playwright who will also be a speaker in Venice, said one reason the arts could be so successful in helping people deal with collective trauma is that creative practices like dance, storytelling and singing dates back to childhood.

Associated media – Associated media

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *