The Art of Healing
Full project title: The Art of Healing
Duration: August 2020-October 2021
Funder: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Project Leader for SPE: Dr Michael Buser
Other UWE Bristol researchers:
- Sara Jones (Bath Spa University)
- Dr Loraine Leeson (Middlesex University)
- Anurupa Roy (Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust)
- Vikram Sinha
- The Dolphin International School
The Art of Healing is an interdisciplinary research project that is studying the potential for the arts and art-based therapies to support the mental health and wellbeing of children affected by conflict. The investigation is taking place in Kashmir, one of the most militarised areas in the world where everyday life is impacted by political and social crises as well as moments of violence and unrest. Our primary objective is to draw on the healing power of the arts to provide forms of expression and healing to children in the area. We are doing this through collaboration with the Dolphin International School in Pulwama who have integrated arts activities into their curriculum and school activities.
Arts activities and arts-based therapies are being designed to support a range of outcomes. These include supporting a sense of belonging, group working and emotional expression. Another important part of the programme is to facilitate the children’s agency, self-esteem and pride through creative processes. This work is being conducted over one year during which time 30 students (ages 11 to 15) are exploring activities such as painting, drawing, puppetry, and movement as a means to express themselves as individuals and as members of a ‘collective'.