Art in social work practice theory and practice: international perspectives 9781138501249, 1138501247

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Table of contents :
Half Title
Series Page
Title Page
Copyright Page
List of contributors
Introduction: arts in social work practice: from theory to practice, an introductory chapter
SECTION I: Introduction: theoretical connections between art and social work
1 Why are arts-based interventions useful in social work practice?
2 Ethics, theatre, and judgement
3 Enhancing capabilities for social change with the arts
4 Recreating the social work imagination: embedding the arts within Scottish social work
5 Photovoice project: participatory research and action with women in post-disaster Japan
6 Connecting social work and art: reflections on theory and practice
7 Theatre of the Oppressed and social work: an opportunity for social awareness through theatre
8 Applied arts and social justice: an essential partnership for social work education
9 Using arts as a feminist empowerment tool: the example of social workers in Israel
SECTION II: Introduction: examples of micro arts practice in social work
10 Arts and the elderly: the ‘Hidden Legacy’ project
11 Arts with teenagers: a French experience
12 From bystander to engaged witness: seeing through the social action and social justice lens and the scope for art therapy within the framework of social work in India
13 The implementation of photovoice in group intervention for children of alcohol-addicted parents
14 Therapeutic applications of hip-hop with U.S. homeless adults with severe mental illness
15 Using arts to coproduce knowledge with service users and to enhance salutogenic coping of marginalized Bedouin youth in Israel
16 Using arts to engage community: Nepal and Canadian experiences
SECTION III: Introduction: macro-level arts-based interventions in community development and societal change
17 Community theatre and community work: a Sri Lankan experience
18 Film as social change: from giving voice to giving a stage
19 Moving into Dance in South Africa
20 Recreating creative social work: insights from nepal 2015 disasters
21 Safe at Home: an Australian example of arts-based community-focused practice
22 Advancing the creativity of girls living in underserved neighborhoods through an arts-based social enterprise: a theory of action revealed by an instrumental case
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Art in Social Work Practice

This is the first book ever to be published on arts use in social work. ­Bringing together theoretical connections between arts and social work, and with practice examples of arts in micro and macro social work practice from around the world, the book aims to inspire the reader with new ideas. It provides specific skills, defines what is social rather than fine or projective art use, and explains the theoretical connection between art and social work. It has chapters from all over the world, showing how arts are adjusted to different cultural contexts. Section I explores the theoretical connections between art and social work, including theories of resilience, empowerment, inclusion and creativity as they relate to art use in social work. Section II describes specific interventions with different populations. Each chapter also summarizes the skills and hands-on knowledge needed for social workers to use the practical elements of using arts for social workers not trained in these fields. The third section does the same for arts use in community work and as social change and policy. Art in Social Work Practice provides theoretical but also hands-on ­k nowledge about using arts in social work. It extends the fields of both social work and arts therapy and serves as a key resource for students, academics and practitioners interested in gaining the theoretical understanding and specific skills for using social arts in social work, and for arts therapists interested in using social theories. Ephrat Huss is a professor of social work and art therapist at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She heads an innovative MA social work specialization on arts for social work practice and she has published extensively on arts for social workers and on using arts-based research to access the experience of marginalized groups. Eltje Bos is a professor of cultural and social dynamics at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and a drama teacher; the role and impact of arts in social work is one of her fields of research. With her research group and the BA and MA in social work, she explores, with the use of arts-based research, how social and cultural activities can enhance liveability in a diverse and dynamic city.

Routledge Advances in Social Work

Participatory Pedagogic Impact Research Co-production with Community Partners in Action Mike Seal Consciousness-Raising Critical Pedagogy and Practice for Social Change Nilan Yu Intersectionality in Social Work Activism and Practice in Context Edited by Suryia Nayak and Rachel Robbins Conversation Analysis for Social Work Talking with Youth in Care Gerald deMontigny Older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People Minding the Knowledge Gap Andrew King, Kathryn Almack, Yiu-Tung Suen and Sue Westwood Visual Communication for Social Work Practice Power, Culture, Analysis Sonia Magdalena Tascon Art in Social Work Practice Theory and Practice: International Perspectives Edited by Ephrat Huss and Eltje Bos

Art in Social Work Practice Theory and Practice: International Perspectives

Edited by Ephrat Huss and Eltje Bos

First published 2019 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2019 selection and editorial matter, Ephrat Huss and Eltje Bos; individual chapters, the contributors The right of Ephrat Huss and Eltje Bos to be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Huss, Ephrat, editor. | Bos, Eltje, editor. Title: Art in social work practice: theory and practice: international perspectives / Ephrat Huss and Eltje Bos. Description: 1st Edition. | New York: Routledge, 2018. | Series: Routledge advances in social work | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2018024312 | ISBN 9781138501249 (hardback) | ISBN 9781315144245 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Social service. | Art therapy. Classification: LCC HV40 .H87 2018 | DDC 361.3/2—dc23 LC record available at ISBN: 978-1-138-50124-9 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-315-14424-5 (ebk) Typeset in Times New Roman by codeMantra


List of contributors Introduction: arts in social work practice: from theory to practice, an introductory chapter



E phrat H uss

Section I

Introduction: theoretical connections between art and social work


E phrat H uss

1 Why are arts-based interventions useful in social work practice?


E ltj e B os

2 Ethics, theatre, and judgement


E mma Brodz inski and T ony E vans

3 Enhancing capabilities for social change with the arts


Paola de Brui j n and E rik Jansen

4 Recreating the social work imagination: embedding the arts within Scottish social work


S usan L evy

5 Photovoice project: participatory research and action with women in ­post-disaster Japan M ieko Yoshihama


vi Contents 6 Connecting social work and art: reflections on theory and practice


M el G ray and L eanne S chubert

7 Theatre of the Oppressed and social work: an opportunity for social awareness through theatre


L inda Ducca C isneros

8 Applied arts and social justice: an essential partnership for social work education


Shelley C ohen Konrad and L ori P ower

9 Using arts as a feminist empowerment tool: the example of social workers in Israel


Noa Barkai - K ra

Section II

Introduction: examples of micro arts practice in social work


E phrat H uss

10 Arts and the elderly: the ‘Hidden Legacy’ project


I da van der L ee and W. ( Bill) W ei

11 Arts with teenagers: a French experience


A ngé lique G oz lan and C é line M asson

12 From bystander to engaged witness: seeing through the social action and social justice lens and the scope for art therapy within the framework of social work in India


Oihika C h akrabarti

13 The implementation of photovoice in group intervention for children of alcohol-addicted parents


M enny M alka

14 Therapeutic applications of hip-hop with U.S. homeless adults with severe mental illness R aphael T ravis Jr . and A aron H . Rodwin


Contents  vii 15 Using arts to coproduce knowledge with service users and to enhance salutogenic coping of marginalized Bedouin youth in Israel


Hassen Ganayiem, Orna Braun-Lewensohn, and Ephrat Huss

16 Using arts to engage community: Nepal and Canadian experiences


M arleny M. B onnycastle and T uula H einonen

Section III

Introduction: macro-level arts-based interventions in community development and societal change


E ltj e B os

17 Community theatre and community work: a Sri Lankan experience


Shamila Sivakumaran

18 Film as social change: from giving voice to giving a stage


G riet V erschelden , Joli j n De H aene , T i js Van S teenberghe , and Luc De Droogh

19 Moving into Dance in South Africa


Nadia V irasamy

20 Recreating creative social work: insights from Nepal 2015 disasters


Bala R a j u N ikku, Pradipta K adambari , and A nne R iggs

21 Safe at Home: an Australian example of arts-based community-focused practice


L eanne S chubert and M el Gray

22 Advancing the creativity of girls living in underserved neighborhoods through an arts-based social enterprise: a theory of action revealed by an instrumental case


David Moxley




Noa Barkai-Kra is a doctoral student and a lecturer in the social work department at Ben-Gurion University, specializing in creative tools and community work for social change. Noa, in her fieldwork, research, and teaching, connects between arts and social change, group work, conflict negotiation, community organizing, and activism. Marleny M. Bonnycastle  is an associate professor at the University of ­ Manitoba, Faculty of Social Work. She has worked with diverse populations including indigenous people in several Latin American countries and Canada. She employs different research methods, including arts, community-based, feminist, qualitative, and visual research methods like photovoice. Paola de Bruijn works for Social Educational Care at HAN University of Applied Sciences, Nijmegen campus, The Netherlands. Her PhD project at Brunel University in London, in cooperation with the Research Center for Social Support and Community Care at HAN, is about art, the ageing process and education in a social pedagogical way. Paola’s overall ambition is to develop, trial and monitor a new module that enhances the ability of Social Work students working with images and with people in their later years, focusing on the existential dimension of ageing. As a visual artist and art teacher she professionalized her interests in what working with images in a Social Work Profession can mean for people. Orna Braun-Lewensohn  is an associate professor and the head of the ­Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel). She is considered an expert in this field of personal and communal coping resources in different cultural groups. Her theoretical perspective is the salutogenic model of Antonovsky and the coping theory of Lazarus and Folkman. Emma Brodzinski is a senior lecturer in drama and theatre at Royal H ­ olloway, University of London with a research expertise in theatre in health and theatre and therapy.

Contributors  ix Oihika Chakrabarti is a practicing art psychotherapist, art therapy educator, community arts practitioner and the founder-director of Manahkshetra Foundation, (art for social change), India. She was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship by the Ministry of Human Resource Development to pursue post-graduate training in art psychotherapy at Goldsmiths College, University of London. As the first formally trained art therapist to return to India in 1999, she spent her early years as a consultant art psychotherapist and visiting faculty with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.  As a pioneer with nearly two decades of experience, she has extensive experience in clinical settings and has worked within rehabilitative, post-­ disaster/humanitarian crisis settings post-tsunami and the Mumbai floods conducting art therapy work with at-risk population groups. She has spearheaded many art therapy programs with educational institutes including schools and museums, and conducted capacity building training for grassroots-level NGOs. Over the years she has been invited to initiate and taught art therapy courses and conducted many lectures and workshops at the post-graduate university level in India and abroad. Currently she divides her time between her clinical practice at Ahan Mental Health Clinic in Kolkata, as a creative life-skills trainer to the British Council, Kolkata, her professional doctorate in art therapy at Mount Mary University in the US, and her non-profit work at M ­ anahkshetra Foundation, a NGO she spearheaded in 2004, aimed at using art for social change in India. She is also a peer reviewer on Goldsmiths Online Journal, UK, a global ambassador for the European Consortium of Arts Therapies Education (ECArTE) and an international mentor to the American Art Therapy Association, (AATA) USA. Luc De Droogh  has a master’s in social work and in literary sciences. He is teaching social work and adult education at the University College ­Ghent, Belgium. He has published book chapters and articles in these fields, for instance ‘The Socio-Economic Outsider: Labour and Its Poor’ (with Bart Keunen) in ‘The City in Literature’ (2014), Kevin McNamara (Cambridge University Press). Linda Ducca Cisneros is a social worker and has a master’s degree in social work research methods. In the non-formal system of education, she has taken several theatre courses mostly related to social issues. She works as a pre-doctoral research assistant at Complutense University of Madrid. Her research is mainly about social work with groups with adolescents and how to improve the quality of practice. She has experience leading groups of adolescents in different countries and hopes to continue facilitating groups, in order to get research linked to the actual practice. Tony Evans  is professor of social work at Royal Holloway, University of London. His current research explores discretion as a creative practice and professional ethics as a practical decision-making process.

x Contributors Hassan Ganayiem  is a doctoral student in the Conflict Management and Resolution Program at Ben-Gurion University. He is an educational psychologist at Al-Kasom Regional Council and has served as an emergency coordinator in the psychological service of the council for the past five years, in addition to his work as a psychologist at the Centre for Resilience for Bedouin Society for the past four years. Hassan also a lecturer at Kaye College in the Department of Special Education and in the novice teachers induction unit. Angélique Gozlan  is a PhD in psychopathology and psychoanalysis, associate researcher at the University Paris VII and Lyon 2 and clinical psychologist. Her research focuses on the link between art, psychic process and adolescence. She also works on the psychic issues of social networks and video games. She has published and lectured widely on this area. She is teaching specialized educators the links between social work and psychology through different populations. Mel Gray is professor of social work in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales,  Australia. Her  wide-ranging research interests include social work, social policy, social development, knowledge production, research use, and ­evidence-based practice in social work and the human services. Theory and knowledge for practice, including culturally relevant knowledge along with the influence of global forces, such as neoliberalism, on local welfare and development are constant themes in her research. Jolijn De Haene  has a master in social work and welfare studies. She’s a researcher and teacher at the Department of Social Work at University College Ghent, focusing mainly on youth, youth work, urban education, citizenship and diversity. She also has expertise in various research methods, including visual and participatory methods, with different target groups and in different contexts. Jolijn is also volunteer and board member in a youth work organisation that provides homework support and meaningful leisure time for young people in vulnerable situations. Tuula Heinonen, currently a senior scholar at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba, holds a DPhil from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK. She has also completed an advanced diploma in art therapy from Vancouver Art Therapy Institute and makes use of arts-based methods in teaching and research. Erik Jansen  works as an associate professor for the Research Center for Social Support and Community Care at HAN University of Applied Sciences, Nijmegen campus, The Netherlands. His main research interests focus on wellbeing from the perspective of human capabilities and particularly how social professionals can enhance the capabilities of persons by applying art and technology. He is further interested in

Contributors  xi networked learning processes among in the field of care and wellbeing. Erik completed his PhD on an experimental study in music cognition in 2003, and has since then been using a variety of research methods among which notably narrative and action research approaches. Pradipta BP Kadambari is an educator with 12 years of experience in teaching of master and bachelor level course in science. She is master in science and master in international family studies. She is a founding member and now head of higher educational institute, Kadambari Memorial ­College of Science and Management, in Nepal. She had served as chief of executive officer of Nepal School of Social Work from January 2013 to ­February 2018.  She is also a psychosocial support trainer and a researcher. She has been a research coordinator and researcher in collaborative research with ­Griffith University, Ohio State University, and University of Utah in different social work researches, evaluations, and monitoring of projects of different non-governmental organizations in Nepal. Shelley Cohen Konrad  is Professor and Director of the University of New England School of Social Work and founding Director (2009) of the UNE-Interprofessional Education Collaborative, an initiative that promotes shared learning, research, collaborative practice and service. Shelley has 30 years of clinical social work experience serving children and families. She co-founded two community programs, Kids First and Touchstone that offer low barrier services to children and their identified family systems. Shelley’s research and scholarship focuses on relational practices, arts and social work, affective learning, cultural stakeholder engagement, and interprofessional pedagogy. Her book Practice with Children and Families: A Relational Perspective, published in 2013, is being revised for a second edition. Shelley has keen interest in developing transformative educational methods that prepare health and social care workers to balance the rigor and constraints of twenty-first century health care with person-centered, caring approaches. She is an avid reader, art collector, gardener, baker, and enjoys time with her family on the coast of Maine. Ida van der Lee is a community artist in The Netherlands who specializes in so-called ritual art. Her artistic practice has dealt with sensitive social issues since she started in 1996. She has discovered over the years that common everyday activities and objects can be used to develop rituals, which, if properly designed, help people break out of their shells and relate their stories from deep within. Van der Lee studied autonomous design at the HKU University of Arts Utrecht, graduating in 1995. During her studies, she spent two periods abroad, in 1993 in Brittany, France and in 1994 in Wroclaw, Poland. During that time landscapes and places played an important role for her.

xii Contributors Susan Levy is a senior lecturer in social work, University of Dundee, UK. Her research focuses on social inclusion, wellbeing and citizenship, with a particular focus on disability, arts in social work, and social policy. Menny Malka is a faculty member of the School of Social Work at Sapir Academic College and adjunct lecture of the social work department at Ben-Gurion University. His research areas include at-risk children and adolescents, marginalized communities and populations experiencing exclusion, domestic violence and international social work. His research is based on collaborative methodologies including photovoice, participatory action research, and community-based participatory research. Céline Masson is full professor of clinical psychopathology at Jules Verne University in France. In addition, she is also a psychoanalyst at OSE (Oeuvre de secours aux enfants). She was involved with the Pandora Research Association on creation process http://www.association-pandora. org/. She is also director of the Collection Pandora at In Press editor David Moxley, PhD, is director of the University of Alaska Anchorage School of Social Work where he also serves as a professor. His research includes the advancement of intervention design in social work through the use of the arts and humanities. Bala Raju Nikku is currently Assistant Professor with School of Social Work and Human Service, Faculty of Education and Social Work, Thompson Rivers University, Canada. Dr. Nikku was Senior Research Fellow, Durham University, UK, in 2015. He served as the Founding Director of the Nepal School of Social Work (NSSW). He held visiting positions with School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang and Faculty of Social Administration, Thammasat University, Thailand. Dr. Nikku served on the executive boards of International Association of Schools of Social Work ( IASSW) and Asia Pacific Association of Social Work Education (APASWE). His research interests include Green Social Work, International Social Work, Social Policy in Asia. Lori Power is a faculty member and Founding Coordinator (2014) of the University of New England School of Social Work’s Applied Arts and Social Justice Certificate program, the first program of its kind in the United States. Lori has been teaching at the University of New England for over 20 years in the departments of English, Humanities, Women and Gender Studies, History, and Social Work, and was also the previous Coordinator of the Learning Assistance Center and Instructional Designer in UNE’s online learning program. She has long used arts and creativity to promote social change in the form of television, theatre, dance, and innovative educational practices, both on campus and online. Her work in the Applied Arts and Social Justice Certificate is the most rewarding work of her life.

Contributors  xiii Aaron H. Rodwin is a clinical social worker and therapist using creative arts and music-based strategies to help cultivate therapeutic growth. He is involved in research projects at NYU and Columbia University/NYS Psychiatric Institute specialized in using creative arts and ­music-based strategies to help cultivate therapeutic growth. Anne Riggs is a visual artist with a research and practice interest into the effects of arts practice on recovery after trauma, loss and grief. She has built her creative life around the artist’s role in expressing and responding to the most profound human experiences. Her research into trauma, grief and loss has led to acclaimed installation exhibitions that speak to those profound feelings which are so hard to describe in words, as well as journal and book contributions, and conference presentations. She is a cofounder of, Artists in Community International with performing artist Alex Pinder. ­Together they provide professional development training, education and run many projects with communities throughout Nepal, India and Thailand, and within Australia. She works closely with victims of sexual abuse and family violence, and those experiencing life-threatening illness and their family and friends who share feelings of loss and grief. She is a lecturer in BA Community Mental Health and AOD in Melbourne, Australia. Leanne Schubert is an artist and social worker in private practice. Affiliated with The University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia, she has worked as a research associate with co-author Mel Gray for several years. Her research interests include the relationship between social work and art, community practice, and domestic and family violence, and how these are influenced by the contemporary sociopolitical context. Shamila Sivakumaran works as a lecturer in School of Social Work at National Institute of Social Development in Sri Lanka. She obtained her Master of Social Work (MSW) at University of Madras, India with the specialization of Community Development and her bachelor degree in Arts (Drama and Theater and Psychology) from University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Tijs Van Steenberghe has a master in social work. He’s a researcher at the Department of Social Work and E-QUAL at University College Ghent, focusing mainly on professionalisation of social work, the deinstitutionalisation of care, social-artistic practices and the development of peer work. He also has expertise as a photographer and social worker in the development of participatory and artistic projects. Raphael Travis Jr. is associate professor, BSW program director/Texas State University, School of Social Work. Raphael Travis’s research, practice and consultancy work emphasizes positive youth development over the life-course, resilience, and civic engagement. He also investigates creative

xiv Contributors arts, especially Hip-Hop culture, as a source of health and well-being in people’s lives. Dr. Travis is an associate professor and director of the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Program in the School of Social Work at Texas State University.  Dr. Travis’s latest research related to positive youth development and arts-based interventions appear in a variety of academic journals. He is also the author of the book The Healing Power of Hip-Hop. He has been interviewed about his research and book extensively, appearing on a variety of audio, video, and digital media outlets. Griet Verschelden has a PhD in social pedagogy. She is head of the Department of Social Work at the University College Ghent. Her research and teaching interests are on adult education, youth work, community arts, community development, child-friendly cities and urban renewal projects. She published several books, book chapters and articles on these subjects. In a project on urban cracks in the city (Steel, Van Eeghem, Verschelden, & Dekeyrel, 2012), she studied how and why social workers and artists set up artistic and social practices in urban cracks. Nadia Virasamy  serves the position of chief executive of the iconic South African dance organisation Moving into Dance Mophatong (MIDM) that was highly instrumental in the struggle against apartheid. Coming from an academic background Nadia easily fitted in the role of director of education at MIDM in 2005 until her promotion to CEO in 2013. Her undergraduate degree with honours in social science and her master’s in arts, culture and heritage management has well prepared her for the role of thought-leader in the South African dance industry. Nadia sits on the board of a few arts organisations, and still maintains ties to her academic roots through various higher degree institutions. W. (Bill) Wei is a conservation scientist at the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, specialized in the effects of treatments on the condition and perception of objects of art and (moveable) cultural heritage. Mieko Yoshihama is a professor of social work at the University of Michigan, USA. Her research and professional activities focus on the prevention of gender-based violence and the promotion of wellbeing of immigrants and other marginalized communities. Adopting a wide range of research methodologies, including arts-based and participatory methods, she examines the intersectional influence of gender, race/ethnicity, immigration status, and other social positionalities on the risk and consequences of gender-based violence, while also innovating socioculturally relevant prevention/intervention programs. In examining the social construction of the vulnerability of women in disaster, she also works to strengthen policies and program responses.

Introduction Arts in social work practice: from theory to practice, an introductory chapter Ephrat Huss Within the social sciences, there is at present an ‘explosion’ of arts use in practice and research. This includes areas such as arts-based research, visual culture, visual anthropology, community art, photovoice, action research and practice methods, arts therapy, outsider arts, and arts-in-social conflict and social change (Foster, 2007; Mitchell, 2011; Egberg, Wiberg, Lundman, & Hallgren, 2013). Social work has been slow to embrace these directions of using the more embodied and phenomenological arts mediums as compared to purely verbal methods of exploration and communication. Arts have not been theorized as a serious methodological structure that has an epistemic rationale for inclusion within social work (Martinez-­Brawley & Endz, 1997; Chamberlayn & Smith, 2008; Story, 2008; Huss, 2017). There has also been relatively little research in the use of art in social work (Wang & Burris, 1994; Chamberlayn & Smith, 2008; Story, 2008; Huss, 2009). Social work is already an integrative profession that struggles with splits between multiple sources of knowledge that social workers have to negotiate in intense situations. These include integrating social versus psychological theories, micro versus macro perspectives, representing versus resisting the system, and global versus culturally specific perspectives, as well as a focus on ­emotion versus cognition or relationship versus content. The question emerges, why include yet another knowledge base, that of the arts? Can we not simply collaborate with art therapists and with community artists when we want? Why do we have to enter into yet another domain, that of the humanities and arts? (Abramovitz, 1993; Bogo, Raphael, & Roberts, 1993; Gibelman, 1999; Gilligan, 2007). This book claims that the arts have much to offer to social work as an integrative methodology that connects between these elements, rather than adding another element. Interest in arts in social work is also apparent in the increase in special interest groups, symposiums, and special issues of journals, and in the huge response we received to our call for papers. This is because arts are an excellent way to embody the humanistic, empowerment, resilience-focused, and social-critical theories that are central to social work practice. The ways that arts do this are illustrated in the chapters in this book. These chapters show that art is not another paradigm, but rather, an excellent methodology used to embody an integrative space for these diverse

2  Ephrat Huss social work elements in micro, macro, and social change practice, as well as in teaching and policy making. This practice knowledge from the field, as well as its theoretical thinking, is captured throughout this book. Our theoretical first section of the book shows how arts indeed integrate between the psychological and social theories used in social work, that is, between man and context. Using psychological theories, then the humanistic and resilience elements of arts are stressed. One can argue that arts as humanistic self-expression defines service users as a unique configuration that cannot be defined (and stigmatized) by others. In other words, neglecting arts expression is neglecting an important component of who we, the service users and social workers, are and what makes us unique. Secondly, arts are a central resilience factor for many people. Indeed, people have always used the arts to address and express pain and adversary, so as to enhance their resilience through symbolic interaction and self-expression (Kaye & Bleep, 1997; Zelizer, 2003). On a macro level, creativity as a socially and culturally mediated practice is a natural way to reignite communication, team work, problem solving, cultural understanding, and decision making. The multisensory and broad hermeneutic base of arts enables the evolution of the sense of self in the context of stress losses and transitions and the formation of a more positive interpretation of the experience (Nelson & Fivush, 2004; Hass-Cohen & Carr, 2008). The arts enable the constant structuring and restructuring of a coherent mental map of a world. Both adults and children naturally and constantly attempt to express themselves and to enhance their resilience through play, work, and creative arts, even under the most difficult circumstances. It seems that social work should not ignore this (Frost, 2005; Hass-Cohen & Carr, 2008; Mitchell, 2011; Huss, 2012). This is because the arts enable the retrieval and reprocessing of traumatic memories that are often encoded in sensory memory and that words are not enough to access. They are thus a natural way of creating resilience in that they recreate a connection between cognition, emotion, and the senses that enables new perspectives and effective problem solving (Csikszentmihaly, 1990). Arts enhance a sense of coherence, through ‘managing’ one’s own story, gaining new understandings and meanings, and communicating it to others, thus utilizing social capital (Antonovsky, 1979). On a macro level, this process confirms the behaviour, ideas, and meanings that characterize a community as a whole. These resilience and humanistic theories situate art within social work, as compared to art therapy that is based on a more dynamic understanding of art as an expression of the unconscious and as a projective tool within therapy. These theoretical connections are outlined in the first part of the book and illustrated in actual interventions, especially in the second, but also in the third section of this book with specific methods and techniques outlined. However, maybe the most relevant connection for social work to the arts is the ability of the art to be a methodology for empowerment and social critical theories. This is what differentiates arts in social work from

Introduction  3 art therapy. This is shown in our theoretical section, pointing to how arts enable silenced voices to be excavated, heard (by the creators and the observers of the arts), and intensified through the dual level of creating or engaging with arts products, and through this, communicating its meanings to others. Arts—through the tension between form and content—provide a reflective space and further exploration of one’s experience, providing a base to coproduce and redefine social work and service user’s knowledge. Arts thus transform people internally, but also societally–externally. This is because arts are a broad enough space to enable multiple understandings and to disrupt automatic thinking. This enables individuals and communities to evolve and shift meanings in relation to changing social contexts and to convey them to others in an embodied way that arouses understanding and empathy (Friere & Macedo, 1987; Wang & Burris, 1994; Hogan, 1997; Foster, 2007; Huss, 2012). On a psychosocial level, arts sublimate and symbolize conflict, rather than acting it out in violent behaviour (Rubin, 1999; ­Schaverien, 1999). Symbols of resistance are used instead of violent resistance. Traditionally, the arts have always been an educational tool for transmitting information and for influencing people, as shown in fine arts, religious arts, propaganda, advertising, and social change arts (Rosal, 2001; Rubin, 2001; Bresler, 2007). This is because the arts prompt fast perceptual processing and information gathering, as well as connecting between emotions and cognitions through the aesthetic experience (Freire & Macedo, 1987; Silver, 2001; Foster, 2007; Huss, 2012). This process makes the arts into a “space of agency in which we can…look back, and at one another, naming what we see” (Hooks, 1992, p. 208). Thus, the shift to arts helps to counteract the verbal supremacy of privileged narratives (White & Epston, 1990). These theories are outlined in our first theoretical section and utilized in the case studies in Section II, and especially, in Section II. That is, the theoretical part of the book defines the psychological and social theories at the base of using arts in social work, and the next two sections show how this is used through psychological, in Section II, and social, in Section II of the book. Most importantly, as stated, the arts enable the integration of both personal and psychological theories by creating a personal interpretation of a cultural reality in an externalized image. In this way, a ­negotiation between individual and social reality can be initiated (Mahon, 2000; ­Harrington, 2004; Huss, 2008, 2012). Arts are an intense medium for embodying and concretizing the person-in-context. They capture the interface between subjective-psychological knowledge and objective-­ social knowledge through compositionally focusing on the relationship between figure and background or through embodying and concretizing the person-in-context (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990; Zelizer, 2003; Huss, 2012). On this level, the divisions of the three sections of the book are meant to be read as an integrative whole. Overall, arts are central to man’s coping with adversary, meaning making, resilience, and communication with

4  Ephrat Huss self and others, and as such, it cannot be left out of social work practice. Additionally, art’s basic characteristic of creativity is much needed in social work. Growing technical, rational approaches and impoverishment of services have highlighted the need for embodied, action-focused, transformative, and critical methods for social workers which facilitate wider opportunities for practitioners to foster different ways of knowing and understanding. All of the three sections together create a social definition of art, or a definition of art for social work as going beyond art as a projective tool to access the unconscious and art as a fine art aesthetic discourse. Arts are shown in the three sections of the book to be have completely different functions within different sociocultural locations, ranging from crafts to visual and popular culture to religious expression to didactic tools to decoration or to ‘making [something] special’ to a way to generate income to a way to organize space, and more (Arnhiem, 1996; Mahon, 2000; Hills, 2001). This, throughout the chapters in this book in the second and third sections, is shown to include photos on the walls and selfies of service users, cooking, religious, and cultural symbols, social media, favourite TV shows, high and low cultural activities, and any other definition that service users have for arts that are meaningful for them. Social workers can participate in these definitions of art without studying art, but as expressive humanistic and culturally contextualized humans, who understand social art and can collaborate with professional artists when needed, while still being in charge of how the arts are utilized for the aims of social work and through the theories of social work, that is, not as an external element in terms of its aims. This type of social art includes art-making, the art product, and maybe most importantly, the reactions of creators and others to the artworks (Huss, 2012, 2015; Huss & Sela-Amit, 2018). Our aim in this book is firstly to outline the above descried psychological and social-theoretical connections, and secondly, to make art in social work more theoretically integrated. We wish to define what we mean by art in social work through these theories and examples. We also hope to demystify art for social workers, who often think of it through psychological or fine art social prisms rather than through social, ‘non-artist’ paradigms and the theories of art described above. This will work to make arts more accessible as a specific type of ‘social work’ art practice, based in social work knowledge and skills, as well as in collaboration with artists. We hope that you enjoy and learn from this book.

References Abramovitz, M. (1993). Should all social work students be educated for social change? Journal of Social Work Education, 29, 6–11. Antonovsky, A. (1979). Health, stress, and coping: New perspectives on mental and physical well-being. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Therapy.

Introduction  5 Arnhiem, R. (1996). The split and the structure: Twenty-eight essays. Berkeley: ­University of California Press. Bogo, M., Raphael, D., & Roberts, R. (1993). Interests, activities, and self-­ identification among social work students: Toward a definition of social work identity. Journal of Social Work Education, 29, 279–292. Bresler, L. (Ed.). (2007). International handbook of research in arts education (Vol. 16). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer Science & Business Media. Chamberlayn, P., & Smith, M. (2008). Art creativity and imagination in social work practice. London, UK: Routledge. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York, NY: Harper Collins. Egberg, K. T., Wiberg B., Lundman B., & Hallgren, G. U. (2013). Qualitative ­content analysis in art psychotherapy research: Concepts, procedures, and measures to reveal the latent meaning in picture and the words attached to the pictures. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 40, 101–107. Foster, V. (2007). Ways of knowing and showing: Imagination and representation in feminist participatory social research. Journal of Social Work Practice, 21(3), 361–376. Freire, P., & Macedo, D. (1987). Literacy, reading the word and the world. London, UK: Routledge. Frost, J. (2005). Lessons from disasters: Play, work, and the creative arts. Childhood Education, 82(1), 2–8. Gibelman, M. (1999). The search for identity: Defining social work – past, present, future. Social Work, 44(4), 298–310. Gilligan, P. (2007). Well-motivated reformists or nascent radicals: How do applicants to the degree in social work see social problems, their origins and solutions? British Journal of Social Work, 37, 735–760. Harrington, A. (2004). Art and social theory: Sociological arguments in aesthetics. London, UK: Polity Press Ltd. Hass-Cohen, N., & Carr, R. (Eds.). (2008). Art therapy and clinical neuroscience. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Hills, P. (2001). Modern art in the USA: Issues and controversies of the 20th century. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Hogan, S. (1997). Feminist approaches to art therapy. London and New York: Routledge. Hooks, B. (1992). Black looks: Race and representation. London, UK: Turnaround. Huss, E. (2008). Shifting spaces and lack of spaces: Impoverished Bedouin ­women’s experience of cultural transition through arts-based research. Visual ­Anthropology, 21(1), 58–71. Huss, E. (2009). A coat of many colours: Towards an integrative multilayered model of art therapy. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 36(3), 154–160. Huss, E. (2012). What we see and what we say: Using images in research, therapy, empowerment, and social change. London, UK: Routledge. Huss, E. (2015). A theory-based approach to art therapy: Implications for teaching, research, and practice. London, UK: Routledge. Huss, E. (2017). Arts as a methodology for connecting between micro and macro knowledge in social work: Examples of impoverished Bedouin women’s images in Israel. The British Journal of Social Work, 48(1), 73–87. Huss, E., & Sela-Amit, M. (2018). Arts in social work, do we really need it? Research on Social Work Practice. doi: 10.1177/1049731517745995.

6  Ephrat Huss Kaye, S., & Bleep, M. (1997). Arts and healthcare. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley. Mahon, M. (2000). The visible evidence of cultural producers. Annual Review of Anthropology, 29, 467–492. Martinez-Brawley, E., & Endz, M. (1997). At the edge of the frame: Beyond science and art in social work. British Journal of Social Work, 28, 197–212. Mitchell, C. (2011). Doing visual research. London, UK: Sage Publications. Nelson, K., & Fivush, R. (2004). The emergence of autobiographical memory: A social cultural developmental theory. Psychological Review, 111(2), 486–511. Rosal, M. (2001). Cognitive-behavioral art therapy. In J. A. Rubin (Ed.), A ­ pproaches to art therapy: Theory and technique, 2nd ed. (pp. 210–225). New York, NY: Brunner/ Mazel. Rubin, J. (1999). Art therapy: An introduction. Philadelphia, PA: Bruner and Mazel. Schaverien, J. (1999). The revealing image: Analytical art psychotherapy in theory and in practice. London, UK: Routledge. Silver, R. (2001). Art as language access to thoughts and emotions through stimulus drawings. Philadelphia, PA: Brunner-Routledge. Story, L. (2008). SwART a natural pairing. Journal of Creative Work, 2(1), 172–185. Wang, C., & Burris, M. (1994). Empowerment through photo-novella. Health ­Education Quarterly, 21, 172–185. White, M., & Epston, D. (1990). Narrative means to therapeutic ends. New York, NY: Norton & Company. Zelizer, C. (2003). The role of artistic processes in peacebuilding in Bosnia-­ Herzegovina. Peace and Conflict Studies, 10, 62–75.

Section I

Introduction Theoretical connections between art and social work Ephrat Huss ‘Theory’ sounds like a nice pursuit for academics and writers, but social practitioners with a huge group of clients to deal with often feel they don’t have time to delve into theoretical issues. Theory and practice are often experienced as two disconnected areas: ‘practice knowledge’ as being different from ‘theoretical knowledge’. Theory raises the split between psychological and social theories and between social work as an ‘art’ and as a ‘science’ as described in the general introduction. Social work has been slow to embrace its theoretical connections with the arts, using arts more as a leitmotif, that is, as an illustration of words or as a general romanticized concept of creativity. Often it is used as the opposite of ‘science’ (although science is, of course, very creative, and arts can be very exact). We have put this theoretical part first in the book as we believe it is vital to theorize the arts connection to social work so that arts become another methodology within the epistemology of social work, rather than becoming a form of ‘doing’ an activity or illustration, or becoming a distraction from social work’s aims. That is, practice must always emerge from clear theory. In this case, this will enable social workers to harness the arts to their own aims in their work and to utilize their own creativity. Rather than following recipes of ‘what to do’, they will think of ‘why to do’ and will work from this (Wang & Burris, 1994; Martinez & Endz, 1997; Chamberlayn & Smith, 2008; Story, 2008; Huss, 2015, 2017). As stated, each psychological and social theory used in social work, ­including dynamic, object relations, ego psychology, humanistic, existential, gestalt, narrative, mind-body, CBT, systemic empowerment, critical theories, positive psychology, conflict negotiation, community organization and intervention, and cultural theories, to name a few, has a conception of what is a problem, what is a solution, and what is the role of art in relation to these. This provides a basis for understanding the relationship between art and social work. The use of art through theory enables the deconstruction of the concept of using art according to a specific ‘population’, which is problematic as it

8  Ephrat Huss provides a static definition of service users according to the single parameter of their presenting problem. Additionally, all types of problems that define populations are conceptualized differently according to different theories. For example, if addiction is understood as an illness, then art will be used to self-regulate the system. If addiction is understood as a defence against traumatic memories or is understood as a lack of hope due to social marginalization, then art will be used in a different way. The good thing about art is that it can hold all of these understandings simultaneously, thus providing a broad hermeneutic and integrative space for social workers to implement their interdisciplinary understandings. An example I use to explain this is the story of the coat of many colours of Joseph in the Bible (Genesis, 37, p. 3), as a symbol familiar to many. ­Joseph is one of twelve brothers, ten of whom are his half-brothers born to four different mothers. Joseph’s own mother, Rachel, died giving birth to a younger brother. Joseph was his father’s favourite son and, consequently, his brothers’ most-hated sibling. They threw him into a pit because of their hatred. His most treasured possession was a coloured coat, a gift from his father that he wore at all times. He is described in the Bible as a troubled boy wondering around in this brilliantly coloured coat. How can social workers use this art object, the coat of many colours, through different theories? Using psychological theories, from a dynamic perspective, the coloured coat could be understood as a transitional object, or in terms of object relations, as a metaphor for Joseph’s narcissistic compensation for his lack of an interjected mother object. From a Jungian perspective, the coat is a kind of mandala, or expression of self, and the pit into which his brothers throw him can be understood as his meeting with his ‘shadow’. From a humanistic perspective, the coat is a metaphor for a disturbed young man trying to define his specific ‘colours’ and holding on to his holistic potential. From a narrative and CBT perspective, the coat is a symbol that gives him strength to continue in the face of his brothers’ rejection. The meanings attributed to the coat can be explored with Joseph, and the coat can be changed as needed, for example, by modulating the intensity of its colours, deciding when to wear it, or by creating a set of different coats. Using social theories, from a systemic perspective, the coat is an expression of Joseph’s dominant role within the family system and of the coalition between him and his father. From a social–cultural perspective, considering Biblical tribal culture, the coat is an accepted sign of bestowing the social role of leader of the family onto the most suitable child even in the face of competition over who will lead the family. From a queer-theory perspective, the coat can symbolize gay pride. From an empowerment perspective, the coat can symbolize the rejection of accepted ways of dressing or a defiance against feeling invisible as a marginal Jewish group that becomes slave or visually signifying social responsibility to others. Again, these meanings can be understood and extended into actions, such as making a coat for all of the brothers in the family, defining social actions for each colour of the

Introduction: theoretical connections  9 coat, or thinking where to wear it so that it is most visible and effective. The coat can be understood through these and through many additional theories, but most importantly, it can hold all of these different theoretical perspectives together. The social worker, if she understands the theoretical meanings of the coat, can decide which direction to take in terms of utilizing this art object for the aims of intervention at that particular time, and maybe can shift between the different understandings throughout the treatment period. From the above, we see that the arts can be extremely useful for social work, if, as outlined in the general introduction, it is defined broadly as a type of visual culture that goes beyond individualized and expressive arts (i.e., the service user’s coat). All of these ideas are present with the chapters of this section. The first chapter, by Eltje Bos of Holland, points to the connections between arts and resilience theories. The second chapter, by Emma Brodzinski of England and Tony Evans of the United States, explores the concept of creative thinking in decision-making in social work policy. The chapter will argue that dramatic forms have the potential to capture and represent aspects of practice, which are often missed or ignored in more static, language-focused accounts of expertise. This chapter thus touches upon the creative and embodied aspects of arts as enriching social work decision-making. The third chapter, by Paola de Bruijn and Erik Jansen of Holland, shows how arts can be used to create a personal narrative with the elderly that integrates the spaces between a person’s sense of identity and his social context and interaction with others. The fourth chapter, by Susan Levy of Scotland, explores the use of arts as a humanistic prism that helps to broaden the lens through which practitioners view what people with disabilities and other marginalized groups can and can’t do. The arts are used to create spaces for meaningful activities that focus on the individual’s strengths and personality, thus destigmatizing and enriching the interactions with special-needs service users. The fifth chapter, by Mieko Yoshihama of the United States, shows how photovoice becomes a way to co-produce knowledge with silenced groups of service users about their traumatic experiences that is embedded in their specific cultural context. Leanne Schubert and Mel Gray of Australia, in the sixth chapter, connect arts to social theories, and Ducca Cisneros of Spain, in the seventh chapter, describes how theatre of the oppressed becomes a method to raise critical consciousness. The eighth chapter, by Shelley Cohen Konrad and Lori Power of the United States, focuses on arts as a way to connect and activate social change initiatives by using the growing recognition of the influence of entertainment and the arts on social opinion and politics, showing how art serves as a visible reminder of injustices that provoke critical thought and, at times, social action. In the final chapter of this section, Noa Barkai-Kra of Israel describes the use of arts as a feminist empowerment method for the predominantly female field of social work to fight for their professional rights.

10  Ephrat Huss

References Chamberlayn, P., & Smith, M. (2008). Art creativity and imagination in social work practice. London, UK: Routledge. Huss, E. (2015). A theory based approach to art therapy. London, UK: Routledge. Huss, E. (2017). Arts as a methodology for connecting between micro and macro knowledge in social work: Examples of impoverished Bedouin women’s images in Israel. The British Journal of Social Work, 48(1), 73–87. Martinez-Brawley, E., & Endz, M. (1997). At the edge of the frame: Beyond science and art in social work. British Journal of Social Work, 28, 197–212. Story, L. (2008). SwART a natural pairing. Journal of Creative Work, 2(1), 172–185. Wang, C., & Burris, M. (1994). Empowerment through photo-novella. Health Education Quarterly, 21, 172–185.

1 Why are arts-based interventions useful in social work practice? Eltje Bos

Introduction The social worker, since she is close to the people she works with, either in a neighbourhood or in more or less institutionalized settings, can inspire, ­seduce, accompany, help, and coach people to change the way they see themselves and their environment. Welfare workers in neighbourhoods listen and pay attention to what happens in daily life, knowing how the various inhabitants live together. They observe them in their best and in their most vulnerable moments and support individual participation and social cohesion as well as they can (Bergen & Wilken, 2016). In care-oriented settings, social workers support service users according to their needs, also involving their support systems. In all cases, it is about assisting people to achieve outcomes in their lives that reflect their capabilities and enable them to lead a life they choose (Sen, 1999; Nussbaum, 2011). This contribution explores how and in what context the use of arts-based interventions can contribute to the enhancement of individual, group, and community empowerment. To explore this, we first turn to the domain of positive psychology. Scholars such as Csikszentmihalyi (1997) and ­Frederickson (1998) explored the impact of positive emotions. In doing so, they reacted to the dominant focus on negative emotions in psychology. These emotions tend to narrow people’s focus, thinking, and ‘thought-­action’ capacities. Negative emotions are also the cause of problems for people and their environment. Positive psychology looks at positive emotions and their impact on an individual and her environment.

Positive psychology In 1998, Frederickson published an article titled ‘What good are positive emotions?’ The purpose of the article was ‘to introduce a new model of the form and function of a subset of discrete positive emotions’ (Frederickson, 1998, p. 1). Not only did she level the uneven knowledge base between negative and positive emotions, but she also intended to enhance ‘applications and interventions that might improve individual and collective functioning, psychological well-being, and physical health’ (Frederickson, 1998, p. 1).

12  Eltje Bos She refers to a wide range of research literature to show how—repeated—­ positive emotions influence people’s thinking and acting (thought-action repertoire). People that experience repeated positive emotions feel better and are more open. This, in turn, has the effect of building individual’s physical, intellectual, and social resources. Frederickson refers to this ­finding as the ‘Broaden and Build’ model. The model thus assumes that positive emotions are necessary for sound individual and collective functioning. Frederickson focuses on a subset of positive emotions, including joy, interest, contentment, and love. She considers these emotions to be fundamental human resources with multiple advances. Positive emotions build and broaden the thought-action repertoire and counter lingering negative emotions. They also fuel psychological resilience and help to develop this resilience; thus, they contribute to an upward spiral to enhanced emotional well-being. These positive emotions she refers to can be evoked by a wide variety of activities, among them being the active and receptive participation in arts and culture (Bos, 2016). According to C ­ sikszentmihalyi (1997), people are happiest when they experience a state of ‘flow’. This state is described as ‘being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. This is a feeling everyone has at times, characterized by a feeling of great absorption, engagement, fulfilment, and skill’ (Geirland, 1996, n.p.). Csikszentmihalyi ­suggested that people are happiest in a—repeated—state of flow. Nonetheless, the idea of positive experiences needs to be elaborated a bit more, since positive experiences do not have a similar effect on individuals. We know there are differences in how traumatized people react to therapeutic interventions. In the nineties of the last century, there were findings in psychology that showed strong relations to genes and weak relations to environmental factors (Haidt, 2006). In the late nineties of the last century, Martin Seligman started his research in positive psychology, and his team researched what external factors, next to genetic factors, matter for happiness. Lyubomirsky (cited in Haidt, 2006) found two main factors: the conditions of one’s life and the (voluntary) activities that one undertakes. These conditions consist of matters that are impossible or hard to influence, such as age, gender, ‘race’, and factors that are influenceable, like the place one lives, income, whether one is married/living with someone, and so on. Voluntary activities are activities one chooses to undertake, such as sports, meditation, photography, painting, or learning a language. ­Lyubomirsky brought these factors together in what was called the ­Happiness Formula: H = S + C+ V 1 2 3 4

H is happiness. S is the biological (genetic) set point. C are the conditions/circumstances. V are voluntary activities, the things one chooses to do.

Why are arts-based interventions useful?  13 It is posited that the social professional can inspire, seduce, and support people to undertake voluntary activities and change their circumstances. She can support people to find out what activities they might enjoy or ­stimulate people to look for those activities, and she might even facilitate or offer them. Voluntary activities can work as a motor to acquire or to strengthen a positive self-image, one’s sense of being able to acquire something, and one’s sense ‘of being worth to be’. This effect is also referred to as ‘personal empowerment’ in the terminology of social work. Combined with the Broaden and Build Theory by Frederickson (1998), this personal empowerment implies that people who feel better also tend to be more open to their environment, more capable of influencing the circumstances they live in, and better able to interact with people in their environment. The next step is to explore how and in what context the use of arts-based activities can be connected with social work practice, and why this is the case. Quite a bit of research has been done on the subject of the impact of arts-based activities on people. This research shows that people, in most cases, experience positive feelings or emotions when participating in the arts ­(Matarasso, 1997; McCarthy, Ondaatje, Zakaras, & Brooks, 2004; ­Trienekens  & van Miltenburg, 2009; Belfiore & Bennett, 2010; Van den ­Hoogen, 2010; Scherder, 2015). Most research has been done on the effect of music. Music and Emotion, a handbook by Juslin and Sloboda (2010), contains contributions from a wide variety of academic disciplines, such as neurobiology, (social) psychology, sociology, and political science, on the impact of music. In a chapter of this handbook, Sloboda and Juslin explore how music has been used in a number of applications in society to evoke emotions: e.g. in marketing, political action, and (music) therapy. It too shows that the effect of music on individuals can be strong and that it mainly is experienced as positive. In the realm of social work, arts-based activities are useful because they are voluntary activities people can undertake to experience positive emotions that help them through the rich symbolic space the arts offer, in order to feel better about themselves and to open up to their environment. Since the activities are voluntary, this matches nicely with the ideas of the capability approach (Sen, 1999; Nussbaum, 2011). Why arts-based activities are interesting in a social work context is further explored in the section that follows; however, the ­question of how art can impact the empowerment of groups and networks is more extensively explored in the introduction to Section III of this book.

Impact on the brain Over the last few years, research about what happens in our brain when we are involved in arts-based activities has been published. Most of this research focuses on the activities in our brain when we listen to music, play

14  Eltje Bos music, look at art, or are involved in making art. Art seems to challenge our brain; it causes excitement and evokes feelings of love (Hodges, 2010; Scherder, 2015). This comes about through an interplay of the brainstem, the amygdala, and the prefrontal cortex. By playing music or looking at art and even more so by practicing it, the primitive brain parts are stimulated, the reward circuit starts working, and people tend to want more of this reward. These brain parts are older and govern more primary processes with a direct, often stronger, impact on a human being than the brain parts that look after our cognitive abilities (e.g. the capability to learn and remember knowledge). These brain parts help to express what we like and dislike and to govern our senses, and art forms seem to trigger these parts. Visual arts and music activate our senses much more directly than the spoken word, most obviously through music and visual art. Exactly how this is connected to brain functions needs further research. We know music can cause strong experiences such as physical reactions, for example, chills, shivers, or goose bumps, as well as auditory, tactile, and visual perceptions and a changed experience of body–mind, time–space, and part–whole. Music also can be used as a means of emotion construction to craft one’s emotions in a certain direction (DeNora, 2010). Music and other art forms can help, with the use of imagination, to create a new picture of the future, as Ephrat Huss describes in the introduction to Section II of this book. In their contribution to this book, Marleny Bonnycastle and Tuula Heinoonen show how music can be used in a social work practice. Raphael Travis and Aaron Rodwin show us how hip-hop engages homeless adults with mental illness.

Beyond the word Some art forms are nonverbal, and they are most apt to work with people to express their feelings, especially when subjects are too painful to articulate in spoken language or when people do not have the capacity to express ­themselves in language. This could be caused by a mental disability or people with Alzheimer’s or immigrants/refugees who do not master the language of the country in which they have arrived. A considerable part of the people social professionals work with do have limited language capacities. In many cases, the language skills of the social worker are more elaborate than those of the people with which they work. It can be intimidating for service users with limited language capacities to be forced to express themselves in language, and it can create misunderstandings; this is exhibited when people act as if they understand something or seem to agree with something while this is not the case. So, using language is not always the best way to find out what people feel and what makes them tick. To ask people to express their feelings beyond the word, visual art forms, including photography, music, and dance, are useful in a social work context. People can express their feelings and ideas in multiple ways with space for contradictions. It also aids the

Why are arts-based interventions useful?  15 social worker, since the arts can provide a transitional space to get closer to their service users and so provides for a deeper understanding of their feelings and thoughts (Huss, 2012, 2018). In this book, this is nicely illustrated by many of the contributions.

The body involved In some art forms, the use of the human body is the main instrument of expression, either silently or combined with language. Most professionals are familiar with the idea of how powerful ‘body language’ can be, and as a social worker, it is most important to be able to ‘read’ it and to be aware of and feel the bodily presence of others. In dance and theatre, bodily presence and what happens between bodies (intercorporeity) can be explored. Dance is a strong medium with which to work. It is immensely popular; moving as such is beneficial for several reasons, partially because it enhances oxytocin, a substance functioning as a hormone and neurotransmitter. It is supposed to have an important role in connecting people and in generating pleasant feelings. People describe that they feel free when they dance, and it is a way to enhance a positive self-image. The dancer-educator, Nita Liem, who deeply explored the impact of dance on people of minority groups describes it as a very direct language to express what can’t be said, as dancers get in ‘the zone’ when they dance (Liem, as in de Vos, 2014, p. 43). In this book, some of these aspects are elaborated on in Nadia Virasamy’s chapter, ‘Moving into Dance’. Theatre, and especially participative theatre forms, can also be used to express feelings and to explore questions. In theatre, the body is the main instrument. Theatrical forms as improvisation can help people to express their feelings, not only by language, but also by expressing emotions through their bodies in a staged context. It is also apt to explore questions and solutions in complex situations, such as in more structured forms of participative theatre like forum theatre, nicely explored in the contributions by Linda Ducca Cisneros and Shamila Sivakumaran.

Play The Dutch historian Huizinga (1938) wrote long ago in his book, Homo Ludens, about the role of play for people and its impact on society. He pointed out how play, including concerts, theatre, film, and sports, is enacted outside reason, duty, and truth. Agreements about a time slot for play, the rules, and the place where it is to be enacted distinguishes play from the real; it is a free space next to and outside of the real. Huizinga even noted that people participating as a group in a play activity are connected, just because they do something special or even secret not shared by others in the real world (Bos, 2016). In social work practice, sports is also a well-known activity, and sports also contains a form of play. The actual difference between ‘playing’ in a cultural activity and playing in an activity such as sports

16  Eltje Bos is that cultural play calls on creativity. The participants create something (new). There are some rules, and within those, a lot of freedom. In sports as play, the creative space is more limited. Play in sports generally has a competitive character with a relatively tight set of rules. In recent research in neighbourhoods in Amsterdam to engage citizens in taking (more) care of their social and physical environment, we applied existing interventions in a playful way to loosen people up and explore complex situations with a form of playback theatre. Humour and fun were important factors in this process. Our selection of interventions was inspired by the research group of Engeström, who links the phenomenon of the ­carnival to collaborative learning. A carnival consists of three elements that are interrelated: ‘…everyone joins in trying out new roles, the existing social order and its inequalities are suspended, and everyone interacts without constraints or prejudice…the concept is a powerful tool to connect groups of people’ (de Kreek & Bos, 2017, p. 87). Arts-based interventions can have a strong impact on the brain, provide for activities beyond the spoken word, provide the opportunity to use the body as an instrument of expression, are playful, and can be a space next to the ‘real’. Given these features and the fact that people in most cases enjoy engaging in these activities, arts-based interventions as voluntary activities in social work are apt to build people’s confidence, broaden their views, and develop more interest in their environment.

References Belfiore, E., & Bennett, O. (2010). The social impact of the arts. New York, NY: ­Palgrave McMillan. Bergen, A. M., & Wilken, J. P. (2016). Werken in de wijk. Amsterdam, The ­Netherlands: Uitgeverij SWP. Bos, E. (2016). Music: Playful power for the personal and the political. In S. Trienkens & C. Groot (Eds.), Age included on music, generations, and freedom (pp. 52–63). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: SWP Publishers. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1997). Finding flow: The psychology of engagement with everyday life. New York, NY: Basic Books. De Kreek, M., & Bos, E. (2017). Playfully towards new relations. In S. Majoor, Morel, A. Straathof, F. Suurenbroek, & W. van Winden (Eds.), Lab Amsterdam (pp. 78–88). Bussum, The Netherlands: Thoth. DeNora, T. (2010). Emotion as social emergence: Perspectives from music sociology. In P. N. Juslin & J. A. Sloboda (Eds.), Handbook of music and emotion (pp. 159–183). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. De Vos, N. (2014). Bodily connectedness in motion. A philosophical study on intercorporeity in contemporary dance (in Dutch, with a summary in English). PhD dissertation. Nijmegen, The Netherlands: Tilburg University. Frederickson, B. L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2, 300–319. Gabrielsson, A. (2010). Strong experiences with music. In P. N. Juslin & J. A. ­Sloboda (Eds.), Handbook of music and emotion (pp. 547–574). Oxford, UK: ­Oxford ­University Press.

Why are arts-based interventions useful?  17 Geirland, J. (1996, September). Go with the flow. Wired Magazine, 4.09, http://www. .html Haidt, J. (2006). The happiness hypothesis: Finding modern truth in ancient wisdom. New York, NY: Basic Books. Hodges, D. A. (2010). Psychophysiological measures. In P. N. Juslin & J. A. ­Sloboda (Eds.), Handbook of music and emotion (pp. 279–312). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Hoogen, Q. van den, Elkhuizen, S., & Maanen, H. van. (2010). Kringen in de ­vijver: Hoemeetbaar zijn maatschappelijke effecten van cultuurparticipatiebeleid? ­A msterdam, The Netherlands: Jaarboek Cultuurparticipatie. Huizinga, J. (1938, 2010). Homo Ludens. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press. Huss, E. (2012). Utilizing an image to evaluate stress and coping for social workers. Social Work Education, 31(6), 691–702. Huss, E. (2018). Arts as a methodology for connecting between micro and macro knowledge in social work: Examples of impoverished Bedouin women’s images in Israel. British Journal of Social Work, 48(1), 73–87. Juslin, P. N., & Sloboda, J. A. (Eds.). (2010). Handbook of music and emotion. ­Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Matarasso, F. (1997). Use or ornament: The social impact of participation in the arts. London, UK: Comedia. McCarthy, K. F., Ondaatje, E. H., Zakaras, L., & Brooks, L. (2004). Gifts of the muse: Reframing the debate about the benefits of the arts. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Nussbaum, M. (2011). Creating capabilities: The human development approach. ­Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Scherder, E. (2015). Actieve en passieve kunstbeoefening goed voor de hersenen. Boekman, 104, 4–8. Sen, A. (1999). Development as freedom. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Sloboda, J. A., & Juslin, P. N. (2010). At the interface between the inner and the outer world: Psychological perspectives. In P. N. Juslin & J. A. Sloboda (Eds.), ­Handbook of music and emotion (pp. 73–98). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Trienekens, S., & van Miltenburg, L. (2009). De zingende stad: Sociale en culturele effecten vaneen kunstproject. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Hogeschool van Amsterdam.

2 Ethics, theatre, and judgement Emma Brodzinski and Tony Evans

Introduction Social workers are bound to follow codes of ethics in their day-to-day practice. However, ethical practice is not a matter of rule-following; the art of ethical judgement is more subtle and complex. In the first part of this chapter, we will outline our view that ethical deliberation in practice cannot be seen as the inculcation of rules to be followed by practitioners but should be seen as a critical and thought-provoking process that questions moralising rules and examines assumptions and values. We will then explain why drama is a helpful approach to help students explore and examine ethics in professional practice. Dramatic forms, we will argue, have the potential to capture and represent ethical issues embodied in practice, which is often missed or ignored in more cognitive-focused accounts of ethical expertise. We will outline the development and delivery of an ethics skills workshop for final year social work students that employed strategies from theatre to identify and explore ethical issues in practice. In the final section, we will reflect on the impact of the workshop for participants drawing on student evaluation and feedback.

Teaching what? Social Workers in England are expected to show an ability to engage in ­ethical reasoning in their practice. And, as part of their professional education, social work students are required to reflect on their value and recognise conflicting values and ethical dilemmas (Health and Care Professions Council, 2016). In the professional literature, ethics tends to be presented as a choice between conflicting approaches or schools—most commonly three basic approaches: a consequentialist approach, such as Utilitarianism, which identifies the best ethical results in outcomes which contribute to general happiness and well-being; a right/duty-based approach, where ethical conduct is judged against predetermined rights and responsibilities; and virtuebased ethics, which locates ethics behaviour in the cultivation of an ethical

Ethics, theatre, and judgement  19 demeanour (see, for instance, Banks 1995, 2012). Virtue Ethics now seems to have become the preferred perspective for social work ethicists in the past decade (Clark, 2006; Banks & Gallagher, 2009). However, seeing ethics in terms of ‘schools’ is problematic. It’s difficult to see how one can ethically commit to one ‘school’ or another, especially when ethics often involves …recognising and balancing different rights and duties, while respecting these rights and also seeing them in a broader context of the consequences for a wide group of people, and understanding the ethical well-being of ethical actors as agents, not just as transmitters of principles. (Evans & Hardy, 2017, p. 5) The stark differences that are drawn between ethical schools often break down under close examination. Furthermore, recognising the validity of the range of ethical approaches requires us to recognise the strengths and weaknesses of different perspectives and explore our own ethical commitments and assumptions. However, this process is not always straightforward or comfortable: Ethical ideas, principles and emotions can buttress each other and they can also come into conflict. They often have to be ‘tweaked’ to fit situations. They are problems—and they can often make us feel uncomfortable in the knowledge that, while we’ve done our best in that situation, we would have liked to do better. (Evans & Hardy, 2017, p. 5) Obviously, in a professional arena such as social work ethical choices and decisions are constrained by codes and values. However, when we look at professional codes, they tend to sketch dilemmas and concerns rather than state rules to follow and underline the responsibility of practitioners as ethical agents to reflect on and carefully consider ethical issues in their practice. In England, for instance ‘social work’ is a protected title and all social workers have to register with Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and sign up to its code of conduct. The HCPC code is a generic code relating to a range of health and social care professions (not specifically social work). The code reflects the basic expectations of professional practice in terms of balancing service user rights by avoiding paternalistic practice, emphasising the rights of service users to decide to participate while at the same time acknowledging that rights may sometimes be curtailed to manage risks. Alongside service-user focused responsibilities, the code also underlines professionals’ responsibilities to sustain expertise, stand back from personal commitments and perspectives, and work within organisational procedures.

20  Emma Brodzinski and Tony Evans In a sense, the code sets out a basic scaffold of ethical dilemmas and tensions of which any practitioner needs to be aware. And in doing this, the HCPC code also assumes that particular professions have a more substantive set of ethical requirements imposed by some professional body. In England, this is the British Association of Social Workers’ (BASW) Code of Ethics. The code, which is based on the international codes, draws on three basic values and principles—human rights, social justice, and professional ­integrity—which are developed into ethical practice principles—‘which indicate how the general ethical principles outlined in Section 2 should be put into practice in a UK context’ (BASW, 2012, p. 4). The practice principles underline a responsibility to see service users as bearers of individual rights—particularly anti-paternalist rights to be involved in decision-making, to be informative, and to have their confidentiality respected. However, there is also recognition that sometimes these rights are limited, specifically with regards to where other people’s rights are threatened and where others are put at risk. Promotion of human rights (and challenging abuses) is seen as essential to good practice. Ethics are not just interpersonal but also social and political. But there is also awareness that there are circumstances when rights need to be curtailed—done in a way that is balanced, proportionate, and respectful of individual rights. Finally, professionalism is characterised in terms of respecting service users’ rights such as self-determination and privacy; responsibility to maintain an up-to-date knowledge and contribute to broader professional practice, and to challenge (one’s own and others’) poor practice and organisational conditions limiting good practice. Furthermore, the code, as BASW itself explains, is …not designed to provide a detailed set of rules about how social ­ orkers should act in specific situations or practice guidance. Rather… w the aim is to encourage social workers across the UK to reflect on the ­challenges and dilemmas that face them and make ethically informed decisions about how to act in each particular case in accordance with the values of the profession. (BASW, 2012, p. 5) In summary, ethical decision-making is difficult and intellectually challenging because it involves understanding a range of perspectives and ­balancing potentially conflicting principles to manage complex situations. Professional codes, for instance, often presented as definitive and clear— at least rhetorically—are, in fact, open textured, thus, reflecting Timms’s characterisation of social work values as shared concerns that are disputed through the medium of a shared vocabulary (1983). Alongside this, our ethical commitments are something to which we are strongly attached—­ without necessarily understanding the basis of these commitments and being able to articulate them clearly. This, in part, reflects the fact that ethics

Ethics, theatre, and judgement  21 is emotive because it involves fundamental commitments which people feel should bind not only themselves but others. Ethical ideas can be difficult to talk about because asking someone to talk about their ethical commitments will often involve digging down to the bedrock of understanding, pushing to know what lies behind what seems obvious to the person concerned (­Johnson, 1991).

Theatre and teaching ethical decision-making skills In the preceding section, we have outlined the challenging subject matter of our workshop. In this section, we aim to explain the value of using theatre to explore and develop ethical decision-making skills in social work. In simulating situations encountered in professional practice, theatre practitioners have demonstrated the potential performance offers to critically explore situations and provide powerful learning (Brodzinski, 2010; Leonard, Gupta, Stuart-Fisher, & Low, 2015). Social work is ‘a private trade’ in which practical decision-making in the day-to-day encounters of practice go unobserved (Pithouse, 1998). Drama as a collective exercise has the potential to recreate something of the character of these encounters. In doing so, it enables participants to recognise and share the ethical challenges which they face regulatory, explore their ethical decision-making in this type of context, and see how others might respond. The arts also provide subtle and complex examples and insights into the operation of everyday life. In Aristotle’s Drama (undated) one of the key aspects of attributed to performance is its ability to invoke insight and recognition, which enables the audiences to move from ignorance to understanding (Anagnorisis). Furthermore, drama engages understanding in a rich and broad sense. In portraying ideas and feelings in action, drama can present visceral insight. It can convey and help us understand expressed emotion, not just cognitively, and link with knowledge in practice. Professional know-how is not only contained in formal knowledge in statements and hard-edged ideas but also activity dependent concepts—that is ‘…concepts the grasp of which depends on your activities on and with things, including the actives of perceptually attending to things’ (Luntley, 2011, p. 24). The thinking underpinning professional practice entails shared understandings that involve showing and indicating as well as talking. We often can’t fully represent professional knowledge in hard-edged propositions alone because, ‘the words alone do not reveal what she is thinking. You need to attend to the fine details of her actions to understand—it’s like that!’ (Luntley, 2011, p. 25). Theatre can link well with practice, bridge learning and its application, and support the translation of reflection and developing insights into dayto-day practice. The day-to-day encounters that underpin practice can be seen in terms of drama—we only have to think of Goffman (1990) and his dramaturgical analysis of social relationships. It can also be helpful to see professional practice through the lens of drama—as a process of

22  Emma Brodzinski and Tony Evans improvisation. Sawyer (2004), for instance, in relation to teaching, points out that teachers have to think on their feet and work creatively with their classes to educate. To do this, a teacher must take from policy and expert knowledge and improvise, to adapt material and create material that will engage the class. This, though, doesn’t mean that teaching is chaotic; there has to be some structure. But, it needs to be loose and flexible structure that allows for innovation The most effective teachers are those that can effectively use a wide range of degrees of structure, shifting between scripts, scaffolds, and activity formats as the material and the students seem to require. These shifts in themselves are improvisational responses to the unique needs of that class. (Sawyer, 2004, p. 17)

Method As an inter-disciplinary partnership, we wanted to draw on both our areas of expertise—from the nuanced understanding of ethics and the employment of dramatic forms to facilitate experiential learning. We began with an idea that we wanted to provide the students with an embodied experience of ethics which would hopefully help to move them more deeply into their enquiry. We had some fascinating discussions around the different forms available to us—from naturalistic drama which could be employed to re-enact and so re-visit scenes that the social workers had been involved with/witness to through to circus skills such as spinning plates and tightrope walking which might serve to provide a metaphorical container for the work in which the social workers may be involved. We finally settled on image theatre as developed by Augusto Boal (1985). We felt this was a useful tool for a number of reasons. Firstly, image theatre was conceived as a projective tool that allows participants to reflect on their experiences so the pedagogic aspect was already embedded in the methodology. In Theatre of the Oppressed, Boal said, ‘It is not the place of theatre to show the correct path, but only to offer the means by which all possible paths by be examined’ (1985, p. 141). Within his theatrical method, Boal did not speak of an audience, but a ‘spect-actor’ who is engaged in reflecting on events and, hopefully, is actively engaged in offering alternatives. Boal saw theatre as a dynamic forum where participants can enter into dialogue and explore creative solutions. In his work, he wanted to move away from the distinction between the stage, where the action is presented, and the audience, who passively receive information. He believed that theatre was a fundamental human activity that enabled effective two-way communication—events can be staged in order to allow others to come to an understanding of an experience and, in turn, for those others to engage with their own thoughts and suggested actions. Boal developed a number of models for this ‘Theatre of

Ethics, theatre, and judgement  23 the Oppressed’. Image theatre was one of the early incarnations of the form and drew heavily on Friere’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed and the importance of the development of critical thinking. Image theatre is a very accessible form which requires no previous theatre experience. Boal had first used this model to promote literacy, and all it requires is a willingness to demonstrate through action and an openness to reflect critically. Image Theatre is also a ‘poor theatre’ form and did not require any special equipment (very handy when working in an academic environment). Finally, and most significantly, image theatre can work to contain and communicate difficult emotional material. Creating a still tableau of an incident invites participants to identify key elements and to take up a clear attitude in order to effectively demonstrate the scene—e.g. the angry mother, the authoritarian teacher. We were aware that for many of the participants this would be their first encounter with this mode of enquiry, and so, we wanted to provide a form that would allow them to work with their experiences with confidence. We began our work together with inviting participants into a room set-up with a circle of chairs rather than the rows they are used to. This was important in setting the tone of communal dialogue but also of the equality of each member of the group. We also had music playing as people entered the room, setting the tone for a creative encounter. We began with an icebreaker name game. We invited people to share their name and something about their name. This built a feeling of trust within the group and also started to heighten awareness of the complex networks that each person is involved in as participants discussed their relatives that they were named for and the stories that their parents had told them around their naming. We moved on to create a group contract which outlined our code for working together. This included an awareness of the ethical context within which we were working. This was followed by a session which invited the students to reflect on their own ethical perspectives and practices. After a lunch break, we moved into the Boilerhouse Theatre space. Having said that this work was ‘poor theatre’, it had felt important to us to work within a ‘creative space’. Not only did this practically give us more room to move in, but previous work with Business Management students had highlighted the impact of moving to a different type of environment. In Through the Body—A Practical Guide to Physical Theatre, performance scholar and teacher Dymphna Callery states, ‘You cannot achieve good work in the midst of mess or piles of chairs. Always clear the space before working. And, if high-energy work is going on, ensure the environment is safe’ (2001, p. 72). This is an obvious practical point but, although tables and chairs were moved to the side of the room to create an empty playing space, when students were invited to engage in physical activity, games, and improvisations, the team noticed a more constrained energy and lower level of concentration than in later workshops in Drama Department studio spaces. This may have been a result of students bringing pre-established notions of rules and behaviour of

24  Emma Brodzinski and Tony Evans the seminar room, having had regular lectures and seminars in this space. The drama studio spaces were larger, allowing more room for movement and games, and they were initially unfamiliar to the participants; they were not part of the Business Management Department, and therefore, had different subconscious permissions—students could behave in a way that they would not usually together in a business setting, and it enabled a different energy in the workshop. It also allowed the team to put emphasis on this unfamiliar space as a ‘liminal’ and safe environment in which students could be mentally and physically creative. We wanted to make use of this ‘permission-giving’ within the social work workshop, too. We began the session with a practical ‘warm-up’ game which encouraged group members to become familiar with their new environment and experiment with moving their bodies in the space. The group then witnessed a model session facilitated by one of the group leaders. This model session coached a group member in the creation of a still image, encapsulating a critical incident which resonated for them. The animateur (creator of the image) invited members of the group to take up a still image that represented a figure from their critical incident. The animateur crafted the scene as she remembered it and gave instructions and key lines to each figure that helped them to create the persona they were presenting. Once the figures had all been ‘enrolled’ and were all in position, the animateur and the other spect-actors then had the opportunity to hear from each person within the image—including the person that the animateur had selected to represent themselves. This aspect, in particular, is often particularly significant as the animateur has the opportunity to witness himself within a situation. They then also have the opportunity to take up the position of another person within the scene and so gain an understanding of what it feels like from that different perspective. After some discussion around the themes emerging from the modelled session, the group was then divided into smaller groups, and each member shared a ‘critical incident’ that resonated with them. Once they had each discussed their experiences with their peers, they chose one critical incident to make a tableau about. Often in the groups, the tableau encompassed themes with which many of the group members identified. The group tableaux ranged from the dilemma of working with an elderly person and her family around a decision to enter a care home to working with an emergency case of an asylum seeker with an autistic child. In each case, the group facilitators were struck by the vibrancy of the presentation that had been totally self-directed and also the quality of attention engendered in the rest of the group who observed and offered commentary. De-roling was a very important aspect of the process as some people had become strongly identified with the figure they had been presenting. Phil Jones, in Drama as Therapy: Theatre as Living, discusses the importance of de-roling and notes that it, ‘helps…have a new relationship to the enactment. It gives the opportunity to look at the role and enactment rather than to be in

Ethics, theatre, and judgement  25 the enactment’ (1996, p. 28). So, in a circle, each person may be invited to state their real name and something about themselves, e.g. their favourite colour. This helps to bring the performer back to their selves outside the session. This process of distancing serves to allow the participants to begin to process their experience of the work and the themes and emotions that had emerged. There was, however, some difficulty in de-roling in this example, as the participants were all student social workers and may have been representing student social workers and may have experienced a blurring of boundaries.

Evaluation Following the workshop, we asked participants to complete an evaluation questionnaire. There were just over 40 workshop participants; 31 returned evaluation forms. The questions concerned the workshop’s impact on students’ approach to ethical issues and whether drama can enhance learning in this area, particularly in expressing difficult ideas and feelings, naming issues, and articulating thoughts and emotions. The research was also reviewed in line with the university research ethics process. This included considering issues of consent from students being taught by researchers. Students were given information sheets about the research. While they were required, as part of the course, to participate in the teaching session, they had opportunities throughout the day to opt out of the drama aspects. Evaluation data were collected by an open-structured questionnaire. Students could choose not to complete the form, but over two-thirds did so. We asked participants about their feelings about discussing ethical issues with colleagues. Most people in this group seemed confident in reflecting on and discussing their views: ‘I am quite an open and expressive person. Discussing ethical issues gives me [an] opportunity to express myself and get to hear others’ views’. However, a large minority had mixed feelings: ‘I feel confident to express to a certain extent as I don’t like heated situations—so it depends on how it is explored’. A few spoke of personal limitation: ‘[I felt] quite nervous but tried because I do not feel confident enough in presentations’. We asked about their reaction to the use of drama to explore ethical issues in practice. The overwhelming majority of participants had misgivings; responses were equally split between ‘confused’, ‘unsure’, and ‘bemused’. One comment was characteristic of this: ‘I was not sure what to expect and wondered about the usefulness and the relevance of the learning to social work’. Others were concerned about our expectations of them: ‘[I] was terrified … the drama aspects are an inhibition’. A minority were enthusiastic: ‘… [I] was excited, I love drama. I learn better from illustration when actions are seen they last longer than lectures’; ‘Excited and ­i nquisitive—I am an extrovert, and I thought I would be comfortable and would enjoy the day’. It is important, in exploring ethics and engaging in drama, to feel safe in exposing oneself to criticism and comment. For most participants, the

26  Emma Brodzinski and Tony Evans workshop was experienced as a safe environment. Many already felt safe with their companions (they had been colleagues in the same course for over 18 months); some also valued the time taken to agree specific ground rules and reiterate the voluntary nature of drama elements: ‘… the workshop felt very safe as all were included in creating guidelines for participation, and there was the element of choice’. Seven participants expressed concern about safety. Two didn’t feel safe—but didn’t say why. Five felt that ‘… it was mainly a safe place but could be unsafe due to the different and strong characters in the group’. One commented that, ‘… if more people were willing to try a new idea, [drama] would have been an excellent group dynamic’. The workshop used drama tableaux to explore ethical issues. The response to this was overwhelmingly positive: ‘… it froze a single moment and could analyse it’. Participants felt this technique enabled them to identify and explore others’ values: ‘… people were very dramatic in their positions, so their value positions were quite obvious’. They felt the tableaux gave an ‘… insight into the perspective, emotions, choices, behaviour of others and my own’. This facilitated critical self-reflection and developed an ‘… awareness of why one thinks a certain way before [you] hear a story and how [your] view changes after more insight’. Two people were negative about the experience: ‘… not that effective, I did not learn much from the perspectives. No, I have not gained a lot in the exploration of ethical issues’. Another mentioned a ‘…very basic way to review ethical issues. [I] Could have read a scenario and discussed’. We asked participants to identify the workshop’s key learning points and what they believed its impact would be on their practice. The main learning point that arose was a sense of value pluralism and recognising and learning from different perspectives. This view was reflected across practically the whole participant group, one respondent saying it helped her see ‘…that everybody makes sense of the same thing differently. For example, people reacted differently to the same word [and how you could be] looking at the same thing from different and gives different meaning’. Several mentioned the participative and interactive nature of the drama work: ‘formulating and delivering the drama scenes’. The way drama engaged understanding in-theround was seen as very positive, recognising and exploring ‘… the impact that roles, perspectives, and positions have in impacting opinions emotions and then one’s understanding’. Three participants felt that the workshop would have no impact on the ethical dimension of their practice: ‘I feel as knowledgeable after as I was coming in’. However, the overwhelming majority felt that it would have a positive impact. Dominant themes were the importance of recognising diverse perspectives and engaging with as broad a range of views as possible: ‘… I can see different sides of a case and if possible get everyone’s view on the situation’. This also included developing a critical ethical self-awareness: ‘I believe I will be less judgmental and also be more aware of how our histories, including my own, results in us becoming how we are. Ethical dilemmas are also always evolving’.

Ethics, theatre, and judgement  27

Conclusion and key learning points In this chapter, we’ve outlined an approach to helping (student) practitioners refine ethical judgement through theatre. Ethics, we’ve argued, draws on a range of perspectives and experiences, and theatre can help students recognise the range of perspectives they tend to employ in order to explore the impact on their practice—and their practice’s impact on them. E ­ thical judgment involves identifying one’s fundamental commitments and understanding the role they play in directing one’s ethical attention. Theatre, we’ve argued, can help practitioners unearth their ethical scripts and critically explore the role they play in their day-to-day practices. Different forms of theatre will focus on different aspects of experience. Given our concern with critical awareness and ethical judgement, Boal’s approach seems particularly relevant. There is, for instance, a clear theoretical link between Boal’s theatre and critical social work practice in their shared interest in Freire’s work. We also felt that Boal’s focus on theatre from life would help students link the workshop to practice and bridge the gap that can often emerge between academic and practice learning. However, in using theatre in this way we were also aware of possible participant anxieties, and we sought to address this by making time at the beginning of the workshop to establish a safe, focused, and creative space and to prepare for the performance elements of the workshop in the afternoon. We were sensitive to the difference between reading a scenario and enacting an embodied tableau. While reading a scenario can help to provide contextual information relating to an incident, creating a tableau can literally ‘flesh out’ a situation. Witnessing physical bodies presenting a scene in the same room can, as Aristotle proposes, provoke a heightened sense of recognition. Taking up a physical position within a scenario with your own body can bring embodied knowledge of how it can feel to be in such a situation. Having the opportunity to take up other positions can open participants up to different perspectives. Drawing on the lived experience of people within the room can create more investment in a scenario rather than working with fabricated case studies—but there is also the potential difficulty of heightened connection with a situation. For this reason, de-­roling and clear boundaries were very important. For most participants—and for us as educators—the workshop was a positive experience. A small number of participants expressed unease about theatre as a means of exploring ethics, and clearly we have to acknowledge that no single approach to teaching in this area will work for everyone. However, there was possibly a resentment or reluctance at being involved, which was seen in some comments about the defensiveness of a small number of participants and how this affected the commentators’ own engagement and had an impact on the dynamics of their group in the workshop. We haven’t yet rerun the workshop, but in doing so, we’d want to look at resources to manage the process of participant involvement and to give

28  Emma Brodzinski and Tony Evans more time to those involved to engage in theatre work and examine their experience as ethical agents. Increasing resources would come down to reducing the ratio of participants to workshop leaders—either fewer participants for each workshop or more workshop facilitators within a large workshop. Fewer participants or more colleagues would give time for workshop leaders to monitor and manage more closely the learning relationships between participants and provide more space for participants to explore the ethical issues they encountered. In the afternoon part of the workshop, for instance, participants were only able to be involved in one tableau, and space for discussion and critical exploration was limited by the imperative to give every group time to report back to the whole group on their tableau and key observations.

References Aristotle. (undated). Poetics. Public Domain Book: Kindle.  Banks, S. (1995). Ethics and values in social work. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave. Banks, S. (2012). Ethics and values in social work. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave. Banks, S., & Gallagher, A. (2009). Ethics in professional life. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave. Boal, A. (1985). Theatre of the oppressed. New York, UK: Theatre Communications Group. British Association of Social Workers. (2012). The code of ethics for social work, available at: Brodzinski, E. (2010). Theatre in health and care. London: Routledge. Callery, D. (2001). Through the body: A practical guide to physical theatre. London, UK: Nick Hern Books. Clark, C. (2006). Moral character in social work. British Journal of Social Work, 36, 75–89. Evans, T., & Hardy, M. (2017). The ethics of practical reasoning—exploring the terrain. European Journal of Social Work, 20(6), 947–957. Goffman, E. (1990). The presentation of self in everyday life. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin. Health and Care Professions Council. (2016). Standards of conduct, performance, and ethics, available at: standardsofconductperformanceandethics/. Johnson, P. (1991). Wittgenstein and moral philosophy. London, UK: Routledge. Jones, P. (1996). Drama as therapy: Theatre as living. London, UK: Routledge. Leonard, K., Gupta, A., Stuart-Fisher, A., & Low, K. (2015). From the mouths of mothers: Can drama facilitate reflective learning for social workers. Social Work Education, 35(4), 430–443. Luntley, M. (2011). What do nurses know? Nursing Philosophy, 12, 22–33. Pithouse, A. (1998). Social work: The social organisation of an invisible trade. ­A ldershot, UK: Ashgate. Sawyer, R. K. (2004). Creative teaching: Collaborative discussion as disciplined ­i mprovisation. Educational Researcher, 33, 12–20. Timms, N. (1983). Social work values: An enquiry. London, UK: Routledge and ­Kegan Paul.

3 Enhancing capabilities for social change with the arts Paola de Bruijn and Erik Jansen

Introduction In today’s Western-European societies, aging citizens are expected to live independently for longer than they did in the last century. To respond to this expectation, apart from physical vitality, also a fair amount of mental resilience is needed. Whereas progression in health care and care has stimulated physical resilience, little attention has been given to mental resilience. In our view, art can be of particular use for this aim, because art helps people to conceptualize, understand, organize, and reflect on their lives through providing alternative perspectives on the content drawn and verbalized. Thus, art helps one to endure changes in life. This notion of adaptation as an expression of resilience has been put forward in recent attempts to envisage health in terms of a positive conceptualization contrasting the traditional notion of the absence of disease (most notably, see Huber et al., 2011) or of the trend in social work practice to emphasize selfhelp and independence (Regenmortel, 2009). The latter approaches often pre-conceptualize what adaptation or resilience should be about. However, because as noted, individuals from this generation live longer than those from any generation before, and we do not know exactly what conception of adaptation their perspective entails. Additionally, an externally conceived pre-definition of resilience and adaptation often imposes a frame of deficiency on the person, rather than exploring the behavioural and existential experience of what it means to grow older. Elaborating on that, what it holistically means to be a person is notoriously harder to measure than his or her functioning in terms of physical well-being or actual overt behaviour. For instance, what older adults are capable of but do not display, what they value but do not put into practice, and their sense-making all form essential parts of their being human, although these aspects may be quite hard to express verbally. An essential ingredient for developing resilience, as mentioned above, is that one is able to compose meaning with regard to one’s personal life in all its qualities and dimensions. Such a personal narrative is built in the spaces between a person’s sense of identity and his or her social context

30  Paola de Bruijn and Erik Jansen and interaction with others. Therefore, in some sense, a meaningful interpretation of oneself is a product of both that person’s own interpretations and the social categorization by others that influence his or her social position. In extension to this, the reflections of a person to make sense of her life seriously influences her conception of what to her is to be considered a real opportunity. It is not only the objectively observable opportunities that count, but also the interpretation of that opportunity as realistic by the person herself. In the literature (more specific, within the so-called capability approach), this human potential is referred to as the concept of capability, what a person in principle is able to do and be, and is sharply distinguished from the concept of functioning, which refers to what that person actually does or who she is (Sen, 1999; Nussbaum, 2000, 2011). Consequently, for people to consider their valued options, it is obviously essential that they gain overview regarding their realistic opportunities. However, interpretation with regard to what opportunities count as realistic, and thus establish one’s freedom to do and be, is confined by limitations in the rationality of the individual (Elster, 1983). For instance, a person can attenuate her personal preferences (Terlazzo, 2016) based on social norms or lack of critical reflection for whatever reason she, seemingly voluntarily, limits her opportunity space to reflect what is allowed by the social norm. An important capacity countering this bounding of rationality is the capacity to reason critically and create alternative meanings. This capacity is particularly what art has been presumed to stimulate (Nussbaum, 2010). This has also been referred to as the intrinsic value of the arts, as opposed to the instrumental function with respect to what art does for the sake of something else, e.g. facilitate social interactions by collective music making. However, it can be argued that neither the intrinsic value of art, art for art’s sake, nor its instrumental value, the utility it provides us to achieve something else that is valuable, is exactly what we are referring to here. Instead, we would like to refer to the quality of art as an existential value for composing new meanings, by which the new meaning represents both the symbol as well as the meaning (see also Zuckerkandl, 1956). In short, art can provide value by the capacity to provide new forms for meaning. The arts can, therefore, support, we argue, enhancing human capabilities by promoting social change in an educational manner; they offer various alternative conceptions of opportunities to arrange and shape the world we live in. This is not meant as some effect and/or usefulness in a mere instrumental and creative way, but in a more existential manner. It could be realized by asking normative questions and questions about what values to choose from. To contribute to the world is to engage with life in order to relate to the world and to open opportunities for a humane existence. Based on this rationale, the question arises whether social work employing art and arts-based methods facilitates the formation of new meanings

Enhancing capabilities for social change  31 that promote such social change. It is in this domain that our present approach, an application of Visual Thinking Strategies (Yenawine, 2014; VTS, 2017) and a Socratic dialogue with older adults should be placed (Pool, 2014). To enhance participants’ capacity for imagery, we think it is important to explain that there is more to the images than meets the eye. This is in line with Gadamer’s (2010) notion that our concept of beauty among others reflects our ‘clearest sense’. By asking the participants, ‘What does your sense of beauty tell you about how you perceive the world?’ they will notice that art articulates emotions. It touches people and awakens thoughts and personal ideas. For a proper understanding of these, it is important to be aware of each other’s perspectives. Gadamer (2010) describes this as a fusion of the horizon of understanding by overcoming personal biases and offering the opportunity for an open dialogue, as our thinking is bound by our own limitations. Understanding, be it mutual or in general, arises when we are willing to reach out to someone else’s horizon. Through absorbing new knowledge, a fusion of horizons can take place. Thus, the starting question for this chapter reads, What does the application of our VTS approach with older adults contribute to a change in the social concept of older adulthood?

Country and social work context The present arts-based method was developed for application in social work settings in The Netherlands, although in principle, it is not contextually limited. Our approach was specifically intended for a field that as yet is still relatively underdeveloped, namely, the social support for older adults. Particularly, in terms of aging, an approach aiming towards self-help and more autonomy or independence can be seen as problematic, as aging is normally accompanied by fading health and progressive frailty. Thus, resilience at older ages involves a larger component of sense-making and acceptance strategies in order to facilitate coping with life as it unfolds. Furthermore, an adequate conceptualization of well-being while aging is not so much the functioning of the person per se, but the functioning of the person in relation to her realistic opportunities. Such a conception of well-being focuses not only on the well-being that one actually achieves, but on the personal freedoms one has to live the life one wants to lead and the individual priorities one sets. This resonates well with the aforementioned conceptualization of well-being from the capabilities approach. Demographic developments in The Netherlands indicate that 95% of the adults aged 65 or over reside at home (2.8 million in 2015, according to CBS, the Dutch National Center for Statistics, 2014), dwelling in their own neighbourhood until this becomes impossible due to increasing vulnerabilities and/or physical or medical conditions. As a result, these older adults are faced with a stronger call upon their capacity to deal with difficulties springing from their life conditions.

32  Paola de Bruijn and Erik Jansen

Visual thinking strategies as arts-based intervention: Methodical rationale from the viewpoint of social work theories The major part of the present method is based on the principles of Visual Thinking Strategies (Yenawine, 2014; VTS, 2017). The purpose of VTS is to provide a tool for collaborative discussions about images and social identity. Therefore, older people engage in a dialogue sparked by visual art and art-objects, stimulating their joint reflection on these social images and narratives. By discussing how they interpret what they see, they are invited to express their sense-making verbally, allowing themselves and others to reflect on it. In a safe environment, the VTS method teaches older adults, in a respectful manner, to rely on their different points of view regarding art. During the discussions, a VTS facilitator invites all participants to look at the work of art in silence. On the basis of three specific questions, the facilitator starts a discussion. The questions are open by nature and stimulate participants to observe carefully, to formulate, and to argue what they perceive. This approach stimulates an active participation in the conversation, and enables thoughts and interpretations. In this way, deeper meanings of the work of art can be sought. Each participant shares her interpretations, reflected in a personal manner, where ‘wrong’ answers do not exist. Awareness concerning personal observations and thoughts is validated. The VTS questions provide structure to and are accessible for all participants, regardless of their intellectual capacities, cultural backgrounds, and their knowledge of art in general. The core of this particular application of VTS is the social setting that is created in which the participants engage in meaningful dialogue. By sharing, discussing, and interpreting different perspectives on aging, a process of sense-making is fostered that transcends the mere exchange of ideas, while also enhancing transformative processes. The rationale for this approach is that through the expressive power of imagery, the participating socially ­vulnerable older adults1 become aware of changes in perspectives, which in turn will help them to learn to endure their daily life. By applying VTS, the discussed works of art are analysed narratively by the participants (Yenawine, 2014). A subsequent examination of the mutual effect between art and context helps to trace the connection between the social environment and social arts, used by vulnerable older adults in different situations, with the aim of gaining insight in its presumed contribution to resilient well-being. In the application of VTS as described in this chapter, older adults analyse and discuss pieces of art in collaboration with each other. In the image-based art discussions, the art-objects are observed in depth by the participants. Conscious perception is the central theme: how do you see? It is discussed, through the arts, how to relate to the world. During the discussion, participants talk while looking. According to the German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer, speaking with your eyes increases your own

Enhancing capabilities for social change  33 imagination (Betinsky, 1995; Gadamer, 2010). VTS is a method of looking at art by exchanging thoughts. In an open conversation, the technique teaches participants a structured and focused attention on art and each other and to observe methodical differences and similarities. By watching and listening to one another without prejudice, the participants build on the various views. Because all perspectives are valuable, self-confidence arises, as well as critical thinking and creative, associative, and reflective ability, and this connects people personally with a work of art by talking while looking. It not only stimulates curiosity and sharing of different views, but talking aloud while observing is a lot of fun, as well. With the VTS method, it becomes clear that what one perceives in an artwork is directly related to one’s own perception and interpretation. Observing art according to the VTS method improves perception, critical-analytical thinking, and gives permission to wonder (Yenawine, 2014).

Case study: Applying visual thinking strategies as social work intervention with older adults Context. In the case that we present here, a number of image-based interactive art lectures were organized in which participants delve into art-related topics. The central theme for the lectures was how to perceive in a conscious manner, related to a personal sense of getting older. By discussing aspects of the process of aging, such as areas of life, age norms, social welfare environment, social welfare factors, and society, participants discover how art may help them to develop better insight in themselves and their surrounding world. Attending these lectures collectively allows for setting up a level playing field concerning the theoretical knowledge on the topics to be discussed later. The 22 older adults ranged in age from 50 to 80; 19 were women, 3 were men. Aim. VTS is a research-based education method that provides a thoughtful, facilitated discussion of art that activates transformational learning accessible to all. The aim of the method is to learn to connect what with how, by linking knowledge to skills, in order to grow more capable of participation and, therefore, of one’s agency. Ultimately, in this way, working with the method increases one’s potential of being in the world. The central notion is that we, through art, meet beauty and the good—vitalizing our lives (Gadamer, 2010)—and participants obtain an inclination of life. They meet themselves in a living mirror that reflects their position towards life and makes them conscious of their cognitions, experiences and desires, their identities, and the world. Thus, by applying this method we stimulate participants’ capacity to perceive and experience. It is good to be aware that there is a dividing line between the supporting actions of the social workers on the one

34  Paola de Bruijn and Erik Jansen hand and the therapeutic treatment on the other. Both do ask for a different type of specific attention and interpretation. However, both always also relate to the professional guiding the client’s improving her quality of life and aim at stimulating the process of resilient aging.

Figure 3.1  

Figure 3.2 

Enhancing capabilities for social change  35

Figure 3.3 

The people involved. The participants were older adults, who, together with the VTS facilitator, discussed how their ways of perceiving and interpreting influence their experience of art objects. In principle, this way of working can be applied with any client group as long as there is an aspect of striving for a collective perspective.

Method Laboratory type/visual thinking strategies A VTS session focuses on facilitating close looking, flexible thinking, careful listening, and collaboration. The skills required for a social worker facilitating VTS, i.e. understanding the basic theoretical tenets of VTS and opportunities to practice, are acquired during a two-day training by a VTS trainer. Refined and extended practice, for example, with a focus on deeper examining of the theoretical underpinnings of VTS and advanced paraphrasing, requires a three-day training led by a VTS coach. In general, VTS always requires a trained facilitator. A session typically goes as follows. A (trained) VTS facilitator asks the participants to take a moment to look at a work of art. This opportunity to discover has to be initiated with the first VTS-question, ‘What’s going on in this picture?’ Close looking, flexible thinking, careful listening, and collaboration create room to share the personal associations, memories, and perceptions. By sharing discoveries and insights, the group discussion will develop. The facilitator points with his hands while neutrally paraphrasing the given comments.

36  Paola de Bruijn and Erik Jansen The VTS facilitator challenges the participants’ first observations by asking the second VTS-question, ‘What do you see that makes you say that?’ By talking aloud while looking, the answers are revealed in interaction with the work of art itself. The group uses this moment for complementing and possibly reconsidering their initial interpretations. The observations develop and become more detailed, and skills, techniques, and features of the artwork recognized in the picture contribute to the earlier findings and statements, as well. Because of coexisting, multiple perspectives, the facilitator asks the third VTS-question, ‘What more can we find?’ to search for new details and other interpretations. For example, the observations can be classified by style, flow, or time. The shared present factual knowledge contributes to discovering the meaningful layers in the image. By sharing personal connections to the artwork, the appreciation of the different pictorial aspects, such as colour, shape, and space, and thoughts and feelings, leads to new discoveries. In the course of the session, it is the facilitator’s task to point out what is observed, to listen attentively and paraphrase, and to show she heard and understood everything that has been observed. By linking the different observations, the facilitator ensures that everyone has been able to provide input. It is most important that every participant is actively involved in the discussion. By collaborating in this effort, participants’ empathy towards the various analyses is developed further. As equal partners, the participants have the opportunity to make contact with themselves and with others. It is important to make a thorough selection of images for multiple sessions. By enhancing the complexity of selected works of art, the facilitator offers a framework for gradually experiencing the different stages of aesthetic development. By learning how to construct, classify, interpret, and recreate, participants will gain personal legitimization to wonder more and more at what they perceive about themselves and the world in which they live (Yenawine, 2014). The grounds for selecting the works of art for this VTS-session can be found in the narrative power of the images. The works, preferably in a figurative style, ought to supply associative projection of meaning and feelings. In this case, a discussion of how to observe the world we live in was being started. It is very important to emphasize the difference between this method, which focuses on personal interpretation, and generally used historic art facts. VTS asks us what is going on in a picture versus art history asking what we see. This is also the difficulty of the method, as it requires both participants, and even more so, the facilitator to ensure that the conversation really engages on a deeper level than merely a cognitive or analytic mode of reasoning about the art object. Thus, the method bears some resemblance to the photo elicitation type of methods but capitalizes even more on the characteristics of art works rather than aesthetically pleasing or ambiguous

Figure 3.4 

Figure 3.5 

38  Paola de Bruijn and Erik Jansen

Figure 3.6 

pictures. Therefore, the selection of art works for a session should be very thorough to maximize the opportunities for a meaningful conversation. The pictures should not be just any images. It is important to make a well-considered selection of images for multiple sessions. What can be considered in the selection is • • • • •

Iconic material that can connect to the experience and the frame of r­ eference of the participants Inviting examples responding to stories Sufficient ambiguity (clarity) in the images to create multiple meanings Figurative works of art, ranked according to increasing complexity Diversity in periods, styles, and techniques

Process (events/interventions) Typical interventions the VTS facilitator can apply during the sessions are questions focusing on the participants becoming more aware of perception and interpretation. Some facilitators place emphasis on the art object itself, whereas other interventions link the interpretation with personal narrative or one’s personal interpretation of the world. For instance, the facilitator additionally may ask, ‘When is the last time you have been moved by a visual object?’ This is an invitation for an older adult to share this experience with one of the others. The latter will then share what she thinks this tells about the former as a person. In turn, the second participant will share her experience, with

Enhancing capabilities for social change  39 the first participant reacting as to what she thinks this says about the second participant. In this way, both participants exchange and share thoughts and feelings in relation to the art object. The role of social workers The social worker (in this case, the first author) functions as facilitator for the VTS process. She supports the process of reading the language used by the participants in order to understand and to interpret the language in a contextual and sensitive way. The art-object functions as the messenger and in that sense, creates space for interpretation. As Gadamer puts it, ‘The image is not a representation, rather an enactment […] the image is therefore an event’ (Gadamer, 2010, p. 83). By jointly analysing the artistic aspects of the works of art on, for example colour, form, and space, the social worker rearranges the meaning of the visual language and indicates its cohesion. By relating one person’s interpretation to that of others, the meaning of the visual language becomes apparent. VTS must be embedded in the established courses of social work as a creative way to deepen the student’s skills of observation, collaboration, communication, and flexible thinking, in order to ignite fresh perspective on issues (Eisner, 1997). Result and impact With the pictorial and Socratic conversation, the older adults in our case description regained topical insights. According to the participants, words and concepts had gotten new and deeper meanings. Communication was also enhanced, which helped to alleviate the adverse effects of feelings of loneliness. They reported feeling more skilled to maintain their newly acquired empathic attitude, which leads to open talk, self-reliance, and more courage to ask about and discuss personal experiences. Additionally, the older adults are also enhancing more concrete skills, such as listening carefully, speaking clearly, and formulating questions: The participating older adults stated that they felt strengthened by opening up to the works of art and to each other. They reported having had the pleasant experience of personal attention and being seen as a person.

“My own truth turns out not to be that solid as I thought it was!”

“In art we meet ourselves.”

“The pleasure of looking at art other than with my ‘daily’ eyes.”

40  Paola de Bruijn and Erik Jansen Furthermore, they felt their horizons were broadened and insights were gained regarding their own way of observing the world. By discussing the art works, the older adults became more aware of the meaning of the pictures as well as theirs and the others’ perspectives on life. The visuals appeared to be useful as an accessible art form to connect observation to meaning. Art can provide a meaningful arrangement of awareness on one’s position in society. A worldview is determined by undergoing changes. Because of the partly simultaneous existence of consciousness about the past and the future, daily life is constantly on the move. Through narrative procedures, we are able to discover cohesion in our existence so we can organize our own needs, abilities, and longings. However, the outcome of this case study only provides a limited perspective for the future. Nevertheless, looking at and listening to each other has not been shown to be sufficient (Bruijn, 2016). Actual strengthening of resilient aging in the long term will also require educational inclusion. To achieve this working with visual narratives and their thinking strategies is one of the potential options.

Discussion: VTS as social work intervention In the method as presented above, older adults exchange their notions of engagement with life in relation to the world. This sparked an interesting broadening of perspective. Whereas action research often delivers a merged horizon or a joint focal point as the result of a convergent strategy, in this case, we may speak of a widened horizon as a result of a divergent strategy, yielding alternative conceptualizations. These shared experiences of art objects enable the participants to view themselves and the world differently, thereby freeing themselves from their fixed set of opportunities of leading their lives. It creates consciousness of what other beings and doings are possible. Therefore, the method offers an inherent methodological structure to incorporate working with visual arts in expanding the capabilities of older adults and helping them to lead the life they have reason to value within its realistic boundaries (Sen, 1999), that is, expanding these boundaries beyond what they may have held possible based on their previous world-view. We argue that the contribution of visual arts as capability enhancer for social change is not merely instrumental in achieving social or personal goals, but it is also intrinsic in the fact that it facilitates expressing what it means to grow older. As such, there is a forming quality in the approach; by combining the experience induced by engaging with art (Dewey, 2005) with daily experience of the life world, the subject engages new narratives, and thereby composes alternative meanings with respect to the lived e­ xperiences. This enriches one’s existence. This may create new realistic opportunities hitherto unconceivable or deemed unrealistic. If the latter is the case, the result is that the opportunity space, i.e. the capabilities, of the person is enlarged. Thus, the current application of discussing artful experiences in a social work context enhances the capabilities of participants by facilitating the

Enhancing capabilities for social change  41 perceived realistic opportunities, from which one can choose to lead the life one values. It is offering an existential strategy to arrange and shape the world one lives in. More specifically, in our view, a social worker applying the method stimulates human flourishing by facilitating individual development and also enhances social change by ­v isualizing alternative perspectives of aging and making these perspectives accessible for others. The method presented here contributes to the aims of social work as laid down in the international definition of social work (IFSW, 2014). Particularly, it provides the means to engage relevant actors in deliberation on ethical and existential themes, originating in the way in which current social practices are governed by meaning and images, protecting individuals from whatever their longings may be. In light of this, we feel that curricula in social work studies could benefit greatly from adopting VTS in their programs, as a creative way to deepen students’ skills of observation, collaboration, communication, and flexible thinking in order to ignite fresh perspectives on issues (Eisner, 1997) that ­concern social workers, their clients, and a world increasing in complexity. It is these fresh perspectives that may provide the basis for interventions countering both existing and novel inequalities and injustices arising in ­today’s era.

BOX 3.1  VTS procedure summary The facilitator starts with a VTS session by discussing one of the pre-selected works of art, after taking a moment to look. The methodical questions (Yenawine, 2014) are • • •

What’s going on in this picture? If the comment is interpretive, then ask What do you see that makes you say that? After each paraphrase, then ask What more can we find?

By observing and discussing works of art together, stories and experiences are shared, gaining new insights. This is done through the three specific VTS-questions. The new insights can lead to positive feelings and a longing to engage with society. Furthermore, ask the participant: • • •

What’s going on in this picture? What does this picture mean to you? What purpose does art have in your live?

Hermeneutics is explaining what happens if people are open to meaning. Besides registration of an event, for instance, an objective of snowy

42  Paola de Bruijn and Erik Jansen weather, we are able to give meaning to our experience, by subjectively explicating the beauty of our transformed world of white wonder.   The fact that human beings can create a world of language is crucial for art education, for they are also able to learn to communicate through symbols and signs. By using the following questions, it is possible to discover how a person thinks: • • • • •

What did you appreciate about the conversation? What did you learn? Did something surprise you? Are there any questions? What new insights did you get?

The intervention is completed with a pictorial conversation about observation, also called perception. Observation is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. To understand observation, we proceed with a thinking exercise, a conversation on our thoughts and views: •

What is the difference between observation and truth?

The answer is a means for the Socratic dialogue. The participants are divided into small groups of three to five persons. Every participant gets the same art-postcard: • • • • •

On the back of the card, write down, in an interrogative form, your findings and reasons concerning this picture, Share the findings and reasons in your group, Try to obtain consensus on the picture, Write down your common idea on observation as a fundamental value in an interrogative form, and Choose one of your group members as a spokesperson during the presentation to all participants.

Before ending the session by complementing the participants on their findings, it is best to reflect by asking the following questions: • • •

What did you enjoy? How did you experience the shared values? What would you like to remember to share?

Note 1 In this project: people aged 65 or over in a vulnerable situation (social ­isolation)—self-sufficient, but with an increased chance of becoming dependent on care.

Enhancing capabilities for social change  43

References Bruijn, P. (2016). Sociale inclusie door beeldende narratieven. Cultuur+Educatie, 2016(45), 106–124. Betinsky, M. (1995). What do you see? Phenomenology of therapeutic art experience. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley. CBS. (2014). Retrieved from Dewey, J. (2005). Art as experience. New York, NY: The Penguin Group. Eisner, E. (1997). The promises and perils of alternative forms of data representation. Educational Researcher, 26(6), 4–20. Elster, J. (1983). Sour grapes: Studies in the subversion of rationality. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. Gadamer, H. G. (2010). Het Schone. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Boom. Huber, M., Knottnerus, J. A., Green, L., van der Horst, H., Jadad, A. R., ­K romhout, D., … Smid, H. (2011). How should we define health? ­B ritish Medical Journal, 343, doi: 10.1136/bmj.d4163. International Federation of Social Workers. (2014). What is social work? Retrieved from Nussbaum, M. (2000). Women and human development: The capabilities approach. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. Nussbaum, M. (2010). Not for profit: Why democracy needs the humanities. ­Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Nussbaum, M. (2011). Creating capabilities: The human development approach. ­Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press. Pool, E. (2014). Aanwijzingen voor het goede leven, Over levenskunst en de zoektocht naar zin. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Boom. Regenmortel, T. (2009). Empowerment als uitdagend kader voor sociale inclusie en moderne zorg (Empowerment as challenging framework for social inclusion and modern-day care). Journal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice, 18(4), 22–42. Sen, A. (1999). Development as freedom. London, UK: Oxford University Press. Terlazzo, R. (2016). Conceptualizing adaptive preferences respectfully: An ­i ndirectly substantive account. Journal of Political Philosophy, 24(2), 206–226. VTS. (2017). Retrieved from Yenawine, P. (2014). Visual thinking strategies: Using art to deepen learning across school disciplines. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. Zuckerkandl, V. (1956). Sound and symbol: Music and the external world (Trans.: Willard Trask). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

4 Recreating the social work imagination Embedding the arts within Scottish social work Susan Levy Introduction There are deep and historical roots to the nexus between social work and the arts stretching back to the beginning of the profession (Konrad, 2017). Yet, the connections between social work, the arts, and social change are not integral to the discourse of everyday practice. The combined impact of neoliberalism, austerity, and proceduralism percolating ever deeper into the profession coupled with the ‘social turn’ in art has resulted, Schubert and Gray (2015) argue, in the arts now reaching into the spaces of social change once held by social work. This chapter will argue that the time is ripe for the profession to broaden its lens of practice, research, and teaching and to (re)connect with the arts. It will draw on a case study on the impact of disabled children and young people participating in inclusive music classes in ­Scotland. Participation in inclusive arts is developing self-confidence, intersectional identities, and agency. These outcomes are emerging from arts-based practice that is grounded in reciprocal and trusting relationships developed between artists and marginalised groups. Approaches to aligning social work and the arts within a social justice framework will be explored along with ways to contest the prevailing disconnect between the arts, social work, and social change. First, the concept of the art of social work ­(Rapoport, 1968; England, 1986) will be discussed, and the chapter will call for opening up an intentional space for social workers to learn from artists’ use of creativity. Second, through highlighting the impact of participation in inclusive arts, it will be argued that social work needs to support access to the arts for marginalised groups as a conduit for working to transform lives and achieve social change.

Social work, art, and creativity In the 1960s, Rapoport argued that, ‘both social work and art can be conceived as instruments of social change’ (Rapoport, 1968, p. 144). Since then, England (1986) and others have highlighted how the core values of ­social work, effective communication, meaningful relationships, and valuing

Recreating the social work imagination  45 difference and diversity, are enacted and discernible through the art of the practitioner. In Social Work as Art, England (1986) harnesses the ‘intuitive use of self’ of art residing in the social worker and in social work practice through the use of creativity, effective communication, and empathy. Whilst Goldstein argued that, ‘art cannot flourish without rule and rigour’, (1992, cited in Konrad, 2017, p. 4), England (1986) suggests the antithesis, that art and artists are free to engage in aesthetic relationships without being stifled and constrained by what he saw as the emerging proceduralism, hard empiricism, and Evidence Based Practice (EBP) that was beginning to re-­define social work. Both Rapoport (1968) and England (1986) were countering the tide of change in the profession by highlighting the need to retain the creativity of social work and to stall amplifying the disconnect between art and social work. The visibility of this disconnect has led Schubert and Gray (2015) to conclude that the core social work values of social justice, communication, relationships, and the valuing of difference and diversity are now more visible in socially engaged arts practice than in social work. They call for reinvigorating critical social work, and for the profession to ‘pause and reflect’ (Schubert & Gray, 2015, p. 1350) in order to identify ways to both connect with and learn from the arts (Nissen, 2017). Within a Scottish context, current social policy is framed within a rightsbased, social justice discourse, with personalisation and an outcomes-based approach as key drivers underpinning social care policy (Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act, 2013). Personalisation focuses on providing services that are person-centred, responsive to individual needs, and offer greater choice and control for service users. An outcomes-based approach frames practice as a collaborative interaction that identifies and works to achieve agreed outcomes for service users. Personalisation and an outcomes-based approach are grounded in centring the voice of service users in social work practice and require practitioners to think differently and work differently. In essence, both personalisation and outcomes-based approaches require social workers to work more creatively and bring to the fore the art of social work (Rapoport, 1968; England, 1986). Contemporary social care policy is distinct and moves away from preceding models of social care that were grounded in dependency and hierarchies of knowledge and prioritised expert knowledge over experiential and other knowledges. Working collaboratively with service users requires building respectful and interdependent relationships (Butler & Taylor, 2009). It requires practitioners to ‘know’ who their service users are, to have a genuine interest in who they are and an understanding of the context within which their lives are lived. Framing practice from an ethics of care (Tronto, 1993) allows for the development of relational autonomy and interdependent relationships through ‘caring about’ supporting service users to achieve outcomes in their lives that reflect their capabilities and enables them to lead a life of their own choosing (Nussbaum, 2006; Sen, 2009). For some people, this may ­include being able to express themselves creatively through participating in

46  Susan Levy dance or music classes. The adoption of an ethics of care places value on the interdependency that can surface through relationships, communication, and attention to individual difference. Dependency is thus redefined, usefully understood as ‘nested dependencies’ (Kittay, 2002), a recognition and acceptance that none of us are ever fully autonomous, rather, we are all dependent on others at different points and to different extents through the journey of life (Butler & Taylor, 2009; Keyes, Webber, & Beveridge, 2015). The arts can facilitate the developing of interdependency between artists and marginalised groups, to, ‘interrupt our habits of seeing, to challenge and alter what (and how) we know, and thus how we interact and relate to one another’ (Sinding, Warren, & Patton, 2014, p. 194). The socio-spatial dimensions of the arts can support alternative mediums for self-expression, communication, and reflection, providing a way into previously silenced worlds and disrupting dominant ways of knowing and being. The power of the arts to centre the voice of marginalised groups exposes how the use of creative and innovative forms of communication and interdependent relationships can develop agency. Both the arts and social work expose and engage with very human dimensions of life—the rawness, the vulnerability, and the richness of life. The prevailing policy context of personalisation can facilitate for boundary crossing and a space to emerge where professional knowledge can be, ‘augmented by an appreciation of what the arts and ­humanities can teach’ social workers (Gray & Webb, 2008, p. 183). Embedded within current social policy are explicit references for practitioners to be ‘creative’ and for service users to ‘have access to a creative variety of providers and supports and are assisted to think creatively about how outcomes can be met’ (The Keys to Life, 2013). This example from The Keys to Life (2013) refers specifically to people with learning disabilities, but its inherent message is manifest in numerous other policies. The message is twofold. First, it identifies the need for social care practitioners to support service users to access creative opportunities, such as inclusive arts activities. Second, it calls for practitioners to be creative in their use of an outcomes-based approach. The Keys to Life (2013) and other policies give credence to expanding the social work imagination and being receptive to the complex, multifaceted nature of creativity being assimilated into the profession.

Social work, the arts, and social change Supporting access for marginalised groups to participate in inclusive and participatory arts activities can open up opportunities for, ‘the complex processes and possibilities of transformation that the participatory arts can initiate’ (Wakeling & Clark, 2015, p. 7). The arts are neither neutral nor apolitical; provocation, disrupting, and subverting settled norms are the familiar and chosen territory for many artists, and the same should be true for social work. However, the radical edge of social work has been somewhat

Recreating the social work imagination  47 dissipated as neoliberalism has garnered strength (Gray & Webb, 2008; ­ erguson & Woodward, 2009). Integrating the arts into social work practice F has the potential to re-position the profession to re-engage with its radical roots and contest prevailing norms. In relation to disability, this translates into challenging disabled embodiment and the position of disabled people within society. Butler (1993) argues that embodiment is constrained and de-limited by socially constructed norms of what a body can and should do and that this is experienced most profoundly by bodies that are positioned on the periphery and margins of society, which includes the disabled. Social norms are experienced and performed within a spatial and temporal context and within the confines of lived experiences (Butler, 1993). Exposure to different ways of knowing and doing help to expand and redefine what is possible and acceptable. Within the arts, social norms around disability have delimited and restricted opportunities for disabled people to participate in arts activities. This was highlighted in the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (2014) monitoring report on the implementation of the United Nations ­Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in the UK. It was noted in relation to Article 30: Right to participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport, that disabled people are significantly less likely to participate in cultural activities than non-disabled people and continue to face barriers around lack of accessible facilities, services and transport preventing equal participation in cultural life. (2014, p. 34) Whilst arts opportunities for disabled people have previously presented a barren landscape, slowly this scenario is being unsettled and the ground is becoming more fertile. The emerging visibility of disabled dancers, musicians, and artists in Scotland is providing new answers to the question, ‘What can a body do?’ (Butler & Taylor, 2009). These artists are presenting alternative ways of being, resulting in prevailing understandings of disability and what it means to be a dancer, a musician, and an artist being problematised. The genesis of inclusive arts within Scotland is embedded within a vision for the country that sees the arts as being accessible and representative, reflecting the richness and diversity of society but also holding a mirror to that society to provoke, contest, and redefine. These developments are situated within the transfiguration of the social care and disability landscape and the policy discourse of personalisation and outcomes-based practice. This contemporary context places value on working in partnership with disabled people to achieve agreed outcomes that should include being able to choose to participate in a range of social and cultural activities, including music, dance, and art classes. The arts are contesting and challenging normative embodiment; social workers can and should be part of this process.

48  Susan Levy Research on the participation in inclusive arts activities and on the intersections of the arts, social inclusion, and social work expose the potential for change, empowerment, and agency in the lives of marginalised groups (­Sinding et al., 2014; Fox & MacPherson, 2015; Sinding & Barnes, 2015). Within the field of disability arts, studies evidencing the benefits of participating in inclusive arts activities on the lives of disabled people is drawing attention to how involvement is impacting on the confidence, motivation, and identify of disabled people (Parr, 2006; Atkinson & Robson, 2012; Watts & Ridley, 2012; Hall, 2013; Levy, Robb, & Jindal-Snape, 2017), social inclusion (Newsinger & Green, 2016), empowerment (Houston, 2005), activism and social change (Sinding & Barnes, 2015), and disability culture (Kuppers, 2011). A recurring theme in this literature is that the arts can produce a safe space for disabled people to explore aspects of themselves and their position in society, things that are fundamental to being human, but for many, disabled people are out of reach in other spaces. These safe spaces denote both safe physical spaces as well as safe relational spaces. The latter refers to spaces where the use of creative, playful arts activities is engendering effective communication and trusting, reciprocal, and aesthetic relationships (Needham, 2015). This work is making visible how art engages in distinct ways with each of us as humans. There is a fundamental role for social work to recognise and work with the power of the arts to achieve change in the lives of disabled people and other marginalised groups, and this should include supporting access to the arts.

Paragon: Play on inclusive music classes The following section draws on research with an inclusive arts organisation, Paragon, based in Glasgow, Scotland (Levy et al., 2017). Paragon offers inclusive music classes and musical encounters to a range of people including disabled children and young adults through to older people and people whose lives have been constrained by dominant discourses and understandings of disability and have experienced structural limitations on their life opportunities. In 2013, Paragon established weekly music classes, called Play On, for disabled children and young adults. The Play On classes were a response to a dearth of music classes for disabled children in Scottish schools (­Moscardini, Barron, & Wilson, 2012). The children and young people attending Play On classes have a range of disabilities, including physical and learning disabilities, as well as profound and multiple learning disabilities. The Play On classes are not conceived of as therapy or an intervention; rather, their aim is social inclusion, to normalise the opportunity for disabled children and young adults to engage in musical experiences. The ethos of Paragon is based on it being ‘an inclusive music company inspiring people to create and perform their own music…we are passionate about using music and the arts to raise people’s aspirations, promoting positive self-image, teamwork, communication and learning’ (Paragon Music, 2017). This study set out to explore how attending the Play On music classes was impacting

Recreating the social work imagination  49 the lives of the young musicians in relation to communication, confidence, identity, and agency. Qualitative data were collected with the young musicians (the disabled children and young people attending the Play On classes, n = 8), their parents (n = 11), and Paragon staff (n = 7). The study utilised a participatory approach with the researchers working in collaboration with Paragon staff in the study design and data collection. This included identifying collaborative ways to integrate data collection with the young musicians into their weekly music class. Different data collection methods were used with each group of participants. Over a period of three months, observations were made of the young musicians in Play On classes and while performing at the Centre for ­Contemporary Arts, Glasgow. During one class the researchers, supported by Paragon staff, spent time talking to the young musicians about their experiences of attending Play On classes, what they liked about their music classes, and how they felt when they were at the classes. Flexibility was built into working with the young musicians, enabling them to spend time with the researchers, return to their music, and then back to the researchers. A questionnaire was made available to the parents of the young musicians, both online and as a hard copy, once again integrating flexibility into the data collection to account for the different lives of the participants. The parents were asked to comment on the impact of the classes in key areas of their child’s life, as well as on family life. With the Paragon staff, the researchers facilitated a focus group that covered the social impact of the Play On classes on the young musicians, as well as allowing for time to reflect on the pedagogy of Play On. The following section discusses some of the findings around the impact of communication, confidence, identity, and agency on the lives of the young musicians and highlights the role of supportive and interdependent relationships in achieving these outcomes.

‘My son stands taller when he is there:’ Building confidence, agency, and intersectional identities in safe and supportive spaces The vision of Paragon that is embedded in the Play On classes is for the arts, and specifically music, to be accessible, inclusive, and immersive to all. In essence, it is a template for working in a democratic, non-hierarchical way where everyone has a voice and is supported in creating personal agency, choice, and control. The research found that the Paragon staff are using this democratic and collaborative pedagogy as the basis for communicating with the young musicians, which in turn, enables the young musicians to begin to open up and communicate something of themselves. Both the young musicians and tutors used the medium of music to communicate. Communication is fundamental to human interaction, but that interaction need not be confined to traditional, established forms of oral communication. The arts are a reservoir of possibilities for alternative and creative forms of

50  Susan Levy communicating, for people to express and communicate something about themselves, their lives, and the way they make sense of the world. Empowering disabled people to have a voice in the arts is not easily achieved, as it requires transgressing prevailing power discourses to re-orientate relationships around the subaltern voice. The following quotes from the Play On tutors demonstrate how they are using music as a conduit to develop communication in preparation for entering into the world of music, as well as supporting and nurturing other transferable skills: Tutor: ‘I’m working on communication. I’m trying to build the principle skill in music and that is listening. So how do you do that? You have to demonstrate that, and you have to listen yourself, and if they can see you listening and you are listening genuinely to who they are as people then they will listen to you. Then you’ve established the opportunity for them to start trying new ideas, new sounds and to discover new ways of learning about music. So, it’s not really about learning a musical instrument, it’s about discovering the music inside you and knowing how to listen. It’s working on other skills but using music as a tool to make that happen’. Tutor: ‘There are many musical ways through which you can communicate; you don’t have to speak in language, you can speak in other ways. If in everything you do through communicating you are aware of its musical content, then they are learning music’. The narratives of the tutors highlighted above talk to the work of Spivak around ‘learning to listen’ (1990, p. 292), being open to listening to other knowledges, other realities and ways of being, seeing and experiencing the world. Similarly, creative communication and listening should be central to  how ­social ­workers access the diverse worlds of service users (Gray & Webb, 2008). The Play On tutor-student relationship is reciprocal, with both sharing knowledge and learning from each other. Adopting alternative approaches to communicating is central to Play On classes. The tutors focused on communication, not just in relation to learning music, but in the way they interacted and supported the young musicians to build a relationship with them that was based on trust and respect, as one tutor explained, ‘Yeah, it’s always giving and taking from each other, a reciprocal thing’. The word ‘relationship’ appeared repeatedly throughout the data, emerging as particularly important in the words of the parents of the young musicians. Relationships are fundamental to social work, but it is the ‘quality of the interaction’ of having trust and understanding that are the ‘vital thread’ (Trevithick, 2012, p. 13): Parent: ‘He has built a relationship with the tutors’. Parent: ‘He has a relationship with his tutors, and they work with his ability’.

Recreating the social work imagination  51 Parent: ‘He is comfortable to be there and has a good relationship with the music tutors’. Music was a unifying factor and an equaliser between the young musicians in the relationship they developed with their tutors. They all came to the Play On classes as musicians and shared their creativity. Developing a sense of identity based around being a musician was visible in the classes and in the narratives of the study participants. As one tutor noted, ‘… it’s not a condition specific identity, it’s an identity of being a musician. Everyone is a musician’. The narratives of the Play On staff around identity were echoed by some of the other participants, highlighting how the development of the young musicians’ identities was unsettling established norms and imagery of disability. The young musicians were no longer seen as disabled, with limited abilities, but as musicians with ability and creativity (Knutes Nyqvist & Stjerna, 2017). The clarity and consistency of this message, of both the young musicians and their tutors being ‘musicians’, was enacted by the young musicians and transformed into embodied identities: Parent: ‘He has developed more through Play On than any other activity; he has really developed a sense of identity’. Parent: ‘I have found watching him participate very moving, and he is able to express a creative side and get a very positive view of himself, also model himself on the tutors socially and musically’. The layering of the young musicians’ identities added complexity to how they perceived themselves as well as how others perceived them. This resonates with the work of Watts and Ridley (2012) on disabled children attending music classes and wanting to be perceived as musicians. The development of the young musicians’ intersectional identities connects with them having a more positive sense of self and agency. Meaningful participation (Wakeling  & Clark, 2015) in the Play On classes was achieved through the positive role models of staff whose practice can be understood as being framed from an ethics of care and personalisation. This is achieved by valuing, supporting and building interdependent relationships, irrespective of difference. Confidence was identified in the words of one of the tutors as a ‘tangible outcome’ for the young musicians: Young musician: ‘They (Play On classes) have been good for developing my confidence; I feel more confident here’. The visibility of the growing confidence and agency of the young musicians was manifest in various ways throughout the data, from references to examples of small but significant things that were developing their confidence and sense of belonging, such as being ‘welcomed by name’ and tutors ‘genuinely caring and taking the time to talk’. To the young musicians,

52  Susan Levy overcoming challenges, that in other areas of their lives and in other spaces they were ‘protected’ from, was important. Play On enabled them to take risks through creative leadership, to prepare emotionally for performances and navigate their way through new social encounters. This included embracing ‘firsts’ in their lives. For example, one young musician had recently asked his mum to leave him on his own at the lessons, knowing that he was in a safe physical and relational space. His mum said, ‘It is actually one of the only projects he wants to come back to, but it’s also the first time he’s ever asked to be alone’. Other firsts included teenagers travelling on their own in a taxi to class or no longer relying on a parent to be their ‘voice’ when communicating with Play On staff. Greater awareness and access to the arts can start to shift and normalise these scenarios, unsettling and transposing the unique into the norm: Parent: ‘I would say that he has become more independent, as he is keen to speak directly to tutors and musicians instead of looking to me to speak for him’. In the narratives of the parents, the words ‘excited’, ‘nervous’, and ‘anxious’ emerged within the context of their children returning to Play On classes after a holiday or prior to a performance, but they also noted that their children had ‘learnt to deal with the apprehension’. Through the staff supporting the young musicians to feel confident in different settings, they were preparing them to better cope with change more generally in their lives. In the words of one parent, they perceived a greater willingness in their child ‘to try new things since starting Play On’. Participation in the Play On classes appeared to be impacting on the well-being of the young musicians through developing a sense of purpose, autonomy, social relationships, and a more positive outlook on life. The ­salience of the changes in the young musicians’ overall well-being and behaviour was picked up on by social workers. Some of the parents noted that their social workers had asked what their child did in the Play On classes to help them make sense of what was contributing to the changes they were observing in the children: Parent: ‘His social worker noticed he was more motivated and together and discussed what he did there [at Play On]’. As a profession, through understanding the social impact of involvement in the arts on the lives of disabled people and other marginalised groups, opportunities for exploring new areas and approaches to social work can emerge. Social work practitioners can learn from arts practitioners ­gaining an insight into enacting personalisation and outcomes-based practice, of using creative forms of communication and relationship building ­coupled with seeing and valuing individual strengths. Connecting to, collaborating with, and mediating access to inclusive arts organisations can

Recreating the social work imagination  53 present innovative ways for social work to achieve change in the lives of disabled people. There are spatial and temporal dimensions to the work of inclusive arts practitioners that shouldn’t be overlooked. The Play On classes are situated in a space that was perceived by the young musicians as safe, but separate and removed from other aspects of their lives, a space where time is ­responsive to the needs of the young musicians. The resulting synergy was energising for the young musicians and Play On staff, leading to creative outcomes. However, the prevalence of neoliberalism and proceduralism in social work must be acknowledged, making these situated experiences more challenging to replicate in practice. Yet, meaningful and interdependent ­relationships can be created in small pockets of time and in divergent spaces. This includes learning to ‘inhabit’ (Sinding et al., 2014, p. 198) the temporal and spatial worlds of others, of ‘slowing down the interpretive ­process’ (­Furman, Coyne, & Negi, 2008, p. 76) to be able to respond to individual needs. There is a social work role here to understand how participation in the arts can impact on the lives of service users and to be pro-active in mediating and supporting access to the arts.

Conclusion The Play On classes are one example of inclusive arts practice creating a safe physical and relational space where disabled children and young people can develop their self-confidence, identity, and agency, and where accepted social norms of disability are challenged and diversity is exposed, explored, and celebrated. Furthermore, society at large is enriched through making space for disabled perspectives within cultural life. The Play On tutors use effective communication and reciprocal relationships as a foundation to their practice that achieves positive outcomes in the lives of the young musicians. This aligns arts practice with core social work values along with personalisation and an outcomes-based approach that are central to prevailing social care policy in Scotland. This chapter has offered an insight into ways that social work can learn from and connect to arts-based practices. Connecting to inclusive arts practices can open up opportunities for disabled people and other marginalised groups that can transform their lives, and it adds a depth and new perspective to social work being framed within a discourse of social justice and anti-oppressive practice (Dominelli, 2002; Cocker & Hafford-Letchfield, 2014). The following are intentional approaches to be adopted to facilitate for social work to connect with and integrate the arts into practice, research, and teaching: Social work and creativity—learning from the arts: •

Making space for knowledge exchange on creativity in practice and creative approaches for developing supportive and interdependent relationships that can lead to positive outcomes for service users.

54  Susan Levy Social work connecting to the arts for social change: • •

Social work seeing and using the arts as spaces for meaningful activities that can transform lives and enrich society through engaging in different ways of being and living in the world. Social work supporting access to the arts as a conduit to enable marginalised groups to communicate, developing agency and a voice within society.

Konrad (2017) presents a critique of the arts in social work, yet raises a contradictory question that is situated within the context of economic uncertainty and the prevalence of neoliberalism. She asks, ‘Is it perhaps vital now more than ever to use the arts to disrupt the status quo in social work education, research, and practice?’ (Konrad, 2017, p. 4). The arts have the potential to expand the social work imagination, to co-creatively transform the lives of disabled people and other marginalised groups. If social change is to remain fundamental to social work, the role of the arts ‘must be reconsidered’ (Schubert & Gray, 2015, p. 1353) and ways to connect with the arts must move centre stage.

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56  Susan Levy Sinding, C., Warren, R., & Paton, C. (2014). Social work and the arts: Images at the intersection. Qualitative Social Work, 13(2), 187–202. Spivak, G. C. (1990). The post-colonial critic: Interviews, strategies, and dialogues. London, UK: Routledge. The Keys to Life. (2013). The keys to life: Improving quality of life for people with learning disabilities. Edinburgh, UK: The Scottish Government. Trevithick, P. (2012). Social work skills and knowledge: A practice handbook (3rd Ed.). Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press and McGraw-Hill Education. Tronto, J. (1993). Moral boundaries: A political argument for an ethic of care. ­London, UK: Routledge. Wakeling, K., & Clark, J. (2015). Beyond health and well-being: Transformation, memory and the virtual in older people’s music and dance. International Journal of Ageing and Later Life, 9(2), 7–34. Watts, M., & Ridley, B. (2012). Identities of dis/ability and music. British Educational Research Journal, 38(3), 353–372.

5 Photovoice project Participatory research and action with women in ­post-disaster Japan Mieko Yoshihama Context On March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck the northeast region of Japan, which triggered massive tsunamis. Nuclear meltdowns and hydrogen explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant, rated at the highest level on the International Nuclear Event Scale, released a high dose of radioactive material, whose effects continue to this day. This combined natural and technological disaster took the lives of 15,894 individuals, and over 2,500 people remain missing (National Police Agency, 2017). Major disasters exacerbate pre-disaster inequities and intensify the vulnerability of women and other marginalized and disempowered groups (Wisner, Blaikie, Cannon, & Davis, 2003; Enarson, 2012). However, in Japan, a country that experiences many disasters, women’s perspectives have not been sufficiently incorporated in disaster policies or programs. This lack of attention reflects deep-seated gender disparities and discrimination that cut across virtually all sectors of society. In 2011, the year of the disaster, Japan ranked 98th out of 135 countries on the Gender Gap Index, and in 2017, 114th out of 144 countries (World Economic Forum, 2011, 2017). Research on gender issues in disasters has also been limited in Japan. There is a great need to fill these gaps in social policies, programs, and research.

Aim The project aim, in its broadest sense, is to contribute to the development of more inclusive, gender-informed disaster preparedness and response policies and programs. Using a participatory approach, the project seeks to investigate and document the disaster’s consequences and formulate ways to strengthen disaster prevention and response from the perspective of women who were affected by the Great East Japan Disaster. As a participatory action research effort, the project is also intended to strengthen the capacity of participants to take action themselves and incite action on the part of others, to make disaster policies and programs more responsive to diverse and marginalized populations. By adopting a participatory method

58  Mieko Yoshihama using arts, we also sought to introduce a new and different approach to knowledge development and policy making in Japan (­Yoshihama &­ Yunomae, in press).

The people involved Right after the Great East Japan Disaster, the author, a Japan-born, U.S.trained social work practitioner-educator-researcher residing in the U.S.A., contacted a number of professionals and activists in Japan to explore ­possible action to protect the welfare and rights of women and other marginalized individuals. Soon, the director of a nongovernmental organization (NGO) that exposed gender discrimination in disaster responses following the 1995 Awaji Hanshin Great Disaster, a university-based researcher, and an international humanitarian aid organization based in Japan expressed an interest. Brainstorming together led to the creation of a national network aimed at advocating for gender-informed disaster policies and responses, the first of its kind in Japan. We formed a research team and conducted a number of action-oriented research projects, including this one, which used photovoice methodology—a participatory method involving photography and creative writing. The Project began in June 2011. (In the fall of 2013, the project became an independent program, separate from the national network; the network ended its operation in March 2014.) Throughout the process of planning and implementing the project, leaders and members of local women’s NGOs have played a central role. In addition to providing invaluable input and feedback regarding the project design and operation, they have provided substantive assistance in such activities as participant recruitment and securing meeting venues. Over the course of the project, volunteers have also contributed to the project in various ways, including instructors and students of the Japanese language in the U.S.A. and France who have helped translate participants’ voices. Last but not least, and central and invaluable to the project, are the groups of women affected by the disaster who have participated in the project.

Method To ensure that the perspectives of women affected by the disaster were placed at the centre of the project, we used photovoice methodology (Wang  & Burris, 1997; Wang, 1999). Photovoice was originally developed during the 1990s as a participatory tool for investigating and documenting the lives of rural women in China to advocate for changes in public health policies and system responses (Wang & Burris, 1994, 1997). Photovoice has been widely used to examine and improve the social conditions of vulnerable population groups (Yoshihama & Carr, 2002; Desyllas, 2014; also see ­Hergenrather, Rhodes, Cowan, Bardhoshi, & Pula, 2009; Lal, Jarus, & Suto, 2012 for reviews).

Photovoice project  59 Photovoice has its theoretical and epistemological roots in empowerment and emancipatory education, feminist theory, and documentary photography (Wang & Burris, 1994, 1997). By handing a camera to the people affected by the social issue under investigation and letting them voice their opinions, photovoice breaks the monopoly of knowledge creation by experts, mostly men (Freire, 1970; Hall, 1977; Maguire, 1987). Photovoice also exemplifies the use of art in developing knowledge and promoting social change. A hallmark of photovoice methodology is that it engages the very people who are affected by the social issue under investigation. Participants take photographs of their lives and environments, share the photographs, and discuss their experiences and observations in a series of group meetings. They examine the community and societal conditions; assess their root causes, contributing factors, and consequences; and formulate strategies for change. Along the way, participants create voices (i.e., short written texts) to accompany selected photographs. Their photographs and voices are disseminated in various ways: in print, digitally, or through exhibits in community venues.

Process Planning Prior to initiating the project in June 2011, we conducted intensive and extensive situational analysis and formative work to learn about the conditions and needs of the disaster-affected communities and residents. This was a necessary and important step in the aftermath of this unprecedented disaster, which was chaotic and unpredictable. We contacted various governmental and nongovernmental organizations, professional associations, practitioners, and advocates in the field. The disaster attracted a great number of domestic and foreign researchers. Our informants and prospective collaborators had been sought out for information, participation, and collaboration of all kinds, and many made it explicit that they did not wish to be ‘studied’ any more. Listening to those who were living and working in disaster-affected areas and heeding their input, we shaped and reshaped the project design and procedures. We chose to implement the project first in the three most severely affected prefectures (Koriyama City in Fukushima Prefecture; Sendai City in Miyagi Prefecture; and Miyako City in Iwate ­Prefecture) and have since expanded the project to additional sites; the project currently operates in eight localities. Participant recruitment and orientation We used various methods to recruit participants depending on the local context, with attention to the needs and preferences of local collaborating organizations and prospective participants. In the city of Koriyama,

60  Mieko Yoshihama for example, we visited one of the largest emergency evacuation centres and recruited participants in person by handing out flyers. In the cities of Sendai and Miyako, members of the local collaborating NGOs expressed a desire to form a group from within their own organizations and social/professional networks. We thus recruited participants via email and word of mouth. We held orientation meetings at each location to introduce the project goals and procedures. Interested participants signed a written consent and received brief instruction on how to operate a digital camera and ethics and safety issues in photo-taking. Initially, 20 women (five in Koriyama, nine in Sendai, and six in ­Miyako) participated, but the number of participants has grown over the years. ­Currently, over 50 women ranging in age from their 20s to their 70s are participating. The participants’ backgrounds are diverse; included are housewives, members of NGOs and governmental organizations, and professionals (e.g., physicians, nurses, and midwives). All suffered damage and loss due to the disaster: they lost family members and friends, had their homes damaged, and had to evacuate to temporary housing. Seven years later, at the writing of this chapter, some remain displaced. Repeated photo-taking and group discussion Participants are asked to take photographs of various aspects of their lives and communities after the disaster and attend a series of group discussion meetings. At meetings, participants select several photographs that they wish to discuss, which are projected onto a large screen in view of other participants to promote reflective discussion. Meetings last for two to three hours, with some lasting much longer. Together with their photographs, participants share their experiences and observations of the disaster and its aftermath. We facilitate the discussion to promote mutual interaction among participants. Going beyond simple narratives of what happened after the disaster or the image captured in the photograph, we encourage participants to explore sociocultural factors that might have contributed to what happened or did not happen, and what change would be necessary to ensure more effective disaster preparedness, risk mitigation, and response. Dissemination: Creating voices and making public exhibits and presentations Heeding participants’ wishes and preferences, we began organizing exhibits to disseminate their photographs and voices to the public. The first series of exhibits were conducted in Fukushima in November 2012, 15 months after the project’s inception. Of the many photographs they took and shared at group meetings, participants chose those they wished to display at the exhibit. They then wrote a short message (voice) to accompany each of the selected photographs. At the exhibit, photographs and voices, printed large, were displayed.

Photovoice project  61 We also organized a public forum as part of the exhibits, where participants made verbal presentations and interacted with the audience. In the ensuing years, we have conducted many more exhibits and public forums.

The role of social workers Aside from the author, none of the project organizers and collaborators was trained or employed as a social worker in the conventional sense. Nonetheless, project organizers, collaborators, and participants have functioned in a wide range of social work roles across all the categories set forth by Hepworth and colleagues (2013): direct service provision, system linkage, system maintenance and enhancement, researcher and research consumer, and system development. For example, we, who initiated and are carrying out the project, and leaders of collaborating organizations have served as program planners and developers (system development roles). As facilitators of group meetings, we also function as group workers (direct service provision roles), and at times, play system linkage roles to connect participants to suitable resources. Importantly, all of us—including the participants, who have examined and documented the consequences of the disaster through photographs, group discussions, and voices, and called for more effective policies and programs—have served as researchers and advocates. Participants have also served as educators by sharing their analysis and knowledge through photographs and voices.

Results and impact Photographs, discussions, and voices Some participants have taken many photographs while others have taken just a few between meetings. Many photographs are descriptive, capturing various scenes of destruction caused by the earthquake and tsunamis, such as damaged houses, buildings, roads, railroads, bridges, and ports. Participants have also photographed the damage caused by the disaster to their own houses and workplaces, as well as challenging living conditions in their temporary housing. Photographing the damage caused by the nuclear accident has required some creativity on the part of the participants. Unlike destroyed buildings and heavy equipment used for repair of the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant, radioactive contamination in the air, soil, and water is invisible. Some participants initially expressed doubt about capturing such invisible damage; however, they have found various ways to capture it. For example, the image of a cucumber grown too big and that of a persimmon tree with fruit sagging in the middle of winter were used to illustrate the impact of radiation contamination, which discouraged people from eating the vegetable and fruit. Participants also have captured images that express various emotions, such as sense of loss, grief, sorrow, anger, fear, anxiety, powerlessness, and

62  Mieko Yoshihama helplessness. These emotions have also been expressed during group meetings, verbally and nonverbally (e.g., in tears, facial expressions, and silence). One participant used an image of a tilted building to illustrate her sense of being destabilized by the disaster and evacuation, and an animal in a cage to express her own sense of entrapment in an emergency evacuation centre. Participants have also captured images of what they perceive as effective and ineffective disaster preparedness and disaster responses. They have also created photographic images representing what is yet to happen and what they desire to happen (e.g., a more disaster-resilient society and reconstruction efforts that promote the coexistence of human beings and nature. Participation, continuation, and expansion When the project began, many participants were living in emergency evacuation centres or temporary housing; some had to relocate many times in search of safer and more suitable temporary housing. Many were assisting other disaster victims as part of their regular employment or as volunteers, and many continue to do so to this day. Participants were and, in many cases, still are exhausted and over-extended. Yet they have continued to take photographs and attend meetings, attesting to the meaningfulness and effectiveness of the project. Originally, we planned to conduct three discussion meetings with the option of continuing if participants so desired. This was the case, and the project is now in its seventh year and continuing to expand. Not only did all three initial groups choose to continue, but participants also expressed an interest and assisted in creating additional groups. For example, members of the Sendai Group took the initiative in creating two new groups in the fall of 2012, one also in Sendai City and another in Ishinomaki City, a coastal city that suffered devastating damage from the tsunamis. Later, a member in the Ishinomaki Group requested that we create a photovoice group in nearby Onagawa Town, and we worked closely together to make this happen in 2014. More recently, a member of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area Group was instrumental in recruiting members, and we created a new group in Fukushima City. These participant-initiated program expansions over the years are another indication that the project is serving an important need for disaster-affected citizens. Dissemination and feedback We have thus far organized over 40 public exhibits and about 20 public forums. At selected exhibits and forums, we obtain written feedback from the audience. One audience member wrote, ‘I felt the power of the photographs. It is important to keep a record. Photographs help us remember and continue to talk about what happened’. Other comments point to the value of ordinary citizens taking the photographs and the longitudinal nature of the

Photovoice project  63 project activities, which allows for the audience and project ­participants to witness changes (or the lack thereof) that have occurred since the disaster. To reach a wider audience, we published a book, a compilation of participants’ photographs and voices in March 2015 (PhotoVoice Project, 2015). We have translated participants’ voices into English (and French, albeit on a smaller scale) to enable dissemination outside Japan. In 2014, the National Women’s Education Center (NWEC), a public agency in Japan, invited us to submit the photographs and voices to its national archive. This invitation symbolizes societal recognition of the value of the citizen-generated documentary record of the disaster that our PhotoVoice Project has produced. The NWEC archive is linked to the Great East Japan Earthquake Archive, HINAGIKU ( of the Japan’s National Diet Library (the equivalent of the U.S. Library of Congress), which is linked to various archives around the globe.

Reflections The profession of social work promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people (­International Federation of Social Workers, 2014). Our project represents an attempt to actualize this professional mission, an effort to contribute to the development of more inclusive disaster responses by placing disaster-affected women at the centre of investigation and advocacy endeavours. The adoption of photovoice has provided ample ongoing space for women—the socially ­marginalized—to document, narrate, and analyse their own experiences and observations. Rather than being relegated to the role of study subjects, or objects of examination, they serve as experts, producing knowledge through dialectic discussions and critical analyses with fellow participants, facilitators, and project organizers (Muramoto, Kamiyama, Yoshihama, Dan, & Hisata, 2015; Yoshihama & Yunomae, in press). Participants are actively engaged in the dissemination of their knowledge through publicly exhibiting their photographs and voices and making presentations to inform policymakers, practitioners, the media, and the citizens at large and prompt them to take action in their respective capacity. Clearly, photovoice promotes cyclic processes of critical consciousness and action. Scholarly writing on photovoice tends to focus on its role as a participatory action research method; however, its use as an arts-based method involving photography and creative writing (voices) receives less attention. While photographs are often used as a medium of research (Collier, 1967; Harper, 1986), both the centrality of the people affected by the issues under investigation and the explicit commitment to social change set photovoice apart from other research methods using photographs, such as photo-elicitation. Our experience using photovoice in a post-disaster context illustrates the multiple and continuous roles that the arts can play at the individual, interpersonal, community, and societal levels. Individually, participants

64  Mieko Yoshihama decide what images to capture and select which photographs to share at the ­meeting. Even though they choose to capture and share what they think is meaningful, participants may not be aware of the exact and full meaning of the images at the time they are taken. This is where the power of ­photo-taking lies: it allows participants to record and share what is meaningful to them without requiring linguistic explanations. It is through interaction with fellow participants and facilitators and ongoing reflections that the meaning of the images becomes clearer; it is not uncommon for new, sometimes quite different, meaning to emerge through this repeated dialectic process. A combination of photo-taking and group discussions also enables participants to get in touch with feelings, some of which they may not have previously recognized or acknowledged. Many participants use photographs and group discussions to express their feelings, such as in the case of the tilted building and the caged cat discussed previously. Writing the voices serves as a transformational process, enabling participants to identify feelings, frame the issues, and articulate their positions. Photographs and voices play an important role at community and societal levels. For the audience, photographs create an opportunity to inhabit, however briefly and temporarily, the world of the photographer. Voices, most of which are written in the first person, serve to narrow the spatial, social, and cognitive distance between the audience and the narrators, those affected by the disaster. The combination of visual images and narratives in our project has communicated the failure of various policies and programs and the predicament of disaster-affected communities and residents. This has fostered empathy and a sense of urgency in many audience members, encouraging them to learn more, share what they have learned with people in their social network, and take other action. Photovoice—by combining photo-taking, group discussions, voice writing, and public dissemination of images and narratives—effectively serves as a means to record, reflect, analyse, communicate, and prompt action while also serving as an introspective and emotive channel through which to identify and express feelings. As such, photovoice is applicable to a wide range of social work endeavours: participatory community assessment and program development; social work intervention aimed at engaging and empowering the marginalized and promoting social justice; and the teaching and training of students and practitioners (Yoshihama & Carr, 2002; Molloy, 2007; Kramer et al., 2010; Ohmer & Owens, 2013; Peabody, 2013; Mulder & Dull, 2014).

Practical suggestions for application Equipment and facilities •

Cameras: Even though smart phones with built-in cameras have become widely available, depending on the context, project organizers may need to provide cameras to participants. For example, in our project, because

Photovoice project  65

• • •

many people had lost cameras in the disaster, and the supply of electric power was limited, we provided cameras to those in need. LCD projector, if available: A projector of a good quality aids group discussions; however, one may not be available in a disaster or crisis context or in resource-deprived settings. Private venue(s) for group meetings. Experienced group facilitators.

Ethical and safety issues •

It is important to recognize that photographing and discussing their experiences, albeit meaningful, can be difficult for participants. For example, Prins (2010) reports that participants in El Salvador saw ­phototaking as ‘a tool of surveillance’ as photographs were used to identify alleged guerrilla sympathizers. In certain contexts, photo-taking can be perceived as bringing bad luck or putting a curse on people (Murray & Nash, 2017). In our project, participants expressed concern that taking photographs of the devastation caused by the disaster would be voyeuristic and/or exploitative. Project organizers need to pay attention to the meaning of photo-taking in a socio-political-historical context. Photographing and discussing their experiences can elicit strong emotional reactions in participants and in project staff and volunteers. Recognizing that any topic, photograph, or discussion can have adverse effects, it is important to develop appropriate measures for intervention. Rights to privacy deserve serious attention. It is necessary to develop measures to protect not only the privacy of participants but also that of individuals photographed. Examples from our project include (a)  ­allowing participants to use pseudonyms or nicknames at group meetings as well as in public dissemination venues and (b) using consent to release forms when photographing individuals or private property in a way that reveals their identity.

References Collier, J. (1967). Visual anthropology: Photography as a research method. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Desyllas, M. C. (2014). Using photovoice with sex workers: The power of art, agency and resistance. Qualitative Social Work, 13, 477–501. Enarson, E. (2012). Women confronting natural disaster: From vulnerability to resilience. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Continuum. Hall, B. L. (1977). Creating knowledge: Breaking the monopoly: Research methods, participation and development. Toronto, ON: International Council for Adult Education. Harper, D. (1986). Meaning and work: A study in photo elicitation. Current Sociology, 34, 24–46.

66  Mieko Yoshihama Hepworth, D. H., Rooney, R. H., Rooney, G. D., & Strom-Gottfried, K. (2013). Direct social work practice: Theory and skills (9th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co. Hergenrather, K. C., Rhodes, S. D., Cowan, C. A., Bardhoshi, G., & Pula, S. (2009). Photovoice as community-based participatory research: A qualitative review. American Journal of Health Behavior, 33, 686–698. International Federation of Social Workers. (2014). Global definition of social work. Retrieved from Kramer, L., Schwartz, P., Cheadle, A., Borton, J., Wright, M., Chase, C., & Lindley, C. (2010). Promoting policy and environmental change using Photovoice in the Kaiser Permanente community health initiative. Health Promotion Practice, 11, 332–339. Lal, S., Jarus, T., & Suto, M. J. (2012). A scoping review of the photovoice method. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 79, 181–190. Maguire, P. (1987). Doing participatory research: A feminist approach. Amherst: Center for International Education, School of Education, University of Massachusetts. Molloy, J. K. (2007). Photovoice as a tool for social justice workers. Journal of ­Progressive Human Services, 18, 39–55. Mulder, C., & Dull, A. (2014). Facilitating self-reflection: The integration of photovoice in graduate social work education. Social Work Education, 33, 1017–1036. Muramoto, K., Kamiyama, M., Yoshihama, M., Dan, S., & Hisata, M. (2015). Community empowerment after the East Japan Great Earthquake. Japanese Journal of Community Psychology, 19, 1–36. Murray, L., & Nash, M. (2017). The challenges of participant photography: A critical reflection on methodology and ethics in two cultural contexts. Qualitative Health Research, 27, 923–937. National Police Agency. (2017). Heisei 23-nen Tohokuchiho Taiheyooki Jishin no  higaijokyo to keisatsushochi [Damage caused by the 2011 Great East Japan Disaster and police responses]. Retrieved from pdf/higaijokyo.pdf Ohmer, M. L., & Owens, J. (2013). Using photovoice to empower youth and adults to prevent crime. Journal of Community Practice, 21, 410–433. Peabody, C. G. (2013). Using photovoice as a tool to engage social work students in social justice. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 33, 251–265. PhotoVoice Project. (2015). Watashitachino PhotoVoice, 3.11, ima, soshite… [Our PhotoVoice: 3.11, Present, and…]. Tokyo, Japan: PhotoVoice Project. Prins, E. (2010). Participatory photography: A tool for empowerment or surveillance? Action Research, 8, 426–443. Wang, C. C. (1999). Photovoice: A participatory action research strategy applied to women’s health. Journal of Women’s Health, 8, 185–192. Wang, C., & Burris, M. A. (1994). Empowerment through photo novella: Portraits of participation. Health Education & Behavior, 21, 171–186. Wang, C., & Burris, M. A. (1997). Photovoice: Concept, methodology, and use for participatory needs assessment. Health Education & Behavior, 24, 369–387. Wisner, B., Blaikie, P., Cannon, T., & Davis, I. (2003). At risk: Natural hazards, ­people’s vulnerability, and disasters (2nd Ed.). London, UK: Routledge. World Economic Forum. (2011). Global gender gap report 2011. Retrieved from

Photovoice project  67 World Economic Forum. (2017). Global gender gap report 2017. Retrieved from Yoshihama, M., & Carr, E. S. (2002). Community participation reconsidered: ­Feminist participatory action research with Hmong women. Journal of Community Practice, 10, 85–103. Yoshihama, M., & Yunomae, T. (2018. Participatory investigation of the Great East Japan Disaster: PhotoVoice from women affected by the calamity. Social Work, 63(3), 234–243.

6 Connecting social work and art Reflections on theory and practice Mel Gray and Leanne Schubert

Introduction This chapter describes the researchers’ reflections on the arts-based, ­community-focused project that will be discussed in Chapter 21. It examines several themes in the discourse on connecting to social work and art in community practice relating to social work and community and to art and community. It reviews two strands of theory relating to arts-based practice, namely, community cultural development and arts-based community development. It ends with some practical information and some suggestions and resources for arts-based community practice arising from the Safe at Home project that will be presented in Chapter 21. Social work and art Social work has had a long engagement with art, as idea and practice, and this fascination continues, though exactly what this means or involves remains much-debated. Schubert and Gray (2015) argued that if social work were art, it would be important to honour its historical beginnings in community-based agencies, where practice was a space for the social imagination and the envisioning of a better future, where ‘artful practice’ connected, skill, social change, and practice through communication, advocacy, and activism. (p. 1350) Many value art for its transformative potential, connecting it with the social imagination. Rutten, Van Beveren, and Roets (2017), for example, claimed that art ‘offers the possibility of giving individuals and communities an independent, critical position in response to dominant thinking by imagining and experimenting with alternatives’ (p. 15). The Safe at Home project, to be described in Chapter 21, worked on this idea of art’s transformative potential. Following Lydia Rapoport (1968), it drew attention to art as expressive of a larger social purpose, in this instance, addressing attitudes to domestic

Connecting social work and art  69 violence – ‘a process involving transformation’ (p. 142). Rapoport (1968) claimed that, ‘both social work and art can be conceived as instruments of social change’ (p. 144). Influenced by the work of artist, Alex Comfort, she believed, ‘all creative work speaks on behalf of … [the] voiceless’ (­Comfort, in Rapoport, 1968, pp. 144–145) and art and aesthetic values enriched practice by bringing about a change in thinking—a new awareness (Weir, in ­Chamberlayne & Smith, 2009). However, Gray and Schubert (2013) argued that, as subsequent developments embroiled social work in definitions of art grounded in skills, relationship, communication, meaning, and so on, so its propensity for social change diminished in favour of a more individualistic focus. Schubert (2012) attempted to recapture social work’s connection to art and social change through the art interventions described with regards to Safe at Home. She worked at the nexus of the personal and the need for social change to raise awareness of, and challenge attitudes supporting, domestic violence. The goal of practice shifted from attending to the individual to considering the broader social justice implications of domestic and family violence. Her critical perspective was reinforced by an understanding that ­violence against women was a key determinant of women’s health and well-being and was directly related to gender inequality (Humphreys, 2007). Social work and community Pioneers like Jane Addams, who had recognised the connection between social work and art, provided the inspiration for the Safe at Home project. Through her work in Chicago’s Settlement House Movement, during the late 1800s, Addams had a lasting influenced on artists and social workers, alike. This influence is shown in the literature on dialogical art (Kester, 2004), relational aesthetics (Bourriaud, 2002), and new genre public art (Lacy, 1995), and in social work in interdisciplinary, community practice. This connection between the contemporary art and social work literature, heretofore not explored, extolled a commitment to social change through empowerment, participatory democracy, and emancipatory, community-based practice. Both advocated grassroots democratic planning and action with local neighbourhoods to build stronger communities. As Weil (1996) observed, the pioneering work of Jane Addams developed methodologies and standards for planning, research, and community practice for future practitioners to emulate. However, much of this impetus for change within social work was lost with the rapid growth of casework, leading to community work separating from the mainstream (Clark & Asquith, 1985; Kenny, 1994). Using principles of participatory action research (PAR), Safe at Home involved the direct participation of community members in arts-based interventions that had a simultaneous educative (Deegan, in Weil, 1996) and change focus, following the ethos of Adams’ work (Weil, 1996). In the late 1950s, Ross’s (1958) book linking community organisation and the processes of adjusting needs and resources via the coordination of

70  Mel Gray and Leanne Schubert services was highly influential in social work. Later, in the 1970s, in the USA, scholars distinguished between different forms of community engagement in community planning, community organising, and locality or community development (Dunham, 1970). In the UK, the term community work was favoured (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 1973; Younghusband, 1978). The addition of the more radical, Marxist-influenced approach, known as community action, followed shortly thereafter (Bailey & Brake, 1975; ­Corrigan & Leonard, 1978; Rothman, 1979) and was differentiated from the ­consensus-oriented, apolitical, democratic, participatory model of community development (Batten, 1965; Biddle & Biddle 1965; Dunham, 1970), which had emerged in response to poverty in Africa and Asia (Lappin, 1985). In Australia, Mowbray (in Thorpe, Petruchenia, & Hughes, 1992) criticised the idealistic romantic ideology of community, with its liberal reform ethos. Cannan and Warren (1997) viewed community approaches as lacking political and economic analysis. Kenny (1994) described community work as unpaid, non-interventionist, voluntary activity arising from local initiative. The model for community practice in social work was consistent with participatory social change strategies that acknowledged people’s right to self-determination. It aimed to achieve improved social welfare and c­ reated processes whereby individuals and groups might participate in social change and development (Midgley, 1993; Gray, 1996, 1997; Ife, 2002). Marxist ideology influenced UK community work in the 1980s, which evolved as a separate area of practice from social work (Clark & Asquith, 1985). Later, Twelvetrees (1991) focused on neighbourhoods and working with ‘communities of interest’ (p. 7), that is, groups of people with shared concerns. More recently, Stepney and Popple (2008) described and analysed the reinvigoration of community work in Third Way policy in the UK. However, Schubert and Gray (2015) argued that the restrictions of neoliberal practice environments were making way for artists to fill the spaces vacated by community social workers and challenged social workers to reconsider the potential for art in practice: Contemporary socially engaged art practices resonate with the idea of art as a medium for social change. They bring people together and provide a sense of connection and community…offering unlimited possibilities for transformation and change (La Shure, 2005). That art inheres in liminal spaces where new possibilities might be imagined through collective effort is surely an idea that resonates with the social work imagination. (Schubert & Gray, 2015, p. 1351) Art and community The literature on art and community takes many forms, including community arts, community animation, community-based arts, cultural work,

Connecting social work and art  71 cultural action, participatory arts projects, community cultural development, cultural activism, arts-based community building, asset-based community organising, creative community building, and arts-based community development (Cleveland, 2002; Borrup, 2006; Goldbard, 2006). Kwon (2004) highlighted the ambiguity of the term community in relation to art, noting that the ‘discursive slippage around ‘audience’, ‘site’, and ‘public’ [was]… a distinctive trait of community based public art discourse’ (p. 94). The two dominant models were community cultural development and arts-based community development. Community cultural development Goldbard (2006) distinguished between arts-based community development and community cultural development, noting the latter focused on culture rather than the narrower focus of art. It used a Broad range of tools and forms…in the field, from aspects of traditional visual-and performing-arts practice to oral-history approaches usually associated with historical research and social studies, to use of hightech communications media, to elements of activism and community organizing typically seen as part of non-arts social change campaigns. (Goldbard, 2006, p. 21) Community Arts Network SA Inc. (2004) noted, however, that community cultural development lacked a formal theory or code of practice. Goldbard (2006) believed that those who ‘focused too closely on ‘models’, ‘replicability’, and ‘best practices’ tend[ed] to produce dull work, lacking depth and heart’ (p. 101). However, she acknowledged a ‘mosaic’ (p. 101) of theoretical and social influences, including the following: 1 William Morris’ idea of the social integration of the artist 2 Social activism and connections to resistance movements 3 The Settlement House Movement and Jane Addams and subsequent ­critiques of the movement’s approaches to and understandings of t­ heory underpinning its practice 4 The influence of the Popular Front of the 1930s in the USA and the ­related development of class-consciousness across time 5 The implementation of the post-Depression New Deal and subsequent US Comprehensive Employment and Training Act and Manpower Services Commission in Britain leading to the art initiatives being framed as work and the employment of artists in public service positions. 6 The art extension programs of US universities, which operated parallel to the Settlement House Movement to bring art to communities 7 The Civil Rights Movement and the development of identity politics during the 1960s.

72  Mel Gray and Leanne Schubert 8 The influence of the work of Paulo Freire and Augusto Boal and the concept of liberating education and theatre 9 Debates about culture and development as opposed to cultural development (the former strongly linked to the World Bank and international aid, the latter focusing more heavily on the development of cultures and cultural capacity) 10 The influence of oral histories and anthropology 11 The development of international cultural policy discourse 12 A recent foregrounding of spiritual questions 13 Asset-based community development Arts-based community development Newman, Curtis, and Stephens (2003) believed that social democratic government policy and participatory development practices supported the evolution of the community arts movement in the late 1960s. These developed in parallel with the community and women’s health movements. Thus, art projects in the UK became an important community development strategy (Putland, 2008). Matarasso (2007) noted the growing individualisation in UK social policy from the 1980s onwards, which saw a shift from the collective to the individual in cultural policy and the use of cultural action to encourage community development. Meade and Shaw (2007) noted that Braden and Mayo (1999), Kay (2000), and Newman and colleagues (2003) had ‘consistently identified the role community arts can play in supporting new forms of community leadership and refining skills that may be utilized in more mainstream community development programmes’ (pp. 419–420). Newman and colleagues (2003) believed the influx of newcomers to community arts practice resulted in the importation of significant experience from the community development, community activism, social service, and business sectors. The result was the birth of arts-based community development and the expansion of the theoretical underpinnings of community arts practice to incorporate those from the social, political, and pedagogical arena adding to previously held cultural and imaginative ideas (Clover, 2007). Meade and Shaw (2007) perceived a tension between political support for the arts and politicisation of the arts as the arts became an agent of state policy, increasing demands on the arts to build communities, regenerate economies, and include marginalised groups. They believed this posed a risk to the arts becoming ‘a convenient means of political displacement, distracting attention from the real causes of social problems’ (pp. 415–416). Cleveland (2002) viewed arts-based community development as ‘a realm of cultural practice that regards public participation and artistic creation as mutually interdependent … [perceiving] … significant and tangible community benefits, beyond the aesthetic realm, that naturally accrue from certain

Connecting social work and art  73 kinds of community art endeavours’ (n.p.). However, he noted the absence of critical thinking in arts-based community development and considered it ‘a work in progress’ (n.p.). The specific meanings of commonly used words like culture, community arts, and community artists remained elusive. In the interests of clarity, the Centre for the Study of Art and Community defined arts-based community development as ‘arts-centred activity that contributes to the sustained advancement of human dignity, health and/or productivity within a community’ (in Cleveland, 2002, n.p.). These included • • • •

Activities that EDUCATE and INFORM us about ourselves and the world Activities that INSPIRE and MOBILIZE individuals or groups Activities that NURTURE and HEAL people and/or communities Activities that BUILD and IMPROVE community capacity and/or infrastructure [emphasis in original] (Cleveland, 2002, n.p.)

These four areas constituted what Cleveland (2002) called neighbourhoods or the ‘ecology’ (n.p.) of arts-based community development against which all community art projects could be located (see Figure 6.1). Given Goldbard’s (2006) distinction between community cultural development and arts-based community development, it is interesting to note that, in Figure 6.1, art projects are not the only examples to be located in the model, as also represented are cultural activities. Social work projects, which may or may not incorporate art, could also be located within this framework making it relevant for all creative community practices. Arts-based community development projects have included self-reports of positive change across personal, social, economic, or educational ­arenas, conflict resolution, public safety, economic development, community revitalisation, and economic or social health (Newman et al., 2003; Clover, 2007). Matarasso (2007) argued there were emergent examples of effective community arts practice from disadvantaged, rural communities of Southeastern Europe, suggesting community arts practice was transferable across different circumstances. However, he also indicated that by themselves, art and community activism were unable to address the social, economic, and ­related—structural—factors facing marginalised communities. Phillips (2004) proposed an economically driven typology of arts-based community development incorporating arts-based business incubators, artists’ cooperatives, and tourism ventures. Here, the arts have become businesses focused on the revitalisation of local economies. Entrepreneurial creativity and flexibility are essential and outcomes depend on the community’s ability to respond to its needs, generate economic opportunities, and gain community support. Gone is a social justice focus on access and resources.

d & Impro l i v u e


74  Mel Gray and Leanne Schubert

Arts-based Business Cultural Districts 4

Urban Design/Plan

Employment Training Mainstreet Programs


ure & Hea l ut

e & Inf cat or du

Cultural Tourism Public Housing Arts 6 Arts & Disabilities Live/work 7 1 Prison Arts Arts in Education Arts in Social Services 5 Youth Arts 10 Artist Training Festivals Arts in Youth Services Art Education Arts in Aging Life-long Learning Celebrations Arts in Medicine 9 Arts & Human Rights/Justice Work 3 Arts & Environment Arts & Faith/Religion 2




Arts-based Community Organizing



l iz




Arts & Globalization Cultural Policy Development

b & Mo

Figure 6.1  Cleveland’s (2002) ecology of arts-based community development.

Like many community development (and social work) practitioners, ­ urcell (2007) noted the lasting influence of the Freirean focus on empowP erment, community action, and social transformation. This ran counter to the role of the arts in transforming the social: ‘the arts are intrinsically progressive…the impact of artistic ventures can always be measured and… artistic production is about objects’ (Schwarzman, as cited in Purcell, 2007, p. 114). For art to be transformative, it had to distinguish ‘between art that [was] about politics, and art that [was] political…[and]…provide a context within which others [could] take action’ (p. 114). The areas of overlap between social work and community cultural development include the use of community development principles, such as community self-­determination, the idea of the worker as a change agent in pursuit of social justice, collaborative art, and cultural production. Both are characterised by community involvement in a collaborative process with community members and practitioner as equal contributors.

Connecting social work and art  75

Creative Community Practices

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Art as community development Arts-based community development Arts-based community building Asset-based community organising Community animation Community arts Community-based arts Community social work practice that utilises any creative (arts or cultural) component Creative community building Community cultural development Cultural work Cultural action Cultural activism Democratic imagination Participatory arts Public art Site art

Figure 6.2  Creative community practices.

Community social work and community cultural development differ, since social work’s primary goal is not active participation in cultural life, an essential goal of community cultural development,1 but rather broader participatory engagement. The greatest area of contrast between social work and community cultural development includes social work’s stronger, more clearly articulated code of practice and a largely agreed range of theory underpinning its practice. Despite the obvious relevance of community cultural development to this study, and given active participation in cultural life is an essential goal of community cultural development, it was a secondary goal for this study. Thus, the closely related alternative artsbased community development was more relevant and closely aligned to the community development practices in the partner agencies in the Safe at Home project. Drawing on social work and arts literature, Schubert (2012) developed her model of creative community practices as shown in Figure 6.2, which could account for the different ways it was possible to consider the Safe at Home project.

Practical suggestions for arts-based community development Safe at Home was a one-off, special project. It accelerated the focus on domestic and family violence locally beyond the Network’s annual White ­R ibbon Day that had been the primary focus of awareness-raising activity for several years. The Network learned about creative advocacy from Safe at Home, specifically the need for visibility and organisation.

76  Mel Gray and Leanne Schubert The  take-home messages for those interested in arts-based community development are • • • • • • • • • • • •

The more visible, novel, and widely advertised the activity, the higher the level of participation. Have an active, strategic local media campaign. Get the skills development required to engage in a range of promotional strategies, including the use of the media. Include a media and promotion budget in your project planning. Ensure your project is highly visible to the community. Draw on existing relationships to build project and link with interested agencies and their client groups. Consider shared leadership as an important and productive strategy. Feed ideas emerging from the community to agencies with the potential to respond to them, wherever possible. Promote clear communication that supports the follow up of ideas. Use your group work skills. Secure funding; grant-writing skills and determination are required in equal measure. Get good at ‘making do’.

Other resources Arts and Health Australia: Australia Council: Australian Association of Social Workers: Beyond Empathy Centre for the Study of Art and Community: csac/articles-and-essays.html Community Cultural Development in Australia: e-f lux: www.e-f How the Art of Social Practice Is Changing the World, One Row House at a Time: Place Stories: Place Making: podsocs: Podcasts for Social Workers: Social Practices Art Network (SPAN): Social Practice Arts Research Centre: art-as-social-practice The Platform:

Note 1 Accessed on 27 July 2007.

Connecting social work and art  77

References Bailey, R., & Brake, M. (Eds.). (1975). Radical social work. London, UK: Edward Arnold. Batten, T. R. (1965). The human factor in community work. London, UK: Oxford University Press. Biddle, W. W., & Biddle, L. J. (1965). The community development process. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Borrup, T. (2006). Creating community with what’s underfoot. In L. Elizabeth & S. Young (Eds.), Works of heart (pp. 11−16). Oakland, CA: New Village Press. Bourriaud, N. (2002). Relational aesthetics (S. Pleasance, F. Woods and M. Copeland, Trans.). Dijon, Quetigny: les presses du reel. Braden, S., & Mayo, M. (1999). Culture, community development and representation. Community Development Journal, 34(2), 191−204. Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. (1973). Current issues in community work: A study by the Community Work Group. London, UK: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Cannan, C., & Warren, C. (Eds.). (1997). Social action with children and families: A community development approach to child and family welfare. London, UK: Routledge. Chamberlayne, P., & Smith, M. (Eds.). (2009). Art, creativity, and imagination in social work practice. London, UK: Routledge. Clark, C. L., & Asquith, S. (1985). Social work and social philosophy: A guide to practice. London, UK: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Cleveland, W. (2002). Mapping the field: Arts-based community development. Retrieved February 11, 2011 from 05/mapping_the_fie.php. Clover, D. (2007). Feminist aesthetic practice of community development: The case of myths and mirrors community arts. Community Development Journal, 42(4), 512−522. Community Arts Network SA Inc. (2004). What’s CCD? Retrieved February 11, 2011 from Corrigan, P., & Leonard, P. (1978). Social work practice under capitalism: A Marxist approach. London, UK: MacMillan. Dunham, A. (1970). The new community organisation. New York, NY: Thomas Crowell and Sons. Goldbard, A. (2006). New creative community: The art of cultural development. ­Oakland, CA: New Village Press. Gray, M. (1996). The importance of community development. Social Work/­ Maatskaplike Werk, 32(3), 193−204. Gray, M. (1997). The contribution of community social work to social development. Journal of Applied Social Sciences, 21(1), 45−51. Gray, M., & Schubert, L. (2013). Knowing what we know about knowledge in social work: The search for a comprehensive model of knowledge production. International Journal of Social Welfare, 22(4), 334–346. Humphreys, C. (2007). A health inequalities perspective on violence against women. Health and Social Care in the Community, 15(2), 120−127. Ife, J. (2002). Community development: Community-based alternatives in an age of globalisation (2nd Ed.). Frenchs Forest, Sydney, NSW: Longman and Pearson Education. Kay, A. (2000). Art and community development: The role the arts have in regenerating communities. Community Development Journal, 35(4), 414−424.

78  Mel Gray and Leanne Schubert Kenny, S. (1994). Developing communities for the future: Community development in Australia. South Melbourne, VIC: Thomas Nelson Australia. Kester, G. H. (2004). Conversation pieces: Community and communication in modern art. Los Angeles: University of California Press. Kwon, M. (2004). One place after another: Site specific art and locational identity. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. La Shure, C. (2005). What is liminality? Liminality the space in between. First ­Version. Retrieved March 13, 2015 from Lacy, S. (Ed.). (1995). Mapping the terrain: New genre public art. Seattle, WA: Bay Press. Lappin, B. (1985). Community development: Beginning in social work enabling. In S. H. Taylor & R. W. Roberts (Eds.), Theory and practice of community social work (pp. 59−94). New York: Columbia University Press. Matarasso, F. (2007). Common ground: Cultural action as a route to community development. Community Development Journal, 42(4), 449−458. Meade, R., & Shaw, M. (2007). Editorial: Community development and the arts: Reviving the democratic imagination. Community Development Journal, 42(4), 413−421. Midgley, J. (1993). Ideological roots of social development strategies. Social Development Issues, 15(1), 1–13. Newman, T., Curtis, K., & Stephens, J. (2003). Do community based arts projects result in social gains? A review of literature. Community Development Journal, 38(4), 310−322. Phillips, R. (2004). Artful business: Using the arts for community economic development. Community Development Journal, 39(2), 112−122. Purcell, R. (2007). Images for change: Community development, community arts, and photography. Community Development Journal, 44(1), 111−122. Putland, C. (2008). Lost in translation: The question of evidence linking communitybased arts and health promotion. Journal of Health Psychology, 13(2), 265−276. Rapoport, L. (1968). Creativity in social work. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 18(3), 139–161. Ross, M. G. (1958). Case histories in community organisation. New York, NY: Harper and Row. Rothman, J. (1979). Three models of community organization practice, their ­m ixing and phasing. In F. M. Cox, J. L. Erlich, J. Rothman, & J. E. Tropman (Eds.), Strategies of community organization (3rd Ed., pp. 25−45). Itasca, IL: F. E. ­Peacock Publishers. Rutten, K., Van Beveren, L., & Roets, G. (2017). The New Forest: The relationship between social work and socially engaged art practice revisited. British Journal of Social Work, early online 02 November 2017. bcx118, doi:10.1093/ bjsw/bcx118. Schubert, L. (2012). Art, social work and social change. PhD Thesis, the University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, available at http://hdl. Schubert, L., & Gray, M. (2015). The death of emancipatory social work as art and birth of socially engaged art practice. British Journal of Social Work, 45(4), 1349−1356. Stepney, P., & Popple, K. (2008). Social work and the community: A critical context for practice. Basingstoke, UK and New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Connecting social work and art  79 Thorpe, R., Petruchenia, J., & Hughes, L. (1992). Community work or social change: An Australian perspective. Sydney, NSW: Hale & Iremonger. Twelvetrees, A. (1991). Community work (2nd Ed.). London, UK: Macmillan Education. Weil, M. (Ed.). (1996). Community practice: Conceptual models. Binghampton, NY: Hawthorn Press. Younghusband, E. L. (1978). Social work in Britain 1950–75. London, UK: Allen and Unwin.

7 Theatre of the Oppressed and social work An opportunity for social awareness through theatre Linda Ducca Cisneros

Figure 7.1  This photo was taken during the process of construction of a Forum Theatre play called ‘Precariedad Now’ (2017). Facilitator: Moisés Mato. Colectivo Comprensionistas. Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.

Introduction To be totally honest, I am more of a social worker than a Theatre of the ­Oppressed (TO) facilitator. However, I practice social theatre regularly because I believe in the possibilities of this methodology and its intersections with social work values. It is very hard to offer a short description of the country, especially being an immigrant (I am originally from Argentina), where I practice. Spain is a beautiful country with nice people, a rich ­culture, and too many bad politicians. Surely, that description fits other countries as well, so I will expand a little bit more. Right now, though the government states that the economic crisis is over, the unemployment rate is still pretty high (17.3%), salaries are dropping, and the work situation is unstable for many families. At the same time, the cuts in

Theatre of the Oppressed and social work   81 education, health, and social services are a constant. Thus, income inequality is at a critical stage, and the share of people at risk of p ­ overty and social exclusion is significantly higher than the E ­ uropean ­Union average (Atkinson, Guio, & Marlier, 2017). As the Chinese say, though, crisis also means opportunity. During the years following the crisis, many people started to get organized at a community level to try to solve their problems and to fight against the social cuts and inequality. Also, new actors arrived onto the political scene trying to promote civic participation. Many social theatre companies started to be more active. At the same time, probably as a consequence of the political issues the country is experiencing or just because it is a global trend, right-wing extremists’ ideas and actions are becoming more common. In this context, the social work mandate of social justice is indispensable and should not be avoided by practitioners. Theatre of the Oppressed’s techniques and methodologies can be tools for raising awareness about the inequalities and injustices of the system in which we live. Therefore, this chapter will not be about a specific project but about the immense possibilities that this methodology can offer to social work.

Theatre and social work I have come to believe…that the stage may do more than teach, that much of our current moral instruction will not endure the test of being cast into a lifelike mold, and when presented in dramatic form, will reveal itself as platitudinous and effete. That which may have sounded like righteous teaching when it was remote and wordy will be challenged afresh when it is obliged to simulate life itself. (Addams, 1911, p. 462) As we can see in this quote, the interrelation of social work and theatre is not something new. Jane Addams, one of the most recognized figures in the history of social work, used theatre as a means for personal and community change. Vieites (2016) states that there are many elements in theatre in general that should be valued in relation to the social work practice: • •

Theatre is in a public domain. It implies meeting, communicating, and talking to others. The participant is part of something, has a voice, and has a presence in this society. It is a collective activity. In the theatre practice, the group and the group processes are especially relevant. The social skills that can be acquired in the discussion, negotiation, and decision-making can help the person to feel more confident to stand up against unfair situations. Theatre’s symbolic nature allows changes at a cognitive, emotional, cultural, and social level. This symbolic space permits the recreation of realities, conflicts, and events in a safe environment. Theatre can be a safe place, and for many service users, this is a crucial element.

82  Linda Ducca Cisneros • •

It is an encounter with the others and with the self. It is fun, entertaining, and recreational. Thus, it contributes to personal well-being.

Though we can see many positive aspects for the inclusion of theatre as part of the social work intervention, there is a kind of theatre that understands the discipline as a vehicle for social justice and social change. Social theatre is the umbrella term used to name those theatre initiatives and processes with a social purpose rather than an aesthetic one. This kind of theatre can be recognized also by other names—applied theatre, community theatre— and also by the names of the methods or techniques—playback theatre, community theatre, Theatre of the Oppressed, listening theatre, and so on. This chapter focuses on one method of social theatre, namely the ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’, and its possible relationship with social work. Theatre of the Oppressed (TO),1 by Augusto Boal, is a methodology based on the philosophy of Paulo Freire’s pedagogy of liberation (Freire, 2005). It is based on the idea that most of the people suffer an oppression of some kind or another, and oppressive structures can be overcome by social action. People need to be aware of the oppression they experience in order to take action and transform the society. Oppression is a term linked to critical/­ anti-oppressive approaches of social work. The definition in the Encyclopedia of Social Work can be useful to understand the concept: Oppression is a multidimensional social phenomenon, a dynamic and relational group-based concept that is not accidental—though usually unintentional—and which, once integrated into societal institutions and individual consciousness, comes to permeate almost all relations and, depending on the circumstances, involves all individuals in the role of both oppressor and oppressed at one time or another. (Van Soest, 2013, n.p.) Some examples of these oppressions can be racism, classism, sexism, social and economic inequalities, labour conditions, loneliness, and impossibilities to communicate among many others. TO is not a method that came out of the blue. It is the product of years of experiences, collective learning, and theoretical development. Since the beginning of his theatre company, Boal was conscious about the theatre possibilities to raise awareness to social injustices. However, TO was born as a product of some misunderstandings, trials, and errors that helped to reflect on reality and to develop a revolutionary method (Prendergast & Saxton, 2009). Around the 1960s, Boal’s company performed a play that invited peasants to take action to overcome the oppression from the landlords. The final scene of the play finished with the actors raising guns (props), ready to start the ‘revolution’. Afterwards, the community leader said that the idea was great and that they should go together to kill the landlords. Boal explained

Theatre of the Oppressed and social work   83 they were just actors and that they could not do that. The leader got upset because the actors would not engage in real action. Boal learned that it is not correct to tell others what to do or think. The solution has to come from the people who are experiencing the oppression. Besides, problems can be seen and understood from different perspectives. In following plays, the actors performed and left the situation of oppression unconcluded. Then, they asked people to debate and tell the protagonists how to act. One day, a woman could not explain to the actor exactly how she wanted her to act, so Boal invited her on stage to replace the protagonist. Boal said that in that ­revolutionary moment, the ‘fourth wall’ was broken. Spectators became actors. That is the way in which Forum Theatre (the most famous part of TO) was born. With the main idea that, ‘everybody can do theatre, even actors’2, and that it is possible to raise awareness through the creation of a play, Boal and his company developed a set of games and theatre exercises to transform non-actors into actors, to make people be aware of their oppression and raise their voice. The purpose of the exercises in Forum Theatre is to help participants to prepare and create a play collectively to show an oppressive situation. Then, the play is presented to the audience, and a debate is generated, inviting people to replace the protagonists and to try their alternative ideas on stage. Nowadays, TO is performed and exercised in many parts of the world, and though Augusto Boal is no longer among us, his ideas are still spreading (Babbage, 1995).

What is the purpose of Theatre of the Oppressed? When does a session of The Theatre of the Oppressed end? Never—[…] Its objective is to encourage autonomous activity, to set a process in motion, to stimulate transformative creativity, to change spectators into protagonists. (Boal, 2002, p. 275) It could be said that the aim of the TO is to help people to be aware of the oppressive situations they experience and to encourage social action. There is an established idea that citizens are powerless, that they cannot take any action against the daily oppressions of the system. TO’s main purpose is to change that idea, to make people realize that they are also actors in this complicated world. Around 2012, I participated in a Forum Theatre in Portsmouth, UK. The play was about the barriers people with disabilities experience to have a ‘normal’ life. In TO, the rules can change according to the circumstances and possibilities. In this case, the play had been created and performed by Drama students for an Applied Theatre class, not by the people experiencing the problem. However, before they started with the creative process they had interviews with disabled young people, asking them about oppressive

84  Linda Ducca Cisneros situations, and they also invited a few to the rehearsals. The plot of the play was that a teenager was not allowed go to a school dance because of being in a wheelchair. It was amazing to see the public turning into action and debating, acting, and rehearsing the possible solutions to the problem. They were so active and full of energy that it was hard for the session to come to an end. Some people just realized that not being able to go out to parties could be a big problem for a young person with diverse functioning, others felt they could change something at least on stage, and many left the theatre with the idea that they could take action to overcome barriers that are not visible and to find alternative solutions. TO considers the reality as something that can be transformed (Matos-Silveira, Cano, & Mounton, 2016). The outcome of the play is not in the performance, but later, in real life (Boal, 2002).

Protagonists We are all actors: being a citizen is not living in society, it is changing it. (Boal, 2008) With this quote, Boal demystifies the idea that the theatre is something reserved for the elite. With a series of exercises, participants of the performing group are prepared to gain skills and confidence to create the play and act it. Augusto Boal used the same methodology to prepare a play with the Royal Shakespeare Company in England, a group of prisoners from Brazil, mental health interns in France, university students in Harvard in The United States, housewives in Italy, professionals in Swiss, and peasants from the Peruvian mountains. TO is not a recipe book, and it does not have many fixed rules; it is a method, a guide to be used by people (Prendergast & Saxton, 2009). That may be the reason for forum theatre processes and plays being different every time they are experienced. It is important to highlight that the people who are experiencing the oppression are the ones who define the problem and deal with it. They are not passive any more, and they start taking action from the beginning: The oppressed create the images of their own oppressions, this relation transforms into sympathy: sym, with. We are not conducted, we conduct. The emotions from others do not invade me, I project mine. I am the subject of the action. If it is not me, someone like me performs the action: we are subjects. In the first case, the scene attracts me; in the second it is me who makes the scene move, it is me who penetrates it. The oppressed is transformed into an artist. (Boal, 1995, p. 64) TO has to do with people, and this involves a diversity of situations and circumstances. TO works mostly with disadvantaged groups which may

Theatre of the Oppressed and social work   85 be familiar for social workers, but also for people ‘in general’. We are all ­ umans, and we all deserve to have a voice, to have the opportunity to be h actors, and to participate.

How does Theatre of the Oppressed work? TO involves different strategies that can be adapted to specific circumstances of the people involved. Boal’s plan is to transform the person into an actor. Across the years, he developed an ‘arsenal’ of exercises that goes from popular games to innovative theatre techniques. TO has developed several manners of interaction with the audience, Forum Theatre being the most famous one. As was stated above, in Forum Theatre, the actors perform a short play that generally does not end well. The plays are generally about a shared situation of oppression that is in the interest of the audience. Then, ‘spectactors’ can replace the protagonist and try to change the outcome. The ‘joker’ is that who facilitates the participation, presents the play, and coordinates the exercises and public intervention. She serves as a bridge between the two worlds: the fictional world of the play and the real world of the audience (Prendergast & Saxton, 2009). Before and/or after the performance, s/he encourages the dialogue and participation between the stage and the audience, using dialogues, asking for opinions and facilitating ‘gamexercises’ with the ‘spectactors’ and the actors. There are as many kinds of jokers as there are people, but there are some rules that have to be respected (Boal, 2002): • • •

They must avoid trying to convince the audience and make an influence on them. They must only draw conclusions that are self-evident. They do not make decisions themselves. They tell the game rules, but they have to be open: the audience might even change them. They have to ask questions to the ‘spectactors’ about interventions and ideas. Some examples of the questions could be, Is this situation common? Have you ever experienced something similar? What would you do to change it? Is the solution satisfactory? They have to be aware of ‘magical’ solutions and ask the public if they think they are valid or not. For example, at the beginning of 2017, I participated in a play about job insecurity in the new labour market (the one in the picture). In the story, many people were fired. One ‘spectactor’ proposed to take the owner’s role and said that he was going to reduce the profit of the company to keep the employees. The joker asked the audience. The public disregarded the solution; they all said that real businessmen would not do that. Then, more solutions were explored.

Sometimes, the joker uses techniques to get to know the characters, to explore further the dynamics of the structure. For example, in a play about bureaucracy in a workshop in Madrid in 2014, the joker invited the audience

86  Linda Ducca Cisneros to ask questions to the person behind the desk. They discovered aspects of the character that changed the opinions the audience had about her. In another one, about a teacher treating the students not well, the joker asked the public to listen to what she was thinking. They discovered that her work environment was really stressful and that she did not have pedagogical tools to handle the situation. Theatre gives the possibility to question the reality and to learn about its complexity. As we can see, the performances are like rehearsals for real life. Theatre Forum plays are pedagogical; the audience, the actors, and the joker learn together from each other, which constitutes a very important element in the empowerment process (Lathouras, Loth, & Ross, 2016).

About ‘gamexercises’ The general and more common way of TO is to prepare a Forum Theatre play using the ‘gamexercises’ to make participants become actors. During the process of collective construction of the different scenes, participants play the main role, and the resulting shared knowledge would not be possible without their participation and involvement (Cibati, 2016). The democratic experiences lived by the participants in the group lead to a questioning attitude toward social inequalities with a focus on empowerment—this is the key of the process (Matos-Silveira et al., 2016). Boal (2002) proposed a set of exercises, physical movements to get to know and control the body, and games, dialogue and introversion, to work on the expressivity of the body. However, most of them are ‘gamexercises’, they interrelate the personal and the interpersonal aspects and make us reflect about the structures of oppression. The more than 200 activities he proposes consist of getting to know the body and exploring its limitations and possibilities; breaking mechanical acts, especially walking or trying to fight gravity; listening and experiencing rhythms and music; discovering and exercising the senses; exploring the communicative possibilities of the body, reflecting about rituals and established actions; exercising the observatory skills without talking; and Image Theatre techniques.3 It also provides guidelines to prepare a Forum Theatre play and rehearsal exercises for ‘any play’. In my experience in several workshops on TO, participants debrief after each activity and try to discover its purpose to reflect upon it. In practice, many of these exercises can be used for other situations or group purposes related to social work. But it is important to consider and to always have in mind the purpose of TO.

How social workers can get involved in Theatre of the Oppressed The inequality of the societies we live in nowadays make the mandate of social justice still relevant for the social work profession. It is important

Theatre of the Oppressed and social work   87 to consider that TO is easier to understand by experience than by explanations. Social workers should get training if they are willing to facilitate TO groups by themselves. However, social workers could participate and benefit form TO in other manners. Participating in TO workshops can help professionals to improve social work skills and empowerment and to include a critical and anti-oppressive perspective in the daily practice. There are several experiences of TO as professional training. In many cities in Spain, it is not very hard to find training opportunities at a private and public level. According to the literature, the situation is similar in other countries. Matos-Silveira et al. (2016), in Granada’s School of Social Work, included TO as a complement in the social work training at the undergraduate level. In the same vein, Lathouras et al. (2016), explored in their study with community workers in Israel the possibilities and benefits of TO workshops. Both experiences concluded that •

• • • •

TO triggers reflections and insights about the professional position in the power structure: we need to question our position in order to analyse the power relations with the service users. This reflection is done ‘in action’, by experiencing and doing different activities. TO pushes people to ‘pick sides’, to have strong opinions, and to be conscious about the manner in which we see and understand the world, social structure, and practice. We cannot be neutral about the inequalities of the society because immobilization also implies taking sides. This aspect is especially relevant in the Spanish context, where young people are not very used to critical thinking. Another situation that is achieved by TO processes is that problems are shared and collectivized. This serves as a manner to avoid victimization of service users and to promote empowerment processes in the future. It also helps to empower future generations to take action and to try to make real the social justice mandate of the profession. TO also promotes creativity and spontaneity, which constitutes a very important element for practice. It also helps to improve competency for group facilitation and to get to know the stages of group development. The practice of skills is done in a democratic and participative manner, an ethical concept fundamental to social work practice. TO encourages one to take leadership in the communities where professionals are involved and to follow the ideas with actions. TO intends to tackle the idea that people cannot do anything to fight for the inequalities.

On the other hand, social workers can also play the role of co-facilitators and/or supporters of the groups in the empowerment and social action process (Boehm & Boehm, 2003). In this case, practitioners would not need extra training and can complement the figure of the director by providing the knowledge about the social problems, the community, personal

88  Linda Ducca Cisneros development, group, and empowerment processes. However, it is important to take into account that though social workers must provide support, the empowerment processes are personal. There are more possibilities for social workers to get involved with TO: to make it possible for service users to go to see a TO play as ‘espectactors’ or to include some of the exercises into the daily practice. In the play about job instability that was mentioned above, a social worker brought (we were not aware of this beforehand) a group of around 15 people with intellectual disabilities. The facilitator, a very experienced theatre director and joker, got very nervous. He said that we had not adapted the play and was afraid that things would not go as expected. Then, we all decided not to worry and continue as we had planned: they have opinions, as well, after all. The debate was very rich, the interventions were very appropriate, and people left thinking and reflecting. Those service users, who are generally left to the side for opinions, could say what they thought and then become actors and express themselves. The experience was satisfactory for the groups (actors and spectators). To give another example, TO is being used in Spain to prevent gender violence among teenagers. Young actors, who did research on the topic, present a play to adolescents. It is a typical situation of gender violence in which they try to show the scale of violence during the early stages. Most adolescents, when they intervene in the discussion, say that the girl has to leave the boy immediately, that he is showing signs of violence. Most of the time, the girl that takes the protagonist role cannot end the relationship on stage. This play makes adolescents think about how hard it is to end a violent relationship and lets them explore other solutions. Nobody tells them about the situation; they experience it. Nobody tells them what to do; they decide it.

The impact of Theatre of the Oppressed The benefits of the use of social theatre as a tool for social change and development are not new. The results and impact of TO involvement with social work can manifest at the personal, interpersonal, social, and community levels. At a personal level, the theatrical expression helps people to ‘get back’ their body and words. Many of the service users we work with (and many people who are not service users, as well) do not have many opportunities to be taken seriously, to contribute to a process and be valued for that contribution. In TO, participants and their skills and contributions are valued as the protagonists of the action, not as mere recipients of the information (Vieites, 2016). These aspects show an increase of the self-esteem and confidence of the person (Bohem & Bohem, 2003). Another element is that theatre practice provides the opportunity to have a safe place for personal development and well-being. In a study conducted in India (Dutta, 2015), women said that the theatre sessions were a moment of happiness and peace in their difficult lives. They also reported that they experienced an

Theatre of the Oppressed and social work   89 improvement in their self-esteem and confidence and that they just felt there was a change in them. With regards the interpersonal relationships, TO promotes discussion, negotiation, and decision-making (Bohem & Bohem, 2003), not only at a verbal level, but at a corporal one. Getting to know the others and trying to understand their opinions and points of view is a crucial element for the empowerment process in TO (Boal, 2002). This constant encounter and interchange with others contributes to gains in empathy about social problems, what makes participants more aware of the oppressive structures of which they are part (Vieites, 2016). TO also gives value to the group, a key element in social work intervention (Malekoff, 2015). The TO is in itself a group activity and that is why it shares parallelisms with social work with group principles and values. The two main values of group work are, ‘the respect for the persons and their autonomy; and the creation of a socially just society’ (IASWG, 2015, p. 1). The service users are considered citizens with a capacity to participate and take action in daily life, and the social worker has a non-directive role. Besides, participative group environments contribute to the feeling of belonging, an aspect that is beneficial for people and their relationships. Groups also constitute the link between the person and the community (Zamanillo, 2008), what leads to the next topic. At a community level, these techniques can help to increase participation of disadvantaged social groups in order to challenge the established power relations in the structure and affect social change (Lathouras et al., 2016). On many occasions, groups evolve and become leaders in their community. That is the case of the theatre group called Basar Uttarpara in India. The group evolved into activism for women’s rights. The process started in their houses because of the simple fact of going to the group constituted a questioning of the established patriarchal structures. It continued in the small communities, and after a while, they got the opportunity to take their plays further, raising awareness and promoting the creation of other groups (Dutta, 2015). In Madrid a few years ago, after a workshop of TO, a few women decided to continue with the activism. They made a group and now facilitate TO workshops for free once in a while to help other women to be more aware of the oppression women experience daily.

Theatre of the Oppressed and the social work practice The literature about the relationships between TO and social work is not abundant (Vieites, 2016), but it is easy to find examples around the world in academic (journals, congresses) and non-academic publications (blogs, YouTube, news, bulletins, reports). The purpose of these interactions can sometimes be therapeutic, but it is mostly social, that is integration, giving voice, empowerment, and critical awareness among others. Some authors agree that TO and social work can share the same theoretical framework; they combine Freire’s theory of liberation with anti-oppressive and radical

90  Linda Ducca Cisneros social work theories (Carroll & Minkler, 2000; Dutta, 2015; Cibati, 2016; Matos-Silveira et al., 2016). What is more, Lathouras et al. (2016) state that this framework is also shared specifically with community development participative techniques. If we consider the definition of social work given by the International Federation of Social Work, we can see that TO has many points in common: The social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work. (IFSW, 2012) TO’s main purpose is social justice. It promotes social change and puts emphasis on the interpersonal relationships. At an axiological level, the core values of social work are shared and can be materialized by the TO processes. TO can also help social workers to reflect upon their position in the power structure. I remember doing an exercise, called ‘Imitating Movement’, as a participant in a training session for social workers in Madrid in 2013. We had to walk freely and pay attention to another person and try to imitate him/her. We also had to imitate the way of walking of rich people, adolescents, poor people, a person from a different country, and more. The main purpose of the activity was to change the way of walking and to be aware of the body. However, during the debrief, we talked about the prejudices we showed with the manner in which we walked and the feelings attached to the experience, reflecting about how they can affect our practice. The participatory aspect of the social work interventions takes a central place in TO dynamics and becomes an easily recognized reality. In my experience in TO workshops, I could feel that my ideas were heard and that I could make a contribution to the creation of the play. When in the audience, everybody is encouraged to participate at, at least, a minimum level. Another aspect that needs to be highlighted is the common quote that says that service users are the experts in their own case. In the practice of TO, the moral judgements are left aside. It is the participants, with their own experience and ideas, who define the oppressions of which they are a part. There are no rights and wrongs, and differences can be worked out within the group. Social workers generally work closely with disadvantaged populations who do not have access to the cultural capital of the society. The contacts of social work and theatre can facilitate the access to this cultural domain (Vieites, 2016). What is more, TO transforms people into the protagonists of the play, letting them, not only see theatre, but produce it, making a greater impact in the community. Thompson and Schenchner (2004)

Theatre of the Oppressed and social work   91 go beyond the intersections and consider that the interaction between theatre and social work can change both disciplines. Social work can finally try to achieve the social justice mandate in a direct manner and learn from the theatre techniques; and theatre needs to adapt to the settings and understand some of the problems that are part of communities. To conclude, it is important to signal that TO can also have a negative side. Methodologies evolve and adapt to the needs or occurrences of the people. Julián Boal, Augusto Boal’s son, states that there are elements that contribute to deactivate the emancipatory potential of TO. First, an excess of idealism can avoid the consideration of the real possibilities of the people involved, disregarding the social and economic inequalities and the structure in which participants find themselves. Another element is the inclusion of a moral purpose: to tell people what to do instead of helping them to find solutions. He also denounces that TO techniques are being used for therapeutic purposes or to improve the sales of some companies, disregarding the main purpose of the methodology. These examples only help to perpetuate the inequalities of the system, because they do not focus on the needed critical awareness (del Pino, 2017).

Practical suggestions for social workers Getting started When getting started with TO techniques, one must keep in mind that • • • •

TO needs specific training but that there are other ways to get close to it. The purpose of the group must be the same for the facilitator, the group, and the institution in which the activity takes place. Collective norms should be stated in order to create a safe place. Safety is a very important element, and it must be considered, not only in the physical sphere (in one group with teenagers in Madrid in 2016, we would introduce a theatre exercise once in a while. One day, to explore the possibilities of gravity, we did an activity that consisted of standing up on a table and letting one fall backwards while the rest of the group would be catching the person. I even went on the table. At one point, one of the boys wanted to be funny and let the girl fall down. Though we trusted the group, we had thought about that possibility beforehand, and I and the other facilitator were close by to catch her. The incident had a happy end and constituted a learning group experience. However, it took a while to recover the group trust).

Possible activities When building possible activities, there are certain ideas that must be kept in mind. If we use some of the TO activities in our practice, we must be

92  Linda Ducca Cisneros honest with the service users and tell them the purpose of these activities. We also have to consider that participation is ALWAYS voluntary. The stages of group development, the group relationships, and the impact that the activities can have on the participants are crucial aspects. Exercises can also help to group cohesion. For example, during a short training for group workers I facilitated in New York in 2017, we did a rhythm exercise. Each person had to make a rhythm with a sound and a movement. Then they had to merge them without using words or ceasing their movements. The exercise was hard at the beginning, but the group could overcome the challenge. Through this synchronization, participants could feel they were part of something bigger but that they could also be unique in their expression. It is important to plan the session and have alternatives to address the needs of the group. For example, in the same training as mentioned above, one group created an image of family violence. The participant who was the ‘little child’ of the family could not leave her hiding space because she was crying for real. The power of theatre and images that affect feelings is well known and normal. However, the group, which was cohesive and was at the ending stage, did not have the energy to create a forum theatre play. Instead, we discussed the power of theatre and engaged in more ludic ‘gamexercises’. Cultural and developmental differences must be taken into account when planning the activities. In every culture there are different rules for personal proximity, and that is why participants must be able to say if they do not feel comfortable enough. Also, humour and fun are crucial. After all, we need to contribute to the well-being of the person as a whole. Resources and materials TO does not need special props; a space without many obstacles will be enough. With regards to the final play, it can be just for the participants or for the open public. It can be in a square, a theatre, or any other open space. I’ve seen plays in small places, big theatres, schools, squares, and even in a city hall. However, human resources are the key element. TO training Theatre can help us to develop professional skills and be more confident in our practice. TO changes its meaning when it is experienced. It also constitutes a challenge for many people. As Boal pointed out, ‘If everybody is ridiculous, no one is!’ (Boal, 2002, p. 92). Also, evaluation of the process is necessary and can be realized by corporal or verbal techniques. In conclusion, it is important to mention that TO is not the solution for the inequalities of the world, but it might be a beginning, a rehearsal space.

Theatre of the Oppressed and social work   93 To learn more By entering the words ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ in Internet search tools, we can access a great amount of information. However, these are some links that are interesting and useful: • • •

• • •

‘Acervo Augusto Boal’ is a website dedicated to a compilation of ­ ugusto Boal’s related elements— A An example of planning of a Forum Theatre Workshop for young people, this site can be a shortcut to the big books— content/files/Theatre-Forum-Resource-web.pdf A very accurate explanation of Forum Theatre, this site is from a ­project happening in Tanzania about natural resources oppression and inequalities. Institution: Adapting to Climate Change in Coatal Dar es Saalam— Interview with Augusto Boal from Democracy Now, 2009—www.­ Conference of Forum Theatre in Harvard by Augusto Boal—www.­ Documentary about Augusto Boal, called, ‘Augusto Boal and Theatre of the Oppressed in Rio De Janeiro’ Year: 1994/2005, 53 mins. ISBN: 978-1-921882-31-9

These are some theatre companies around the world that I have either had contact with or have heard of: • • • • • • •

La Rueda Teatro Social— (Spain) Sala Metáforas, Sala de teatro social— (Spain) Centro de Creación e Investigación Cultural ‘La Tortuga’—www.­ (Spain) Forn de teatre Pa’tothom, Teatro del oprimido— Theatre of the Oppressed, New York City— (U.S.A.) Combatants for Peace— (Israel) Natya Chetana— (India). There is a whole doctoral thesis about the interrelation of theatre and social with this group as the object of study (see Ranta-Tyrkkö, 2010).

Notes 1 The definition and explanation of the methodology has been taken from two of Augusto Boal’s books: The Rainbow of Desire (1995) and Games for Actors and Non-actors (2002). 2 This quote is attributed to Boal and I have heard it many times from the TO facilitators, but it was very hard to find the source. 3 Image Theatre is one of the kinds of methods of TO and its set of techniques are generally used to prepare a Forum Theatre play.

94  Linda Ducca Cisneros

References Addams, J. (1911). Twenty years at Hull House. New York, NY: The Macmillan Company. Atkinson, A., Guio, A., & Marlier, E. (Eds.). (2017). Monitoring social inclusion in Europe. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Babbage, F. (1995). Working without Boal: Digressions and developments in the theatre of the oppressed. Introduction. Contemporary Theatre Review. An International Journal, 3(1), 1–8. Boal, A. (1995). The rainbow of desire: The Boal method of theatre and therapy. ­London, UK: Routledge. Boal, A. (2002). Games for actors and non-actors (Adrian Jackson Trans.) (2nd Ed.). London, UK and New York, UK: Routledge. Boal, A. (2008). Theatre of the oppressed [Teatro do oprimido] (C. McBride, McBride M. and Fryer, E. Trans.) (3rd Ed.). London, UK: Pluto Press. Boehm, A., & Boehm, E. (2003). Community theatre as a means of empowerment in social work: A case study of women’s community theatre. Journal of Social Work, 3(3), 283–300. Carroll, J., & Minkler, M. (2000). Freire’s message for social workers: Looking back, looking ahead. Journal of Community Practice, 8(1), 21–36. Cibati, D. (2016). El teatro-foro como herramienta de investigación acción participativa: Una mirada desde la perspectiva decolonial. In D. Carbonero, E. Raya, & C. Gimeno (Eds.), Respuestas transdisciplinares en una sociedad global: Aportaciones desde el trabajo social (pp. 100). Logroño, Spain: La Rioja. del Pino, A. (2017). Teatro del oprimido, Julián Boal. [Blog post]. Retrieved from Dutta, M. (2015). Women’s empowerment through social theatre: A case study. Journal of Creative Communications, 10(1), 56–70. doi:10.1177/0973258615569951. Freire, P. (2005). Pedagogy of the oppressed: 30th anniversary edition (M. Bergan Ramos Trans.). London, UK and New York, NY: The Continuum International Publishing Group. International Association of Social Work with Groups. (2015). Standards for ­social work practice with groups. Retrieved from 2015_IASWG_STANDARDS_FOR_SOCIAL_WORK_­PRACTICE_WITH_ GROUPS.pdf. Lathouras, A., Loth, J., & Ross, D. (2016). Applied theatre techniques for community workers-towards a performative and anti-oppressive ethical approach. ­Australasian Drama Studies, 68, 118–224. Malekoff, A. (2015). Group work with adolescents: Principles and practice. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Matos-Silveira, R., Cano, Y., & Mouton, S. (2016). Movimiento arte del cambio: Una iniciativa del trabajo social antiopresivo. Cuadernos De Trabajo Social, 29(2), 309. Prendergast, M., & Saxton, J. (2009). Theatre of the oppressed. In M. Prendergast & J. Saxton (Eds.), Applied theatre: International case studies and challenges for practice (pp. 69–83). Bristol, UK: Intellect Books. Ranta-Tyrkkö, S. (2010). At the intersection of theatre and social work in Orissa, India: Natya chetana and its theatre. (Tampereen Yliopistopaino Oy). ISBN 978-951-4480027.

Theatre of the Oppressed and social work   95 Thompson, J., & Schechner, R. (2004). Why ‘social theatre?’ The Drama Review, 48(3), 10–16. Van Soest, D. (2013). Oppression. Encyclopedia of Social Work. Retrieved 12/12/2017. Vieites, M. (2016). Social work and theatre: Considering intersections. Cuadernos De Trabajo Social, 29(1), 21–31. Zamanillo, T. (2008). Trabajo social con grupos y pedagogia ciudadana. Sintesis.

8 Applied arts and social justice An essential partnership for social work education Shelley Cohen Konrad and Lori Power

Background and context The University of New England (UNE) School of Social Work is nestled in a quadrangle of historic buildings not far from Casco Bay Harbour in ­Portland, Maine, USA. Maine is the northeasternmost U.S. state, known for its beautiful coastline, maritime and Native American history, and mountains rich with evergreens. On certain days, when the winds are just right, you can smell the ocean on campus, which when combined with the ubiquitous squawking of seagulls, distracts students from their scholarly endeavours. The campus was once home to Westbrook Seminary, founded in 1831, then Westbrook College, originally an all-women’s preparatory school which became co-educational in 1973. UNE purchased Westbrook College in 1996, and the then nascent School of Social Work moved from the ­Biddeford, Maine campus to join 11 other health professions on the Westbrook College site in Portland. UNE’s School of Social Work, like others in the United States, is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), which considers the humanities a tenet of holistic social work education (CSWE, 2015). CSWE has struggled, however, for a place to secure the arts in social work curriculum. Indeed, there continues to be significant scepticism from educators about how arts and humanities support social work competencies or whether they belong in a traditional progression of study (Konrad, 2018). CSWE has attempted to bridge this divide by offering a section of presentations and papers on Integrated Media and Arts in Social Work Education at its Annual Program Meeting (APM). Presentations selected in this category highlight inventive programming for postsecondary social work education that incorporate fine arts, literature, humanities, and mathematics. Topics such as human trafficking, discrimination, and application of critical theory have benefitted from the addition of audiovisual and other arts-informed methods in their presentations. Although there is growing interest in the arts, social workers and social work organizations in the U.S. have yet to embrace these ideas in any formalized manner.

Applied arts and social justice  97 There is recognition, however, of the growing influence of entertainment and the arts on social opinion and politics (Kidd, 2014). Memorable examples of films influencing policy include the film Dallas Buyers Club (2013), co-written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. The film highlights the plight of a man with HIV/AIDS as he attempts to find care for himself and others similarly affected. Dallas Buyers Club had an observable impact on health care legislation in the U.S. and significantly raised awareness of the destructive stigma attached to HIV and AIDS. Art has also been in the spotlight to stir the nation’s conscience and raise awareness of injustices committed in war. The 18,110-foot Vietnam ­Memorial Wall in Washington DC is a formidable sculpture that honours those who died in the ten-year war. Poetry, photographs, drawings, and narratives ­accumulate daily at the Wall site as relatives, friends, and witnesses leave tangible items to commemorate those whose lives were lost and whose contributions were unrecognized for so many years. Art has also raised the n ­ ation’s consciousness about institutional racism. In 2016, statues of leaders who led the struggle to maintain slavery during the Civil War (confederates) were ­being dismantled by U.S. protesters intent upon eliminating the legacy of racism this ‘art’ represents. Increasingly, art serves as a visible reminder of injustices that provoke critical thought and at times, social action. Social work has been described as having a ‘moral obligation’ to address injustice and to serve the needs of diverse and often vulnerable clients through valued ‘artistic pursuit’ (Goldstein, cited in Damianakis, 2007, p. 256). Science and social work theory provide guidance as to how art and social work can and do forge indelible links. It is logical then, that education expose students early on to the essential partnership between art and social work.

Theory and science From a critical theory standpoint, integration of art as pedagogy challenges modernist foundations of mental health and privilege, contextualizing people within circumstance and culture rather than codifying and compartmentalizing them according to diagnosis, class, or population (Hanrahan, 2013). Stories play a prominent role within critical theory. Narratives bring truth to power and witnesses, in this case social work students, must confront the messiness of treatment, recovery, and the injustices that often overshadow the lived experience of those who become clients. The use of art in social work education further draws upon constructionist theory. Constructionism examines how knowledge and understanding are co-constructed and culturally-informed, leading to shared meanings and assumptions about the world. Learning is thus based in relational communication rather than sought after truth. The implementation of art in social work education encourages learners to ‘engage’ rather than analyse; to ‘construct shared meanings and understandings between individuals’

98  Shelley Cohen Konrad and Lori Power (Quinn, Shulman, Knifton, & Byrne, 2011, p. 1154), transforming the paradigm from learning about clients and communities to learning with people to make sense of their experiences. Art is moreover a potent mechanism for self-reflection and discovery. Schon, whose philosophies promote reflective practice, cautioned against an educational model without recognition for the ‘artistic, intuitive processes’ that allow workers to listen to hard stories and be present in ‘situations of uncertainty, instability, uniqueness, and value conflict’ (cited in Damianakis, 2007, p. 526). Through its many forms, the arts actively engage students in both reflection-in-action (self-knowledge and discovery) and reflection-on-action (awareness of dominant cultural, societal and political influence), concepts originated by Schon. Explicit and implicit learning flows bidirectionally as students develop awareness of their cultural and ­h istorical narratives – the circumstances that shape their lives and worldviews. As a result, they gain skills to participate with people through art to transform and redefine their realities (Kondrat, 1999). From a pedagogical perspective, the arts, including stories, music, painting, poetry, and theatre, enhance student capacity to move outside themselves into the world of others. The capacity for empathy is also bolstered when art and social work come together in clinical practice preparation. Many students come into social work with idealized notions of helping those less fortunate or making the world a better place, only to be caught off guard when discovering the complexity and discomfort of what it means to help those who are frighteningly unfamiliar, immersed in suffering, or hostile to their kindnesses. It is in these uncomfortable places where empathy must be taught and where art, not data-driven lecture, is the most effective tool. Use of arts strengthens learners’ capacities to elicit and empathize with clients’ viewpoints through interpreting stories of life (Lown, 2016). The advent of neuroscience research sheds light on how the brain processes caring actions and empathic connection (Schore, 2004; Banks, 2011; Konopka, 2014; Gute & Gute, 2015; Lown, 2016). Neuroimaging provides vivid evidence of art’s positive impacts on the brain; art as intervention reroutes neuronal pathways and engages brain networks to heighten cognitive processing and rebuilds sturdier brain connections (Schore, 2004; Konopka, 2014). Art as therapeutic action in social work practice connects people to one another generating ‘shared representations of directly experienced and observed feelings, sensations, and actions’ (Lown, 2016, p. 332), and lays the groundwork for empathy. Social workers using the arts find it a creative alternative to traditional clinical treatments, particularly for clients who have had unsuccessful previous therapies, experienced trauma, or have cognitive or physical disabilities. Here one might postulate that the goals of linking art with social work in education and practice are situated in both social inclusion and health because they aim to find optimal methods to help people adapt to and prosper within their lived communities (Konopka, 2014).

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UNE School of Social Work: applied arts and social justice certificate Although the relationship between social work and the arts is being explored nationally and globally, its implementation is underrepresented in formal pedagogy and practice. The Applied Arts and Social Justice (AASJ) Certificate at the University of New England (UNE) is a notable exception. From its inception, the UNE School of Social Work has valued the interconnection between the arts, social justice, and clinical and community practice. Prior to the development of the more formal certificate in 2014, the School of Social Work invited artists into its classrooms and utilized methods such as Reader’s Theatre to engage students in ‘living’ the experience of others. Faculty supported the arts and humanities as potent pedagogy to address dimensions of affective and reflexive learning (Pardue, 2004). Classes taught in UNE’s Art Galleries ( and the Maine Women Writers Collection (, encouraged social work students to take a fresh look at issues such as mental illness, poverty, neuroatypicality, substance use disorders, and homelessness through artists’ renditions of their lived experiences. Plays such as The Thin Line by Cathy Plourde, a Maine playwright, brought students in direct emotional contact with those living with food disorders. A reading of Not Always Happy: An Unusual Parenting Journey by Kari Wagner-Peck (2017) immersed listeners in the challenges and joys of raising a child with Down syndrome. Arts and social work exposure heighten as well as complexify student learning, revealing the powerful interrelationship between people’s realities and suffering, unveiling human capacity for resilience and renewal across wide-ranging domains of adversity. It was Freire (1972), of course, who gave us the concept of ‘popular education’, and it is perhaps his influence and our desire to delve more curricularly into arts and social work that set the inaugural stage for the development of UNE’s AASJ. The deeper dive took form concurrently with an overhaul of the School of Social Work’s vision and mission statements. The previous vision and mission focused on health as a human right, and faculty were eager to expand the school’s niche to encompass a more global and ­population-based perspective. The World Bank (2013) definition of social inclusion resonated with faculty, staff, and students because of its explicit and broad aim to address poverty, inequity, discrimination, and to act to improve opportunity and human dignity for all people. Goals for AASJ seamlessly aligned with the School of Social Work’s revised vision and mission. Students craved experiential and transformative learning in the classroom and through activities that thrust them into real world experiences. As one student explained, ‘I LOVE the concept of “popular education”… BECAUSE it feels “anti-oppressive”… We are actually DOING the activities that we get to incorporate into our own practice. And I learn so much better that way.’ These students embodied the desire for

Figure 8.1

Figure 8.2 

Applied arts and social justice  101 value to be added to their curriculum (Staley & Trinkle, 2011). Impatient with traditional systems, students and faculty embraced the arts to actualize Freire’s popular education approach. Working together, they established opportunities for co-learnership and critical reflection on issues that were relevant to respective communities of interest. Used consciously and intentionally, the creation of the AASJ certificate became a cogent mechanism for students to learn and perform activism and to practice transformation and change.

AASJ design The challenge for AASJ faculty was to integrate its content and methodologies into an already full and rich curriculum. There was no room to bypass core course progression as required by CSWE accreditation standards. We were altogether mindful that content contributing to AASJ ­c ertificate completion needed to be both rigorous and yet nimble enough to be integrated into the 64 credits required for a master’s degree in social work and no more. The solution became a template for future School of Social Work certificate offerings. Students would take introductory and advanced AASJ electives (Introduction to Applied Arts, Creative Arts in Social Work Practice) and two other approved electives from the curriculum to fulfil their four elective courses (See Exhibit A). Students working toward an AASJ certificate negotiate with faculty to devise meaningful ways to infuse arts into at least one of their core assignments in classes such as social policy, research, practice, and human behaviour. For example, one student wrote a one-act play to disseminate the findings of her yearlong research project. Her research question was about the experiences of unaccompanied minors as refugees in the United States. While she still wrote a traditional paper, the short play provided a more accessible lens through which other students and the larger community could learn about the research findings and develop a sense of empathy for refugee youth in the United States.

Exhibit A: Approved electives AASJ students in the School of Social Work must complete * courses below and two approved electives: *Creative Arts in Social Work Practice (required) Writing as a Tool for Change *Introduction to Social Work and the Creative Arts (required) Community Organizing and Social Inclusion

102  Shelley Cohen Konrad and Lori Power Social Work with Children, Adolescents & Parents Narrative Therapy Grief, Loss & Death in Social Work Practice Social Work in the Political Arena Intimate Partner Violence Spirituality in Social Work Practice Conflict Mediation Group Work/Mutual Aid Advanced Trauma-based Practice Grant Writing Substance Abuse Independent Study To receive credit towards the AASJ Certificate students are required to complete an arts and social work project. Instructors and the AASJ Coordinator MUST approve the project and sign off on the AASJ Elective Approval Form. Another pair of students delved deeply into themes surrounding racism in the United States first learned about in their Human Behaviour in the Social Environment course. They created a project titled Storytelling for Social Justice, in which they explored and then storied their understanding of race relations in the United States. The final product was a storytelling evening titled ‘Transforming Our Stories of Race’. All University students benefitted from this performance, as did faculty, staff, and community members. These are just a few examples of how AASJ students use the arts to study, critically assess, express, or enhance understanding of social issues both within and outside of the existing curriculum. Integrating the arts into traditional assignments clearly necessitated buy-in from faculty who were not themselves immersed in the AASJ curriculum. The faculty noticed early on that students could equally fulfil course learning objectives and outcomes through arts projects as through traditional assignments. Moreover, AASJ students were observably more engaged and put more hours into their projects than otherwise expected. Indeed, now that the AASJ certificate program is three-years-old, faculty members themselves are increasingly working with course materials in creative ways. For example, a research professor worked with an AASJ student to create a video depicting the realities of homelessness, which they disseminated to a wide audience, thus increasing its impact as well as the student’s learning. AASJ courses culminate with a major project that brings together learning gained through integration of the arts in social work practice. Students can select individual or group projects, but they must do a formal presentation with or without co-learners to classmates and other selected audiences.

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Figure 8.3

Occasionally projects are presented to a community audience (See Exhibit B) or highlighted in University or local news. When all requirements are fulfilled, students are awarded an AASJ Certificate that affirms that learning objectives have been met and learning outcomes (see below) are successful. Most graduates list their AASJ Certificate on their professional resume to set themselves and their skillsets apart from other social work job seekers.

Objectives and aims Learning objectives and aims of the AASJ certificate align with both the School of Social Work’s vision and mission and with CSWE educational policy and accreditation (EPAS) standards (See Exhibit C). EPAS standards assure that graduates embrace the values of the social work profession (social inclusion; cultural competence), professional ethical standards, and micro and macro practice skills including competency in engagement, assessment, and intervention across populations and settings. Learning outcomes for AASJ guarantee that students graduate with knowledge, skills, and values to: • •

Engage applied arts to advance human rights and social inclusion (EPAS Standard 3), Apply arts modalities to address discrimination and oppression, honour diversity, and empower self-determination and identity (EPAS Standards 1, 2, & 3),

104  Shelley Cohen Konrad and Lori Power • • •

Utilize one or more expressive arts modalities within research-informed practice and practice-informed research on the micro/mezzo/macro levels (EPAS Standard 4), Demonstrate how creativity improves readiness, flexibility, and ability to serve in social work practice, whether with individuals, communities, or causes (EPAS Standards 6, 7, 8 & 9), and Advocate for the use of arts and expressive therapies to benefit health, healing, and social justice (EPAS Standards 1 & 5).

Exhibit B: Bridging the gaps for social inclusion As an independent study research course, two AASJ students facilitated weekly focus groups with youth of colour in the Portland, Maine community, asking about their experiences of racism, racial profiling by police, and their ideas for community change. The participating young people blogged with the graduate social work students about their shared readings, discussions, group processes, and hopes. Everyone’s voice was included. This eclectic group then created a bridge sculpture that depicted their ideas for ‘Bridging the Gaps to Address Systematic Racism’. The youth addressed an audience at a public event and unveiled the structure representing a curriculum they had co-created with community and University of New England (UNE) students. UNE students have continued this anti-racism work following their 2016 graduation and in their work as professional workers. www. Strategies to achieve competency standards are clearly designated in AASJ certificate agreements. Arts methodologies are applied across settings and populations to effect change in domains of practice including: • • • • •

Mental health, personal development, and empowerment, Cultural competencies, communication, and critical thinking/problem solving, Individual motivation and readiness for change, Healing, health promotion, and community building, and Self-care and amelioration of burnout and compassion fatigue.

AASJ learning objectives aim not only to adhere to accreditation competencies but to expand the range of attitudes and skills necessary to reach an increasingly multicultural population in the U.S., where the arts may

Applied arts and social justice  105 be for some the only common language for connection. Use of the arts assists in building relationships across the life course and with people living with a range of ability, disability, and mental illness. Lastly, arts as activism becomes even more essential as the economic gap widens between rich and poor. Inequities in economic, social, and environmental justice call for visible voices of protest to instigate change. Although these broadly stated domains of concern are being identified in the U.S., it is assumed that they generalize to other nations and educational settings.

Exhibit C: CSWE EPAS competencies 2015 1 Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behaviour Competency 2 Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice Competency 3 Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice Competency 4 Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice Competency 5 Engage in Policy Practice Competency 6 Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities Competency 7 Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities Competency 8 Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities Competency 9 Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Reflections on impact When promoting the AASJ to prospective students or alumni organizations, we love to highlight the fact that students make real differences in their communities of interest while in the certificate program (See Exhibit B). School of Social Work graduates recall ‘ah ha’ moments when theory and lived experience came together to surface unexpected knowledge, insight, and paradigmatic change. Preconceived notions evaporate as students become immersed with and learn from people whom they formerly would have viewed one-dimensionally, as victims or villains, sufferers or heroes. One student who took a class on writing in the county jail reflected ‘You can build relationships and common ground with the most unlikely, unexpected people—but it takes time, a commitment, and a certain amount of initial willingness to make it happen.’ From a trauma-informed lens, working through art in real time incrementally shifted students’ perceptions from a problem-based, pathology perspective (‘what’s wrong’) to a conversation about ‘what matters’.

106  Shelley Cohen Konrad and Lori Power Another example of a transformative experience for both students and community can be illustrated by our partnership with the Maine Inside Out (MIO) project ( MIO teaches theatre games to incarcerated youth using principles of Theatre of the Oppressed (Boal, 1985). MIO’s goal is ‘to engage the community in dialogue about issues related to incarceration. The tool of theatre invites us to recognize ourselves in others and to connect across boundaries’ ( Benefits of the partnership between AASJ and MIO are bidirectional. MIO graduates provide AASJ students with new understanding of the issues faced by incarcerated youth through opportunities for leadership, storytelling, and positive social connections in a college setting. AASJ students provide role models for MIO youth through human exchange that may have a lasting impact on both students’ future endeavours.

Lessons learned The AASJ certificate program at UNE unites social work values with expressive arts, filling an important niche in social work education. ­Students often struggle with managing the complex content and hard stories that make up social work education. They search to find meaningful ways to make sense of suffering and inequality, problems that seem so immense and overwhelming as to propel them to pause and take stock of whether social work is indeed the profession for them. We have learned, however, that arts and social work serve to ameliorate doubt and counteract fear. In combination, they provide students with experiences that are tangible and produce observable outcomes that make change, no matter how incremental. Even when the final product of an AASJ project is conceptual, not active, students report being inspired by what they have learned. Such inspiration provides motivation to believe in the power of human connection and to trust in the possibility for positive and enduring change. The School of Social Work has been able to fully absorb the requirements of the AASJ certificate without straining progression plans or taxing curricular content. Nothing extra is required, and this has been key to attracting students and gaining faculty support. Moreover, use of the arts enhances core content for many students in classes that otherwise may have been excruciating or, at the very least, boring. Research suddenly becomes relevant when one is investigating whether painting or yoga reduces anxiety and subsequent blood pressure. When the impacts of legislation are made visible and visceral via a mural rather than a white paper filled with obscure and legal language, students feel inspired to make that trip to the State House and testify on behalf of a bill supporting a patient’s right to die. The arts enable students with different learning styles to have a right-brained opportunity to report data and understand the value of evidence. These and many other benefits are what we have learned so far in our AASJ journey.

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Final remarks Kondrat (1999) contends that ‘social workers are always involved in social change and social stability…the key choice, then, is not whether to be an agent of change, but whether to be a more conscious agent of change’ (pp. 471–472). UNE’s AASJ certificate formally offers opportunities for students to concentrate their actions within the arts and to see the fruits of their hard work make an authentic difference in the world. The Applied Art and Social Justice Certificate allows students a powerful way to learn with and from their community and the larger world. We look forward to observing the natural and symbiotic partnership between the arts and social work education become more formalized around the world.

References Banks, A. (2011). Developing the capacity to connect. Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, 46(1), 168–182. Boal, A. (1985). Theatre of the oppressed. New York, NY: Theatre Communications Group. Brenner, R., (Producer) & Vallée, J. M. (Director). (2013). Dallas buyers club [Motion Picture]. USA: Truth Entertainment. Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). (2015). Educational policy and accreditation standards (EPAS). Retrieved from: Accreditation-Process/2015-EPAS/2015EPAS_Web_FINAL.pdf.aspx Damianakis, T. (2007). Social work’s dialogue with the arts: Epistemological and practice intersections. Families in Society, 88, 525–533. Freire, P. (1972). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Herder and Herder. Gute, D., & Gute, G. (2015). How creativity works in the brain: Insights from a Santa Fe institute working group. Produced by the NEA Office of Research & Analysis. Cosponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. Hanrahan, C. (2013). Critical social theory and the politics of narrative in the mental health professions: The mental health film festival as an emerging postmodern praxis. British Journal of Social Work, 43, 1150–1169. Kidd, D. (2014). Pop culture freaks: Identity, mass media, and society. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Konrad, S. C. (2017). Art in social work: Equivocation, evidence, and ethical quandaries. Research on Social Work Practice, doi:10.1177/1049731517735898. Kondrat, M. E. (1999). Who is the ‘self’ in self‐aware: Professional self‐awareness from a critical theory perspective. Social Service Review, 73(4), 451–477. Konopka, L. M. (2014). Where art meets neuroscience: A new horizon of art therapy. Croatian Medical Journal, 55, 73–74. doi:10.3325/cmj.2014.55.73. Lown, B. (2016). A social neuroscience-informed model for teaching and practising compassion in health care. Medical Education, 50, 332–342. doi:10.1111/ medu.12926. Pardue, K. T. (2004). Introducing readers theater! A strategy to foster aesthetic knowing in nursing. Nurse Education, 29(2), 58–62. Quinn, N., Shulman, A., Knifton, L., & Byrne, P. (2011). The impact of a national mental health arts and film festival on stigma and recovery. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 123(1), 71–81.

108  Shelley Cohen Konrad and Lori Power Schore, A. (2004). Special section: Psychoanalytic research: Progress and process notes from Allan Schore’s groups in developmental affective neuroscience and clinical practice. Psychologist Psychoanalyst, 1, 14–22. Staley, D. J., & Trinkle, D. A. (2011). The changing landscape of higher education. Educase Review, 46, 15–34. Wagner-Peck, K. (2017). Not always happy: An unusual parenting journey. Las Vegas, NV: Central Recovery Press. World Bank. (2013). Inclusion matters: The foundation for shared prosperity. New frontiers of social policy. Washington, DC: World Bank. Retrieved from

9 Using arts as a feminist empowerment tool The example of social workers in Israel Noa Barkai-Kra Introduction Changes in the social work profession in Israel, but also in Europe, the United States, and other countries, have meant fewer jobs, reduced pay, and worsening work conditions for social workers within privatized settings. However, it is difficult to mobilize social workers to fight for their rights. It is not easy to mobilize social workers to act for social change in general, and more specifically, for social change involving their own work conditions. Rothman and Mizrahi (2014) claim that there is a general preference for micro rather than macro skills in social work. It could be because social workers feel that they should fight for their clients’ rights rather than for themselves. Another way to understand this difficulty in active social change for social workers is through a gendered lens. Because the profession is largely dominated by women, this lack of motivation to engage in direct social change can also be understood as a gendered position in that women tend to have an ethics of care for others, be more compliant, and be more cooperative, blaming themselves for problems rather than changing society (Snyder, 2008). Assuming that part of the problem of social workers is to define their marginalized social position as related to gender, the classic methods of empowerment, such as group work, would seem an effective way to encourage more active social change initiation for themselves rather than for their service users. This chapter will describe the method for using art tools with social workers and social work students as a form of female empowerment during the struggle of social workers to improve their employment conditions that took place in Israel in 2011. The case study is a group of Israeli female social workers. The group used art to create a social change installation, calling for better employment conditions for social workers. The goal was to create a group art product that would contribute to the struggle. Using art as a ‘soft way’ to join the struggle During 2011, the social workers’ struggle in Israel began to expand and permeate the consciousness of the workers themselves. It was clear that there

110  Noa Barkai-Kra was a need to raise awareness, first on the level of the profession and the workers themselves, and later on, in the public. In spite of the difficulty in recruiting women to fight for themselves, social workers in Israel were pushed to fight for the conditions of their employment. The author decided to invite a group of social workers to create an artistic installation that would be part of the struggle and would help to raise the awareness of the workers, the public, and the decision and policy makers. Jones, a feminist art therapist, states that For women, in contrast to the linguistic tradition, art offers a means of expression which is less readily male in its vocabulary, and is therefore more readily open to and able to reference the true experience of the women…The image may speak for itself, reducing the possibility of the artist client being spoken over. (2003, p. 75)

Method Ten female social workers volunteered for the open call poster ‘to take part in the struggle with arts tools’. The call was published online and among graduates of the Department of Social Work at Ben-Gurion University of the ­Negev. Female social workers between the ages of 28–34 came to take part in the project. The project was set as a short-term, goal-oriented group of women who came together to create an arts-based installation to raise awareness of social change activities among social workers. Because the large majority of social workers in Israel are female, it also advocated a feminist position. In the first stage, the group met four times for an hour and a half each to process their experiences and feelings through art and to create the idea of the final installation. The second stage was to produce the artistic installation based on the first stage. The facilitators of the group were two social workers (including the author of this paper). The platform for creating this unique project was a course at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in the Department of Social Work. Meeting protocol The meetings’ goals were as follows: • • •

The first meeting explored the terms and goals of the group. The second meeting used arts to explore feelings and attitudes towards the participants’ work conditions. The third meeting used a graffiti wall to create a collective statement from the participants about their feelings and attitudes towards their work conditions.

Using arts as a feminist empowerment tool  111 •

The fourth meeting was used to decide upon and to execute an artsbased installation project that was taken out to the general public.

Data sources Four filmed meetings, the middle and final art products of the group, the group’s summary of the experience, and the group leader’s comments and research diary comprised the data sources for this research. Validity and reliability The triangulation of data sources, which included verbal- and visual-filmed elements of the process, as well as the end art products, helped to create validity and transparency of the data. The participant position of the author as group leader helped create more perspectives. The data underwent peer-review by an additional group of MA-level social work students, creating additional external validity (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000; Huberman & Miles, 2003). Ethical considerations The participants all signed consent forms to participate in the research and to be photographed on video. The workshop was provided free of charge in exchange for agreement to be part of the research. The subject was not personal; however, it involved power relations at work, therefore, all identifying characteristics were removed from the research. Additionally, the video was used only for this research. The protocol passed the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s Ethics Committee.

Results Using art as a feminist empowerment tool The use of a group is considered feminist methodology because it can help create a shared reality that counteracts the focus on self. The group has more power and resources than the individual to influence the larger circles of social life (Gilligan, Spencer, Weinberg, & Bertsch, 2003). The first stage of empowerment involves finding the voice, space, and legitimacy for silenced groups (Jones, 2003). Once the individual’s art products are discussed in a group context, the individual’s experience becomes validated by similar experiences of others in the group from the same specific cultural, social, and gendered context. Thus, while each drawing is a phenomenological expression of an inner reality, discussing them within a group context becomes a critical or socially contextualized understanding of that personal experience (Foster, 2007; Huss, 2012).

112  Noa Barkai-Kra Here are two examples of comments made by participants at the first stage, following the creation of the artwork: Participant: ‘While doing this art, this is the first time, I’ve allowed myself to really feel how angry I am.’ Participant: ‘I’m looking at my drawing, and I’m thinking we are sensitive and also strong. We can be proud that we look after others, and we must learn also to look after ourselves.’ In the first stage, the group shifted from verbal discussion to an excavation of feeling and subjective experience through art, which was then shared in the group. These art works, through a social analysis of figure-versus-­background within the shared reality of the group space, helped the participants shift from self-blame for their difficulties to a socially constructed understanding of their problems as a lack of resources. As stated, this stage included observation of increasingly free body language, laughter, and angry statements. This also follows the literature on the indirect nature of art as enabling the expression of confrontation in a safe symbolic, distanced space for women (Winnicott, 1958; Liebmann, 1996; Jones, 2003; Huss, 2012, 2015). Shifting from the personal level to the final community artistic installation The second stage of the group was to shift from art as exploration to art as creating an installation that can be shared in the public sphere. The group decided upon a framework for their art installation. This included asking colleagues to be photographed while holding a personal poster on which they wrote a slogan concerning their work conditions. All of these photographs turned into a common collage and were the final product of the installation. In order to allow the installation to grow interactively over time, each time the installation was presented in public, there was a stand with pages and a camera so that people could join and take part in the installation. The final image also contained men’s slogans and photographs. The idea was that this method could be interactive and gather more written slogans of social workers in order to make larger collages over time. The first time the final installation was used was at the annual conference of the Social Workers’ Union in Israel in July 2011. The installation received many positive and engaged responses, and many social workers who saw the collage wanted to take part and add their pictures with their own slogans. Later, during the same year of the social workers’ struggle, the installation was presented several times at social work workshops, supervision sessions, and conferences. The following themes are a few examples from the pictures in which social workers posed with their slogans.

Using arts as a feminist empowerment tool  113 Being undervalued, although we are good: ‘Social worker job: 100% volunteer job.’ (A) ‘With good intentions, you can’t go to the grocery store! Maximum commitment, minimum wage!’ (B) ‘I always fight for the rights of others; it’s time to start fighting for my own rights.’ (C) Lack of job status because of social work being a ‘ female profession:’ ‘I am in a female profession, and so my salary is very low!’ (D) ‘Enough sexism—there is no such thing as a second (wife’s) salary!!’ (E) Calls for direct resistance: ‘We won’t be broken by the privatization process—we will break this process!’ (F) ‘The privatization has failed! Let’s call for our rights back.’ (G) ‘We will fight for social justice!’ (H) Some of the slogans are angry, some call for justice, and some even apologize, but most of them are held up with a pleasant smile.

Discussion This case study presents a methodology for enhancing social change activity for social workers around their own professional identity and rights. We see that, although social workers are well-trained in social change and systemic theories, the social change activity around their own needs created much ambivalence towards social action in general and towards a female or feminist position specifically. This correlates to the literature findings described above that social workers prefer micro- to macro-social action intervention (Kaufman & Ehud, 2008; Rothman & Mizrahi, 2014) or to using feminist resistance (Saulnier, 1996; Dominelli, 2002). This ambivalence over direct social confrontation in order to better one’s place as a woman can be understood as an expression of gendered roles, showing women’s cultural conditioning toward less direct resistance, more cooperation, and not wishing to draw attention to themselves within the public sphere (Gilligan et al., 2003; Mohanty, 2003). The question is how can this reality be addressed within social work education? The above data presented an experiential group model for addressing this ambivalence by enabling art to enhance social action that included two stages: •

An ‘internal’ stage, which included people drawing what they felt, along with a ‘group sharing stage’ in which these images were discussed within the shared reality of the group. This was following by moving on to a graffiti wall to create a collective statement within the safety of the group.

114  Noa Barkai-Kra •

An ‘external’ stage, which included creating a joint art installation and presenting it to the public.

These dual ‘reflective’ and ‘expressive’ stages were a helpful model in shifting to engagement in social change for female social workers, helping them to overcome their ambivalence about becoming social activists in general and for themselves specifically. This was achieved in the space of four meetings. This model has implications for training social workers (who are predominantly female) towards feminist awareness and a social action stand based on female values and ways of structuring resistance through self-reflection, sharing, and through creating an inclusive and personal social-change art product. Using arts was an effective tool for experiencing these feelings in a more concrete and embodied, yet symbolic and indirect, way. The group’s joint decision to create a collage providing space for everyone can be understood as an expression of the gendered, relationship-focused values of women that focuses on the personal and on the ethics of sharing and giving space for all. In other words, the direct gaze can also be interpreted as an effort to create a relationship with the viewer that explains the gap between the ‘angry’ slogans and the smiling participants from the installation. The above elements of capturing individual voices in a non-­ hierarchical framework and creating a relationship with the viewer seem to be an integration part of the female strategies of connection and ethics of care with social change. This can be defined as female aesthetics for social change. The collage technique enables the inclusion of many individual elements while still creating a collective space, even if this has less impact than one strong slogan, as used in arts for social change (Jones, 2003). This resistance, however, was not a copy of male forms of social change, but rather, brought a more specifically female style of social change which struggled to include many voices rather than choosing one over the others, and included non-confrontational communication.

Conclusion This chapter suggests finding different ways for female social workers to take part in social action. This case study teaches us that using art allows for a greater range of expression possibilities. A limitation of this model is its single case study design. However, the advantage of this case study is that it creates a gentle transition from personal experience to macro-­ expression in social context for social workers. This insight adds practical tools to the daily skills for social workers. It also suggests a methodology to encourage social workers in a predominantly female profession to engage in social change but in accordance with their more relational and interactive values.

Using arts as a feminist empowerment tool  115

Practical elements of the group: • •

A space where everyone can sit in a circle and where there’s enough space to create near tables or other space Materials for the various exercises, such as a large sheet of paper, colours, and any creative materials with which you want/can work

The method: • • •

• • •

Short-term, goal-oriented group. 8–12 participant (ideal). Four meetings: 1  The first meeting exploring the terms and goals of the group. 2  The second meeting using arts to explore feelings and attitudes of the participants toward the subject of the group. 3  The third meeting using a graffiti wall to create a collective statement from the participants about their feelings and attitudes towards the subject of the group. 4  The fourth meeting should be used to decide upon and to execute an arts-based installation project that will be disseminated out to the general public. The participants of the group are the experts of their problems. The art tools are used to help participants express feelings and thoughts that are sometimes hard to find verbal descriptions for. Some introductory exercises in creative tools to activate the senses may be used.

The role of the facilitator: •

To bring the creative tools to the group process, to enable individual investigation of the chosen issue, and to help the group to advance the final product of the art installation.

Pay special attention to: • • • •

The choices made together with the participants. The final art installation is a product of the group process. It is necessary to be focused and select an idea to the art installation construction relating to time and the resources that the group have. Group leaders need to consider the division of roles and responsibility to establish the art installation after the end of the four

116  Noa Barkai-Kra meetings. It is possible to preset the number of meetings to more than four and include the work on the art installation at several additional meetings. It depends on the atmosphere and willingness of the group. Evaluation: •

In the first stage, the presence and arrival of the participants for all the four meetings, the level of sharing in the group using art tools, selecting a sharp message to convey to the public through the art installation. In the second stage, the effect of the installation on the chosen issue, the number of times the art installation was shown to an audience, and the reactions it received.

Avoid: • • •

Dominance of one participant. Staying too long in stage one on the individual feelings which prohibits the group from moving on to action and stage two. Selecting art installation that is difficult establishment and execute.

References Denzin, N., & Lincoln, Y. (2000). Handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Dominelli, L. (2002). Feminist social work practice. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. Foster, V. (2007). Ways of knowing and showing: Imagination and representation in feminist participatory social research. Journal of Social Work Practice, 21(3), 361–376. Gilligan, C., Spencer, R., Weinberg, M., & Bertsch, T. (2003). On the listening guide: A voice-centered relational method. In P. M. Camic, J. E. Rhodes, & L. Yardley (Eds.), Qualitative research in psychology (pp. 157–172). Washington, DC: ­A merican Psychological Association. Huberman, M., & Miles, M. (2003). Reflections and advice. In. M. Huberman & M. Miles (Eds.), The qualitative researchers companion (pp. 393–399). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Huss, E. (2012). What we see and what we say: Combining visual and verbal ­i nformation within social work research. British Journal of Social Work, 42(8), 1440–1459. Huss, E. (2015). A theory-based approach to art therapy: Implications for teaching, research and practice. London, UK: Routledge. Jones, A. (2003). The feminism and visual culture reader. London, UK: Routledge.

Using arts as a feminist empowerment tool  117 Kaufman. R., & Ehud, D. (2008). Privatized and invisible: The role of the Center for Victims of Privatization of Social Services with the assistance of promoting rights for social workers in NGOs and private companies. Social Work Bulletin: Israel, 48, 21–27. (Hebrew). Liebmann, M. (1996). Arts approaches to conflict. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley. Mohanty, C. T. (2003). Under Western eyes: Feminist scholarship and colonial discourses. In R. Lewis & S. Mills (Eds.), Feminist postcolonial theory: A reader (pp. 61–88). Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press. Rothman, J., & Mizrahi, T. (2014). Balancing micro and macro practice: A challenge for social work. Social Work, 59(1), 91–93. Saulnier, C. (1996). Feminist theories and social work. New York, NY: Haworth Press. Snyder, C. R. (2008). What is third-wave feminism? A new directions essay. Signs, 34(1), 175–196. Winnicott, D. (1958). Collected papers: Through pediatrics to psychoanalysis. ­London, UK: Tavistock Publications.

Section II

Introduction examples of micro arts practice in social work Ephrat Huss The central focus of social work practice is to understand a person in context: this means that social work is an integrative profession that integrates multiple sources of psychological and social knowledge, including micro versus macro perspectives—representing versus resisting the system, and universal versus culturally specific perspectives. This includes integrating emotion and cognition and relationship versus content: the question emerges, why include yet another knowledge base into this complex mix of skills, that of the arts? (Abramovitz, 1993; Bogo, Raphael, & Roberts, 1993; Gibelman, 1999; Gilligan, 2007). Are the arts not a distraction from the real, more basic problems that clients face? Can social workers ‘afford’ to waste the precious, insufficient time slots they have with service users on arts, when clients face ‘real world’ problems connected to the base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, those which need addressing first? How can art help solve the range of psychological, practical, and social problems that social workers attempt to address with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations? The answer is that when social workers use social arts, they find that they are especially useful methods as intense mediums for embodying and concretizing the person-in-context approach and for integrating these diverse knowledge bases. This includes the process of arts-making, observing, or listening and reacting to the arts which are all components of social art that do not separate from the creator but rather serve as a trigger for new behaviours, meanings, and understandings. By ‘arts’ we mean creating art, but also using meaningful artistic structures within the service user’s life, such as the images, music, and films that are important to them This can also include how the house is decorated, a favourite song or TV program, a photo album or selfie, religious expressions or didactic tools, decorating or fixing or making spaces ‘special’, examples of self-expression, and so on (Arnhiem, 1996; Mahon, 2000; Hills, 2001). These sources of meaning, comprehension, and manageability in service users’ lives are too important to be left out of social work. These definitions go well beyond ‘psychological’

120  Ephrat Huss art, that is, a diagnostic and projective expression of the subconscious or fine art that focuses on an aesthetic end-product in discourse with the fine art paradigms. Indeed, from the influx of chapters we received for this book, this type of social art is indeed much used in social work practice, as shown in this part of the book, but its canonization within social work literature is not developed. We hope this section will contribute to a better understanding of how this art is used on a practical level in micro practice, while the next section of the book will continue to describe its use in macro settings. It is important, as stated, to understand why arts are helpful methodologies for social workers and what they are doing within social work. Firstly, on the theoretical level, as described in the previous section of this book, arts are similar to social work in that they capture the phenomenological self but within a socio-cultural context. I urge the reader to firstly return to the introduction of the theoretical part, so as not to understand this part as a set of ‘recipes’ or things to ‘do’ with service users, but rather, as an inherent part of social work’s aims. The arts on a methodological level help do the social work job by intensifying reflection, communication, and problem solving in an embodied and concrete way. The arts recreate a connection between cognition, emotion, and the senses (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). Arts help use past sensory-memory as information and use imagination to reconfigure future outcomes. This in effect means that art is, on a deep, neurological level, a personal interpretation of a social context that connects to problem solving within that context ­(Conway & Pleydell-Pearce, 2000; Huss, 2012, 2015, 2017). Indeed, people have always used the arts to address and express pain and adversary,  so  as  to enhance their resilience through symbolic interaction and self-expression. This means that arts are socially empowering in that they enable marginalized groups to explore and to define their personal experience of their social reality. In art-making, the tension between form and content helps to excavate, that is reflect, define, and interpret, one’s experience. On a group level, this helps create group coherence and a shared narrative. In arts ­l istening or observing, the same process of clarification occurs. In arts discussions and reactions to arts, issues are reframed and new meanings found because art is a broad, hermeneutic base. Words tend to be more linear, while the arts can contain multiple and also conflicting meanings (Liebman, 1996; Dokter, 1998; Emerson & Smith, 2000; Huss, 2012, 2015, 2017). Arts can become, for the social worker, additional, ­embodied information about the service user’s experience or culture, an ­action-based intervention in the here and now, rather than a mere discussion or a trigger for new meanings that are captured in an embodied, ­i ntense way through shifting the paradigms of the problems to more sensory forms. On this level, it connects to the inherent resilience factors of the service user. The arts sensory level aims to prompt fast, perceptual processing and information-gathering and to induce metabolic arousal that mobilizes the

Examples of micro arts practice in social work  121 organism for coping reactions (Nelson & Fivush, 2004; Hass-Cohen & Carr, 2008). Just as arts have intense resilience-enhancing factors for service users, these are important also for social workers who need to develop active self-care skills of resilience. While the need to address compassion fatigue, secondary trauma, and other types of social worker stress is clear, there are less specific methods for doing this (Barlow & Hall, 2007; Adams, Figley, & Boscarino, 2008). Arts have the characteristics to enable social workers to self-care, as well as to be able to ‘play’ and to engage in healthy narcissism. Creativity for social workers will help to protect from secondary trauma, but also from mechanistic social work, as shown with other groups in the helping professions (Horowitz & Huss, 2015). Thus, for both social worker and service user, and for the relationship between them, arts can become a concrete, embodied transitional space within which to capture the relationship, to map out future aims, to enhance both sides’ creativity and resilience, and to create or communicate something new that is within the service user’s control. It is clear that this process also connects to social and empowerment levels, in that the arts, by creating and communicating self-defined meanings of the service user, become an act of resistance in that they help counteract the verbal supremacy of specific social as well as ‘professional’ social work narratives. While the last thing we want to do is suggest ‘recipes’ for art activities according to a stereotypical population definition, we do wish to show social workers that art can be used from this social stand without much training: for this reason, we have ended most chapters with a practical skill protocol, including arts materials, a setting, a time frame, the amount of people that can work together on this, the art skills needed, possible technical pitfalls, and ways it can be used with other populations. However, the most important element for social workers to use art is to be prepared to ‘step out of the box’, not be the ‘expert’ on art, and follow the creative world of the service users, as well as to utilize one’s own creativity to use the arts to fulfil the aims of the therapeutic relationship. We hope that these chapters will help readers understand ‘how’ but more importantly ‘why’ to use arts in their interventions with service users, and also with themselves. In the first chapter of this practical section, Ida van der Lee and W. (Bill) Wei of the Netherlands describe using arts with the elderly to create a coherent life-story. In the second chapter, Angélique Gozlan and Céline Masson of France describe using dance with disturbed teenagers as a way to create an embodied sense of connection to themselves and to each other. In the third chapter in this section, Oihika Chakrabarti of India describes how arts are used in psychosocial interventions with youth in foster care. Menny Malka of Israel, in the next chapter, uses photovoice to capture and gradually expose the self-defined experience of children of parents dealing with addictions. In the next chapter, then Raphael Travis, Jr. and Aaron Rodwin of the United States describe how hip-hop with homeless adults with severe mental illness becomes a way to enhance resilience.

122  Ephrat Huss Next, Hassen Ganayiem, Orna Braun-Lewensohn, and I of Israel describe how marginalized Bedouin youth can co-create knowledge with social ­workers and enhance their resilience through drawing their problems and solutions. In the final chapter of this section, Marleny Bonnycastle and Tuula Heinonen of Canada describe using arts to integrate identity for refugee populations. All of these methods utilize arts, as described in the introduction, to intensify and embody the intervention, moving beyond the mind to the senses, cultural meanings, memories, and personal understandings. They utilize the arts as ways to enhance resilience, to create coherence, to situate experience within a social context, and to intensify the voice of service users as the ‘experts’. At the end of most of the chapters, we have added a short list of skills, as we know that social workers are not trained in arts and may feel daunted by the thought of using them.

References Abramovitz, M. (1993). Should all social work students be educated for social change? Journal of Social Work Education, 29, 6–11. Adams, R. E., Figley, C. R., & Boscarino, J. A. (2008). The compassion fatigue scale: Its use with social workers following urban disaster. Research on Social Work Practice, 18(3), 238–250. Arnhiem, R. (1996). The split and the structure: Twenty-eight essays. Berkeley: University of California Press. Barlow, C., & Hall, B. L. (2007). ‘What about feelings?’: A study of emotion and tension in social work field education. Social Work Education, 26(4), 399–413. Bogo, M., Raphael, D., & Roberts, R. (1993). Interests, activities, and self-­ identification among social work students: Toward a definition of social work identity. Journal of Social Work Education, 29, 279–292. Conway, M. A., & Pleydell-Pearce, C. W. (2000). The construction of autobiographical memories in the self-memory system. Psychological Review, 107(2), 261–288. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York, NY: Harper Collins. Dokter, D. (1998). Arts therapists, refugees, and migrants: Reaching across borders. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Emerson, M., & Smith, P. (2000). Researching the visual: Images, objects, contexts, and interactions in social. London, UK: Sage Publication. Gibelman, M. (1999). The search for identity: Defining social work—past, present, future. Social Work, 44(4), 298–310. Gilligan, P. (2007). Well-motivated reformists or nascent radicals: How do applicants to the degree in social work see social problems, their origins and solutions? British Journal of Social Work, 37, 735–760. Hass-Cohen, N., & Carr, R. (Eds.). (2008). Art therapy and clinical neuroscience. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Hills, P. (2001). Modern art in the USA: Issues and controversies of the 20th century. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Examples of micro arts practice in social work  123 Horowitz, E. B., & Huss, E. (2015). Using internet based arts to promote inter-­ generational meetings between young people and senior citizens: The Playmakers project in Sweden. Journal of Applied Arts & Health, 7(3), 297–311. Huss, E. (2012). What we see and what we say: Using images in research, therapy, empowerment, and social change. London, UK: Rutledge. Huss, E. (2015). A theory based approach to art therapy. London, UK: Routledge. Huss, E. (2017). Arts as a methodology for connecting between micro and macro knowledge in social work: Examples of impoverished Bedouin women’s images in Israel. The British Journal of Social Work, 48(1), 73–87. Liebman, M. (1996). Arts approaches to conflict. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley. Mahon, M. (2000). The visible evidence of cultural producers. Annual Review of Anthropology, 29, 467–92. Nelson, K., & Fivush, R. (2004). The emergence of autobiographical memory: A social cultural developmental theory. Psychological Review, 111(2), 486–511.

10 Arts and the elderly The ‘Hidden Legacy’ project Ida van der Lee and W. (Bill) Wei

Context The Netherlands, a small country with a population of 17 million people, is the most densely populated country in Europe. The birth rate has been very low, so the country is steadily aging. At the beginning of 2016, there were three million people over the age of 65, and the percentage of elderly people will continue to increase in the near future. Despite this increasing number of aging individuals, the government has reduced the budget for welfare and care. Many facilities for the elderly have closed down. Family and friends are expected to take more responsibility for the care of the elderly. At the same time, the elderly are losing their importance to society. They are increasingly seen as a burden to public finances and are seldom asked to share their experiences. The elderly are thus being pushed to the sidelines; many of them feel unimportant and superfluous, and they are becoming isolated. They are losing their natural role in society, that of imparting their wisdom and life experience to younger generations, providing them with a solid foundation to help society move on. There is an increasing danger that many of these lessons will be lost to a world that is rapidly changing. In order to improve the position of the elderly, traditional practice tries to provide the elderly with ‘fun’ things to keep them busy. However, in many cases these activities are pushed upon them, and this type of input can be quite paternalistic in nature. There is a need for a different attitude toward and interest in the elderly. New ways are thus being sought to help the elderly pass on their legacy, their life experience, wisdom, and lessons learned to younger generations, just as one passes on personal belongings, property, and money.

The aim and the artist As a leading Dutch community and ritual artist, Ida van der Lee has conducted projects designed to help communities keep their memories alive in times of major change and loss. Societal issues have been at the core of her

Arts and the elderly  125 work. At the time, the term ‘community art’ was not well-established, but it was clear to her that she wanted to give meaning to sensitive processes in society. Rituals became Van der Lee’s focus. She found that they are not only suitable for commemoration and dealing with situations of change and loss, they are also an excellent instrument for communicating, for telling stories, or for discussing issues which would normally be considered taboo or bringing up deep-rooted feelings and memories. Based on her experience, she has long since recognized the need to preserve the immaterial cultural heritage that rests with the elderly. The time has come for the elderly to not just leave money and belongings behind in a testament; it is most important that they transfer their wisdom and experience to the coming generations. In the past two years, Van der Lee has developed and initiated a project called ‘Hidden Legacy’. It aims to use forms of art to help the elderly create a visual testament of this immaterial legacy for younger generations, and in doing so, to raise awareness of the value of elderly people as sustainable, cultural capital. The project was developed from a perceived need, as it was based on the experience of the community artist and not from an academic basis in social work theory. Before becoming a professional artist, Van der Lee was a registered nurse who often provided home care to elderly patients. In her dealings with them, she found that many older patients still had stories to tell and wanted to be active and to contribute to society. At that time, however, care for the elderly was based on a one-way, paternalistic approach where social workers and care professionals supposedly knew what was best for their clients. The focus was, and continues to be, on caring for their physical needs and providing activities that are ‘enjoyable’ and keeping their minds busy. This type of attitude and care continues up to this day, and there is, as to be expected with change, substantial resistance to changing these attitudes.

Hidden legacy The people involved: The elderly, the youngsters, the professionals, and the buddies ‘Hidden Legacy’ started with two general target groups: elderly people above the age of 65 and members of the younger generation who are at an age where they are finishing school and beginning their adult lives. In this initial phase of the project, the focus was on particularly vulnerable members of the two age groups, but these target groups will eventually be expanded. The elderly group included •

Caregivers, in particular those who had lost the partner or spouse they had been caring for. Since care giving in such situations can be so intense, these people often fall into an abyss and have to reinvent

126  Ida van der Lee and W. (Bill) Wei

themselves. Their experience and stories are invaluable for other current and future caregivers. Older members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) ­c­ommunity. This group was and is subject to discrimination, bullying, violence, and isolation. An increasing number of homosexual men are HIV positive, and they are the first generation to be aging with the disease. They have lost many friends to AIDS. Thus, there is quite a bit of loneliness in this group of elderly. Often, they are reluctant to talk about it, so their acquaintances, neighbours, volunteers, and social workers do not know how to properly help them. People with non-Western or immigrant backgrounds. The first generation of so-called ‘guest workers’ has reached the last phase of their lives. They often did not expect to spend so long in The Netherlands, and in many cases, they lack the means, such as pension or retirement savings, to make ends meet. Furthermore, their (Dutch) language skills are often poor, so it is difficult for them to conduct daily business without help. Fortunately, they do have support from their families in many cases.

The younger generation is not as easy to reach. The project is therefore working with students in social and cultural sciences, theatre, and the visual arts at a number of higher education institutions in Amsterdam, including the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA). Also, the elderly are invited to bring their grandchildren to the various workshops organized within ‘Hidden Legacy’, provided that the grandchildren are old enough to be receptive to the types of stories that will be revealed. For the project ‘Hidden Legacy’, Van der Lee is working with a team of professionals from various fields of art to make use of the many ­p ossibilities these forms offer in order to help the elderly communicate with younger generations. The team includes artists who have worked with her on her community art projects in the past, theatre and creative writing professionals, and social workers from organizations such as the ­A msterdam welfare organization, Dynamo. A number of law offices are also supporting the activities, as they have received increasing numbers of requests from their clients to include immaterial legacies in official testament documents. A special group, which will be working with the vulnerable elderly, are older people (and hopefully also younger people) who are more active in their daily lives and are interested in playing a larger role than just sharing their stories. They are able to play an important role during the project, supporting the more vulnerable elderly as ‘buddies’. Their assistance can be physical, helping people to come to the workshop, or assisting with language or artistic skills. Some might even have practiced art forms to a degree that enable them to assist the professional artists in the sessions or lead the rituals themselves. The project also helps to build a community.

Arts and the elderly  127

Art forms and methodology Ritual art forms In the project ‘Hidden Legacy’, so-called ritual art forms are used in combination with more traditional visual, written, and performing art forms to give meaning to a long life full of experiences. The ritual art forms designed by Van der Lee are symbolic interventions which can be used as ritual games. They have a special beauty which teases the imagination and feels like a gift or a special invitation to participate. Their form helps the elderly to open up and communicate their life stories in new and different ways, both for themselves and for others. These stories have an analogy in what Joseph Campbell calls ‘The Hero’s Journey’ (Campbell, 2014). Essentially, the hero’s journey describes a journey through life that someone takes while searching for his or her identity. Universal phases of life are passed, such as, according to Campbell (2014), the calling, the resistance, the mentor, the crisis, the change, and the return. Two ritual games have already proven to be successful in helping the elderly to tell their stories, many of which otherwise would have been forgotten or suppressed. One ritual game is called the ‘Goose Game’, an adaptation of a children’s game that is popular in Europe. The Goose Game is played on a large white felt cloth containing a tiled path—see the photograph at the beginning of this chapter. Each tile or step in the path contains a black icon. At the beginning of the Goose Game, participants each choose a wooden goose figurine and place it on an icon of their choice. The figurines have different shapes and characters; one is a shy goose, another one is curious, and yet another is angry. After explaining why they chose a certain figurine, each participant in turn tells a story out of his/her life based on the icon which he/she chose. The professional moderator, as well as the other participants, can ask questions to understand the story better. The participant then throws a pair of wooden dice. Now, the icon upon which the figurine lands is decided by fate and not by the participant’s choice. The participant deciphers the meaning of the icon in combination with the story just told. This then ends with a conclusion, a sort of ‘tile’ wisdom. The moderator and the participants help each other. The next participant then goes through the ritual with his/her own figurine and icons. This game represents the life of the player, a part of which he or she relates based on a question and the position on the path. One can think of the game as a representation of where the participant was, is, and would like to be, but also how the hand of fate plays a role. The second ritual game that can be used is known as ‘Memory Things’. It is an installation with a large number of small, randomly selected objects from daily life. Participants select an object that reminds them of some story in their lives. Each takes a turn in telling their story. Again, the moderator and the other participants can ask questions to understand the

128  Ida van der Lee and W. (Bill) Wei story better. At the end of each participant’s session, the other participants are asked to react by choosing an object from the Memory Things installation which serves as a gift to the storyteller. Each participant reacts from his or her own experience and frame of reference. In doing so, the storyteller can be affirmed, supported, and/or challenged. This gesture serves as participants holding a symbolic mirror in front of each other. This is intended to enrich the story by adding meaning from various perspectives. It also enhances exchange and generates pleasure. Because the stories come from the elderly, they easily attain an historical if not ‘­mythical’ dimension. The artistic testament In the process of making an Artistic Testament, Van der Lee uses the above described experiences. In their Artistic Testaments elderly communicate their immaterial heritage, their wisdom, and their experience to younger generations through the use of three major art forms: visual arts, poetry, or theatre. Stories and symbols are the sources of inspiration to create a form of art. A team of professional artists, social workers, and trained volunteers assist them in developing these immaterial testaments. The elderly present their artistic testaments to members of the younger generation. This could include family, friends, and acquaintances, but also organizations, special groups, or even companies that are dealing with similar ‘life themes’. The elderly thus have the opportunity to discover what art can mean to them in their lives. Within the context of art, they can become acquainted with ritual art as a unique and playful way of expressing themselves and helping them tell their stories. They can represent their lives through the use of theatre, the written or spoken word, pictures, poetry, and the inspiration of artists. The use of art also provides younger generations a new way to allow the wisdom of the elderly to enter into their lives.

The process of making an artistic testament During the process of ‘Hidden Legacy’, the elderly make their immaterial testaments in three steps. During a ten-week period the participants meet once a week for a three hour session. The stories are told and transformed into a form of art. There is an atelier where people can paint, draw, write, and clip. Participants are supported by the artist while they create their artwork. In the process, the group also visits a museum in order to search for their stories in paintings. If there is a play on that matches with the themes in the group, a theatre visit can also be part of the process. At the end of the ten-week period, an additional professional will join to think about groups or locations where the stories and artworks can be shared.

Arts and the elderly  129 Step 1: Ritual games Ritual games are used to bring out life stories, to collect them, and to understand their message. The ritual games are designed to enfold both the character of a ritual and a game. The form is a carefully crafted installation or monument of symbols. It is important that it is inviting and that attention is paid as to how the objects are handled. The participants learn to think in images and meaning instead of cold facts. This method helps the elderly recall stories which would not have come up spontaneously, and may, in fact, have been forgotten. They may rediscover a ‘new’ old story from the past. Participants exchange their life experiences. They develop an interest for each other’s tales and learn to see the meaning of forms and objects. In the meetings, they also get acquainted with the ­basics of design and how to apply this to the content of their own work. Step 2: The artistic testament After the use of ritual games to bring about the stories, the participants collect symbols (images/metaphors) in a playful way and begin to sketch a form. After several sessions, they will begin to discover a line in the stories and the materials they collected. Which stories are essential, urgent, or worth putting into an artistic testament? To whom do they want to pass them on? Are there useable images or metaphors? Have the assignments set the participants on track? The participants work from their own content and follow an individual path. They can, of course, use techniques and skills they already know. Content and artistry are stimulated with the help of the visual artist (Ida van der Lee), a playwright and writing instructor (Peet van Duijnhoven), and volunteers (former participants) who already have experience with the method. The elderly are the experts of their own world. The experience of the participants and their cultural and social backgrounds can play a role in the design of their testaments. Are there special traditions for telling stories? Does someone play an instrument? Are there culturally related skills which the participants can learn from each other? Are there tools and materials that can be exchanged? Do the former participants/volunteers have skills to offer? The professional artists support and stimulate them to look for new, unknown ways of working. They strive for a balance between the familiar and the unknown. This phase is completed with artistic imagery and by creating a personal testament. The participants show them to each other in a small presentation. The artistic testament can, for example, be a suitcase or box filled with labelled objects which are symbolic of different life experiences. It could be a book, a jacket with many pockets, a tree of life, or a clothing rack. The participant describes it with a poem or speech. Joint presentations are also possible, where someone tells about another participant.

130  Ida van der Lee and W. (Bill) Wei Step 3: Presentation to the community In this phase, the personal testaments are made public. A story only comes alive when it is told to someone else. Passing it from generation to generation is like passing on a piece of heritage. The receiver of the story becomes the heritage carrier. This is made explicit in a ritual manner where the receiver is asked, for example, ‘Do you want to become the heritage carrier of this story and promise to everything you can to prevent this story from being lost?’ Together with an external adviser, the project team will consider for whom these testaments might be interesting. Is it best shared with family, friends, and acquaintances, or do the life themes also match those of organizations, companies, schools, or specific groups? The participants are encouraged to conduct the presentation at special locations. The volunteers (former participants) play a supporting role in this phase, advising the participants based on their experience. In this phase, the lawyers are also invited to participate by opening and appraising the testaments. An art historian researcher (Michael van Hoogenhuyze) will analyse the stories to see if a web of stories has formed. Which themes came up? What is there in common? What do they have to do with each other? What does it mean that these stories came up in the year 2017? Van Hoogenhuyze will interpret the stories in a philosophical and mythological manner. Stories are small parts of a larger tale, just as notes in a piece of music. Together, they form a symphony or a mythical music score. They contain recipes which are passed on to others.

The role of social workers ‘Hidden Legacies’ has actively sought cooperation with social organizations in the Netherlands. On the one hand, such organizations provide direct contact with large groups of elderly and also with at-home caregivers. It is also the objective of the project to provide these organizations, as well as other socials workers, with art forms as new and innovative tools for helping the elderly out of their isolation from society. On the other hand, social workers can provide a better view of the issues that older people face, especially those who have become weakened or handicapped with age. The project group has contacted a large number of organizations and serious cooperation has begun with, among others, the Dynamo health organization in Amsterdam. The Dynamo organization has begun to focus on caring for caregivers with the help of the city of Amsterdam. They have found that the concept of ‘Hidden Legacies’ would be very useful for this group of people. The Dynamo group has provided facilities and publicity for workshops and for reaching out to potential participants. This has also helped the project team in forming another group of former caregivers. Another partner in the project is the Cultural and Social Development Department of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Students

Arts and the elderly  131 who participate in the curriculum are studying to become social workers. The department is very interested in ‘Hidden Legacy’ because it has been found that art and culture are underrepresented in the curriculum. In a program known as ‘ArtAge’, the potential and the talents of older p ­ eople are ­emphasized. Research has shown that cultural participation has an ­i mportant positive effect on the vitality, health, and well-being of the ­elderly. ­Students are made aware of the enormous potential this can have for the social work profession by having them participate in different, practical projects. They and the elderly were enthusiastic about the intergenerational aspects of the project.

Result and impact As this book is being produced, ‘Hidden Legacies’ has started with a first group of elderly. However, even at this early stage, the project is already beginning to bear fruit. Stories are ‘released’, even from elderly diagnosed with dementia. The use of art in ‘Hidden Legacy’ communicates through images and symbols. It thus activates the right side of the brain which contains one’s intuitions, feelings, experiences, perceptions, and awareness. Holistic thought processes and the capability to make connections are found in this part of the brain. In traditional health care, verbal communication is the most often used medium; this works through the left side of the brain. Verbal communication does not activate experiences, creativity, daydreaming, or the imagination. In the health care sector, aging is often seen as a problem and not as a quality. ‘Hidden Legacy’ intends to change this perception. During the process of aging, certain capabilities decline, but others grow, for example, making independent judgments. Other increased capabilities are the knowledge of one self, the regulation of emotions and moods, social and communicative skills, making effective life decisions, thinking in broader perspectives and the ability to bridge contradictions, keeping one’s own interests in perspective, and wisdom. ‘Hidden Legacies’ brings out these sources of strength. It enhances the sense of self-esteem of the elderly and helps them to leave the role of the victim behind. People are moved by the activities in this project, and it helps to yield the feeling that their life stories are worthwhile. Furthermore, they understand themselves and each other at a meaningful level. ‘Hidden Legacy’ shows how growing older is not a problem but an opportunity. The focus shifts from loss to a more positive orientation of strength, potential, and successes. Younger generations will again recognize the potential that the elderly present. Individual creative expression will also be brought to a new, higher level. Growing older consists of thinking about your past, accepting your losses, and being proud of your successes. The elderly have historically had the role of the guardians of culture, those who pass on the history and values

132  Ida van der Lee and W. (Bill) Wei of a society to the next generations. However, the tendency by the elderly to recall the past and repeat old stories is often considered to be unhealthy, even pathological. But recalling the past is essential to completing a life and facing unsolved problems. ‘Hidden Legacy’ helps to restore this function. Ultimately, the project will give new meaning to the word ‘testament’. A person not only leaves money and goods behind, but also insights, achievements, and life stories. It enhances intergenerational transfer and helps to see life as a cyclic process. The project will lead to the reestablishment of the core values of listening, sharing, and bonding. It will provide the participants with the advantages of lifelong learning and valuable contacts. Everyone wants to be respected as they grow older, to feel like they have lived a meaningful life, and to live independently as long as possible. ‘Hidden Legacy’ is helping to make this possible.

Arts and social work The care for elderly often takes on the form of a one-way approach, where social workers and professionals work from the idea they know what their clients need. Activities are aimed at taking care of their physical needs and providing activities that keep their minds busy. While there are certainly advantages to this way of caregiving, it is based on traditional tools and assumptions that the elderly are no longer capable of being creative or passing on their wisdom. ‘Hidden Legacies’ uses art to show that the elderly can still contribute to society, even the weaker members of the older generation. Art calls upon their strengths in a different way and does not just focus on the problems of the elderly. It can thus provide social workers with more powerful tools to help the elderly, and it empowers the elderly to continue to contribute to society.

Other projects by Ida van der Lee One of the first projects by Ida van der Lee, ‘Wasgoed is goed’ (‘Laundry is good’ 1998), contributed to the ‘reconstruction’ of the run-down ­A msterdam neighbourhood where she used to live, after the murder of a Turkish girl by a mentally disturbed man. From 1996 until 2008, Van der Lee developed and carried out six further art projects dealing with the razing of social, rent-control neighbourhoods and changes in the social landscape. Saying farewell but maintaining the memories of the social fabric was the common denominator for such projects. The projects were innovative and received much financial support and publicity, bringing Van der Lee to the forefront of community art in the Netherlands. Since 2005, commemorative projects such as ‘Allerzielen Alom’ (All Souls’ Day Everywhere) (van der Lee, 2008) and ‘Names and Numbers’ have made important contributions to Dutch society. During Allerzielen Alom

Arts and the elderly  133 Table 10.1  Practical considerations Materials

Objects, symbol, games, photographs, poetry, language, paint, spatial objects. Rituals combined with art in social settings. Three hours per meeting for 12 weeks total. Ten per course.

Setting Time frame People, amount of participants Skills Communication, imagination, and creativity. Potential pitfalls People thinking they are not creative. People having difficulties with self-reflection. Other users N/A

celebrations, cemeteries are serenely decorated with light and flame, but the most important components are the rituals which Van der Lee and other artists have designed to help people talk about and commemorate the dead. It gave a fresh impetus to the culture of death in the country. ‘Names and Numbers’ is an ongoing memorial project to commemorate ­individual Jews who were deported from Amsterdam during World War II and never returned. Six million is a horrible but unfathomable and ­abstract number. Even the 85,000 Jews from Amsterdam who were ­murdered is a ­number, which is hard to grasp. But in ‘Names and Numbers’, participants choose a single name (at the moment, from the 2,800 victims of the O ­ osterpark neighbourhood of Amsterdam) to commemorate them with ­various rituals. Participants are deeply moved. The project shows that new forms of commemoration and rituals are required in this day and age. It also shows how these new forms can work successfully (Table 10.1).

References Campbell, J. (2014). The hero’s journey. Noveto, CA: New World Library. van der Lee, I. (2008). Allerzielen Alom. Utrecht, The Netherlands: Boekencentrum b.v. Hidden Legacy in Dutch: Laundry Street in Dutch: Names and Numbers in English:

11 Arts with teenagers A French experience Angélique Gozlan1 and Céline Masson2

Context In France, arts and cultural education is part of a public policy that is both social and unique. In 1958, André Malraux’s appointment as the Minister of Cultural Affairs marked the beginning of a true process of co-construction, bringing together the creative arts, culture, education, and social welfare. On the social level, the main goal was to make culture accessible to all from an early age. Schools became vital spaces to showcase artists and cultural mediators, with a view to educate children and youth about artistic creation. Given this history, today’s arts and cultural education in France is the fruit of a shared policy, an ever-closer collaboration between the State and local and regional authorities. These stakeholders actively contribute to its development, sharing the ambition of promoting individual growth and development, as well as the cultural and social cohesion in the regions (Doucet, 2017, p. 21) In 2012, the Ministry of Culture and Communication identified arts and cultural education as a key national priority. In this context, we were asked by the Ministry to observe the effects of artistic activities and interventions among children. This research is based on the method of clinical observation and uses psychoanalysis as its theoretical framework. As part of our study, we observed a workshop facilitated by two artists, involving a class of 24 secondary-school students aged 15. The activities took place in a suburb of Paris at the Theatre Louis Aragon as part of the institution’s partnership with one of the local schools. These young people are living in a disadvantaged suburb of Paris, with high risks of delinquency, high school dropout rates, and levels of marginalisation. Most of them are of immigrant descent: their family history is marked by exile and the loss of cultural reference points, which makes social integration difficult. Combined with the stark economic and social realities, this does not bode well for the adolescent quest for the ideal, and these

Arts with teenagers  135 young people have difficulties dreaming about their future in today’s society. Social and artistic intervention is therefore essential to facilitate their insertion, to boost subjectification, and to open up new possibilities.

Aims The aim of the dance workshop is to introduce the students to a form of ­bodywork combining modern dance and the circus arts. Using group e­ xercise, the artists teach the students how to handle objects of everyday life. During the workshop, the object, which is at the centre of the company’s creative ­approach, becomes a medium to explore the possibilities of developing unique movements and work through the connections between the body, space, and the environment. The object is used to introduce the notion of equilibrium, as a source of dialogue and as an extension of the human body. The idea is to immerge the students in a singular artistic practice and to create together several sequences to be publically performed at a later stage. The workshop gives them access to the company’s creative process, specifically through bodywork techniques. It also familiarises the students with modern dance and its connections with the circus arts through a sensual and unique experience shared with the artists. One of the key aims is involving the students in creative work via a collective act, supporting intersubjectivity and the singular expression of each individual. At the beginning of the project, students were introduced to modern dance as spectators. They watched three performances, including a piece by Satchie Noro and Dimitri Hatton, the two artists leading the workshop. They were also taken on a technical visit around the theatre to get an idea about the structure and professions of performance arts and how they work. This initial experience functioned as an introduction to the workshop—a stage performance of what the students could themselves create during the process. At the end of the workshop, a public performance was to take place on the theatre stage.

The participants The Theatre Louis Aragon is a subsidized performance space located in the commune of Tremblay-en-France, in the department of Seine-Saint-Denis. Its director is very passionate about the Theatre’s creative project and missions. Each year, as part of its Territoire(s) de la Danse programme, the Theatre offers art residencies to three companies, which rehearse and perform here, but also transmit their artistic approach to the public. There is a genuine desire to share, to discover new things together, and to make this creative time available to others. The companies encourage us to take the time and pause for a while, to discover how dance can transform our daily existence and connect us to one another.

136  Angélique Gozlan and Céline Masson They come to share a moment of life, invent new forms of encounters, occupy the public space and invite others to their practice…3 The director highlights the importance of giving artists a free space to create. This can become a space of experimentation in the here-and-now, which the artists can share or co-create with their young audience as part of different cultural events. This type of singular, creative space requires the hard work of an entire team, making sure that everything runs smoothly both before and after the events. The artistic interventions seek to make the public more receptive to art as a way of connecting to the world and its diversity. Our research focuses on a group of 24 adolescents participating in a workshop facilitated by two artists: one is a dancer, choreographer, and circus artist, the other, a stage director. The project in question initially arose from a theatre performance, while the artists were themselves in the process of creating a new piece. During the activities, the group of students is supervised by their physical education and arts teachers. The theatre’s cultural mediator, who has supported and consolidated the relationship between the theatre and the school, is responsible for the smooth running of the sessions.

Artistic method/form As part of a partnership with the education sector, the artists facilitate a week-long workshop with a class of Year 10 students. The activities take place every morning, either on the theatre stage or in the school gymnasium. Running all the sessions in one week gives the work a certain continuity; however, the time is too short for the students to properly learn all the movements and how they connect to one another, which means that additional rehearsals are required, this time under the supervision of a physical education teacher. All sessions have the same structure: they begin with a warm-up, then the group is asked to do exercises revolving around an object, and finally, the artists show the students a sequence of movements, a ‘phrase’ that the students must then learn. The P.E. teacher does not intervene in the creative process but remains present during the sessions as a supervisor. The artistic form of the workshop is a choreography combining elements of modern dance and circus, with the aim of eventually producing a 15-minute series of movement sequences.

Process (events/interventions) On the first day of the workshop, the artists arrive on stage. There is a pile of plastic buckets stacked on one side of the scene. In this environment, these objects of everyday life seem somewhat surprising, adding a touch of colour to the otherwise black dance floor. Satchie asks the students to sit in a circle: ‘A circle to meet one another.’ Everyone sits down on the floor, even the teachers. The students are

Arts with teenagers  137 struggling to form a circle; the perimeter is uneven and sometimes there is a gap between two people. Satchie speaks first: ‘We are not here to do sport.’ One of the boys asks: ‘To do circus?’ Satchie says: ‘To do creative work.’ Creative work? The adolescents are not sure what to make of this; they are full of apprehension about what is going to happen. Their bodies huddle closer together, curiously, they are looking at each other and the two artists in the middle. There is a sense of ‘What are we doing here?’ They will need two entire sessions to grasp the whole challenge: creating something together, uniting under a shared objective—the performance. The artists’ presentation highlights the quasi-vital importance of creative freedom. Dimitri says, ‘I like doing dance without dance technique. How can my body move in ways that people with 15 years of classical dance training cannot?’ He likes the idea of ‘doing something unique with my body’, of ‘finding a way that is less technical, but touches the people in front of me’. As for Satchie, she explains how she became interested in creative work, even though her background is in classical dance. She wanted, ‘the freedom to choose the people I wanted to work with, instead of being an object to be chosen’. Next, they present the physical object that will be at the centre of the group’s creative work—the bucket—asking the students, ‘How can we create something with a bucket?’ Satchie mentions the word ‘transformation’: transforming an object, a body, a movement—essentially, the transformation of adolescence. The warm-up follows, a time for everyone to be inside their body, to feel their body, but also, to respect its space in relation to others. During the workshop, the warm-up becomes a moment of working in a group, of being together. Satchie puts great emphasis on looking at one another, ‘Look at your partner. Now just stop for two seconds and look at each other!’ Her words question the adolescent gaze. There is an instant reaction: ‘It’s weird to keep looking.’ Satchie turns to them, ‘But when you are speaking to someone, you look at them?’ ‘No, never,’ one boy answers. Satchie seems surprised, ‘Then, what do you look at?’ Silence. ‘So, you will be working on things that you don’t know.’ A meeting between two different worlds: the world of adults and the world of teenagers. Other exercises have to do with touch. Looking and touching each other, taking the other by the hand, moving each other’s body, balancing against each other. Meeting face to face. For the adolescents, this is a great source of anxiety. They keep looking down on the floor. Hands brush against each other; bodies come crashing down on the floor. It takes several sessions before a sense of group unity begins to emerge during these warm-ups, and eventually, they begin to feel at ease in the undifferentiated mass of the group. Sometimes we even hear, ‘Ah! That feels so good…’ In the second part of the workshop, Dimitri brings several buckets on the stage. Some students grab a bucket and try to make this object, which seems so surprising and unusual in a dance space, their own; buckets are flying, falling, and they become musical instruments. Now they are asked to throw

138  Angélique Gozlan and Céline Masson the bucket to each other. The bucket travels from one person to the next, and sometimes it falls. This creates a bond; the form of the circle becomes clearer, and everyone’s space on the stage more defined. Dimitri stresses the need to perform the movement carefully and precisely. He then asks the students to work in groups of five, then in pairs. At the same time, he is trying to find out whether they understand the task. He tells them, ‘I am going to explain what we are trying to do: we are looking for something beautiful, something surprising, funny, even incredible. In other words, how can you make throwing a bucket interesting?’ This brings up the question of creative work in the here and now, together, without knowing what may happen. Dimitri gives everyone a bucket. The object does not raise any eyebrows; it seems familiar to the students. Everyone tends to hold it by the handle; some spin it between their hands, one person puts it…on his head. This is the first emergence of an artistic proposal that Dimitri and Satchie eventually adopt for the final form of the show. A back-and-forth movement develops between the artists and the students. The former are looking for original forms in the emulsion of the adolescent group, which is trying to appropriate the object. The latter initially imitate the artists and then identify with them, taking on their gestures and posture. One of the first exercises is introduced as follows: You are going to ‘dress up’ your partner using the buckets, one by one, on their arms, head, shoulders, and so on. You must be careful when putting them on. Use the handle, place the bucket on carefully, be respectful of your friend; you can stack them up on their arms and the head or even around your partner… so that in the end you’ll have a real living sculpture! When you put the buckets on their head, it is as if you were making an artwork made of crystal. The room gradually falls silent. A volunteer is found. Satchie ‘dresses him up’ with her bucket, as an example. ‘Can I try it?’ someone asks. The group begins to stir. The point is to take care of the other and his body, while being precise and gentle. Slowly, the room falls completely silent. The young man in the middle says, ‘It’s heavy.’ Satchie responds, ‘He’s just said that it’s heavy, so listen to him. It’s important, you have to listen.’ Here, the game raises the question of the impact of the weight on the other, provoking empathy and the question, ‘How not to make the other suffer?’ Dimitri then asks the boy in the middle to move and, one by one, the buckets all come tumbling down. ‘We’ll do it again.’ This causes some excitement: ‘Me! Me!’ Everyone is getting up, eager to seize the creative moment. The students are then asked to do other exercises, still with the aim of experimenting, using the mediation of the object, with the relationship to the other and one’s body. During the sessions, Dimitri always pushes the

Arts with teenagers  139 students further: higher and bigger towers of buckets, risky balancing poses, original combinations. The point is to work with balance, with contact, and with falling, while looking at the other and listening to their movements. Starting from the fourth session, a game emerges, and with it, the pleasure of playing together. The young people come together around a tower made of buckets resembling a totem and have great fun building it up and taking it down, rediscovering the pleasure of destroying and finding the object described by Winnicott. The third part of the workshop is dedicated to learning certain sequences of movements with the bucket, which have previously been created by the artists. These ‘phrases’ have already been choreographed and require a rigorous learning process from the students. Yet, they also allow for the containment of the excitement accumulated during the middle part of the workshop, through the discovery, transformation, and eventually, creation with the buckets. During the rehearsals, the movements become anchored in the body and the group but also in the narrative structure. Once the students have understood that this is a game, that the staging can tell a story, the movement becomes smoother and more coherent. The adolescents begin to understand the exercises as potential narrative sequences; one pair comes up with the idea of a precious, coveted object, which we would like to keep to ourselves, or steal, hide, and snatch away from the other. The stage becomes a scene, a space for dramatized play. The question of the body and posture is prominent in every session. Dimitri mimes to the students what he would like to see: a firm, precise, and dynamic body. He asks them to really be in their body, to feel and control it. However, this inevitably highlights the very specific character of the adolescent body. These bodies are slack, yawning, slouching around, hunched over, hiding. In indicating his desire, as an artist, to see these bodies invested, Dimitri also highlights how difficult it is for the adolescents to do so. It begs the question, how to bring these bodies to life when they are caught up in the disinvestment of adolescence, having become limp and disinvested? Movement, the dual relationship with the other, the object that functions as its mediator, and the narrative force of movement seem to make it possible to live this experience and story, conveyed by the movement in one’s own body. The shared goal of the public performance connects them to each other, but also, to the artists. The final performance is a great success. Once on stage, the group quickly comes together, one movement follows another, conveying a genuine emotional experience. The rigorous work during the sessions has paid off and the result is a coherent, smooth, and highly poetic whole. On the level of transference, there is something magical here: we are watching the emergence of a new creative form. The on-stage rendition condensates the entire work into a narrative, telling a story. The bucket—a surprising object, one that is discovered, coveted, constructed, that must be protected, that creates a link, an object of creation—becomes the symbol of

140  Angélique Gozlan and Céline Masson the entire creative process. At the same time, it is a metaphor of the adolescent body; at first rigid, inert, heavy, and uninteresting, it comes alive and is transformed by movement. The adolescent, uncomfortable in his own body, thus becomes part of the body of the group—and the bodily discomfort is no longer felt on the stage. What we see is a real sublimation of bodies and the object. The public performance is evidence of a movement—the movement of dance, of course, the movement of bodies, but also the movement of transformation, the passage from inanimate to animate, from shapelessness to shape, the movement of the creative crisis that echoes the crisis of adolescence.

The role of the artists The question of what makes an artist produce work seems highly relevant, because the encounter with a particular work and/or artist also depends on what drives them psychically. An encounter with an artist is always an encounter with a specific dynamic of the drive. Producing a work of art transforms a ‘sensation’ into its thought equivalent; it transmutes an element of memory, grasped by feeling, into an object of thought, which is then secondarized. For Proust, these impressions are a ‘token of truth’ (1996, p. 235), making it possible to bind the energy of the drive and reveal the shadow elements, which then slide along the thread of memory, eventually becoming fixed and expressed in speech. By means of touching, of sensorial capture, the artist lets his mind ‘wander’, facilitating associations and binding the thoughts incited by the impressions. Dance is a particularly effective medium to help bring out thoughts from touch and movement. In the workshop, we see that touching is initially perceived as a threat by the students, as it evokes the anxiety of the ‘Other’, sex, the enigma of sexuality tinged by the resurgence of Oedipal fantasies. However, the artist, who lends his thought apparatus to the group, assuming the position of a thought operator who provides a material for creation, makes it possible to transform trauma into a subjectifying experience. For the adolescents, this initiates a time of in-formation, which is essential for the psyche. It is indeed the form, as an event that founds time and space, that brings the subject into existence, creating a sense of ‘now’ and a degree of openness of the matter (a control over opening and closing; the form is an articulation of this rhythm). This is what Freud calls ‘binding the energy of the drive’, i.e., a way of containing its excesses, which are characteristic of puberty. This time of faire-oeuvre [making a work, creating an oeuvre] includes, unbeknownst to the subject, a moment of vacillation, of crisis, when the psyche becomes flooded with excitation, and there is a need to in-form, to give form to what can quickly become disorganised. This moment is perceptible at the beginning of the work, when the students’ anxiety hinders the formation of the group and obstructs the artists’ thought process. The noise and chaos on the stage prevent a form from emerging but paradoxically also

Arts with teenagers  141 contribute to the creation of a space in which different forms can be experimented with. The buckets are falling down, the students are yelling, bodies are jostling, but in this hubbub, the third figure of the artist perceives, discerns, and associates different sequences, slowly creating a choreography. This overreaction affects the body—the body of drives—sometimes giving rise to symptoms that resemble the symptomatology of hysteria. We are familiar with the discomfort, vertigo, or other disturbances that precede or accompany creative work. To quote Chaissac: You have done me a great service sending me these paints, because not being able to paint makes me sick and puts me in such a miserable state—which then disappears, as if by magic, when I create my paintings. Something about demand and desire is revealed in this transposition of conflict and its attempted resolution via the ‘aesthetic moment of the symptom’. (Assoun, 1986) Faire-oeuvre is a social solution; while it cannot protect the individual from a psychic crisis, it can use different psychopathological strategies to create work. The artist deploys his powers of imagination to fashion his piece, and, in this way, projects the monstrous matter produced by his inner creative torsion outside. In our case, the monstrous matter is two-fold, because it combines with the challenges of puberty and the formless adolescent body. The artists, associating these two matters—the music and the pubertal, the internal and the external—facilitates the adolescent creativity by offering a subjective space in which the young person can ‘adjust the mirror’ and become involved in ‘adolescent expressionism’ (Gutton, 2008, p. 101). However, the point is also to find balance in one’s own body and inside the body of the group. In this sense, the artist’s suggestions, his sensitivity to creative emergence, induces a process that gives form to formlessness. Giving form to an art object will also, as a side-effect, give form to the adolescent body, caught up in the limpness and sluggishness of puberty. The artists thus become genuine social actors, offering these young students a unique experience, one that interrupts their everyday life and encourages them to take a moment to engage in an encounter, using the body and the gaze, through listening to each other, through living together.

Conclusion and the effects of the encounter This is an encounter—an encounter between artists and adolescents, between the adolescents themselves, between girls and boys, an encounter with art and with our misunderstanding of it. In this sense, the artists take on a crucial social function. However, for this to happen, there first needs to be a crisis, one that echoes the crisis of the adolescent transformation. The artists’ ‘existential’

142  Angélique Gozlan and Céline Masson crisis echoes the crisis of adolescence and functions as a ‘creative crisis’ (­ Masson, 2012), leading to the emergence of an art form. Dimitri speaks about how difficult it is for him to, ‘face so much resistance, so little motivation’. He would ask, ‘Why do you think they don’t feel motivated? Because they are not doing what I’m asking them to do. I say “jump!” and only three of them jump, or try to.’ He tells us that he comes to every session with different ideas, ‘and then I forget, when I’m standing in front of [these kids], I forget what I wanted to do. When I see their energy, I just can’t make it happen.’ These young people provoke a certain crisis in him; his sense of knowledge and expertise is shaken, highlighting the reflexive process that is at work here. And yet the crisis that the artist undergoes in the presence of these young people seems to encourage a kind of space ‘beyond limits’ that supports the creative process. It forces the artist to put his creative endeavour into words, even though this is not something he necessarily does in his own practice, and this effort mirrors the adolescents’ own search for symbolisation. In this sense, we could argue that art is born from the joint action of (1) a psychic/ plastic impulse, fuelled by the energy of the drive that is available, i.e. unbound, and (2) the anamnestic material of history, both individual (the family romance) and social (the culture of looking and the history of art styles and movements). If we were to construct a metapsychology of creation, we could say that the creative process is a double agent, working for the life drives and the death drive at the same time. On the one hand, the work preserves life and creates structure by integrating and binding the drives; on the other hand, there is a push towards jouissance, towards the unbinding of the drives and the zero principle. It is in this sense that a crisis is triggered and a rhythm emerges between these two tendencies, which cannot reach equilibrium, but rather, constantly alternate (the destruction of the work versus its narcissistic investment). Creation is located in between these two trends. As a way of putting bodies in motion, dance provides a suitable medium for those adolescents who feel ill at ease in both their own bodies and the collective body. It helps the young person to create a social body in the backand-forth movement between the gaze of the artist and that of the group, thanks to the transformative psychic function of the artist. Reflexivity is essential to this process and leads to symbolisation, making it possible to move from raw matter (the body and the bucket as an everyday object) to creative material, to the movement of narration. The mediation also creates a space of linking—the inter-subjective space. It facilitates the relationship to the other, which can be a source of anxiety in adolescence. In the third session, the circle formed at the beginning already becomes more homogeneous, and girls and boys can mix together. Concentration and attention are more noticeable. The group envelope is established, fostering the experience of being together. Those who observe are commenting on what is happening on the stage and advising those at the centre. There is an effect of resonance, of holding through speech. The workshop’s mediating qualities also seem to be supported by the use of the object—the bucket—which becomes a relational object. Its function

Arts with teenagers  143 is, among other things, to create a connection between different individuals, to give form to and inscribe the encounter, while also finding means of regulating it. It brings into relief the specific qualities of dance as a medium in these workshops, i.e., its ability to help articulate a relationship between the artists and the adolescents, between the adolescents themselves, as well as between different affects. Therefore, faire oeuvre means existing through the work, remaining open precisely where there is a gap [ faille] (Maldiney, 2001, p. 91); it is from this position of the gap that the artists and their young students can meet each other. The crisis of the creating subject opens up a gap, which then provokes a need to create. It is therefore precisely in the place of this gap that the adolescent can also create a form in formation, in movement, one that conveys the tensions proper to the psyche. Their rhythm is imposed by what engages the drives, what precisely affects the adolescent subject, who must be able to integrate the bodily changes into the continuity of his feeling of existence. How do the forms proposed by the artist therefore enter into resonance with the uncertain forms of adolescence? The composition of these forms, which are the result of creative work, contains the very traces of this psychic labour. In his book on ‘the body of the work’, Didier Anzieu discusses the creator’s body as a body of drives that finds its metaphor in the body of the work, in which the drives are equally ‘at work’ (Anzieu, 1981, p. 377). While undergoing its transformation, the adolescent body is confronted with the artist’s body of drives. We could also ask how the artistic matter and the body of the artist help the adolescent subject break away from the parental bodies, which are perceived as menacing. The passage via matter means escaping the body as such. This creative material is libidinally invested (becoming a transitional matter) and allows the adolescent to play with the uncertainties of his own bodily forms. It allows him to negotiate these forms, which are in a state of becoming, and their still fragile and mutable limits, helping him integrate rather than reject affects. While creating with the artist, the adolescent subject therefore experiences affects that intersect with the movements of his own psyche. Table 11.1  Project protocol Materials Setting

None needed, just the youth and space in which to move. Any space that enables movement but coming to a studio has additional benefits. Meetings over time, so as to develop the skills and processes. Around 20 people.

Time frame People, amount of participants Skills Basic dance sequences that are gradually put together by the leader. Potential pitfalls Issues of being visible, movement, connecting to body as emotionally difficult. Other users This can be adjected to any group of people.

144  Angélique Gozlan and Céline Masson

Notes 1 Angelique Gozlan, PhD Clinical psychopathology; Psychologist; Associated researcher and Postdoctoral fellow of the Ministry of Culture; CRP-CPO, University of Picardie Jules Verne. 2 Céline Masson, Professor of psychopathology, CRP-CPO Laboratory, University of Picardie Jules Verne; Co-director of the PANDORA Research Group— Psychoanalysis and creative processes (Creation, the body and society); Center for Research in Psychoanalysis, Medicine and Society, University of Paris Diderot at Sorbonne Paris Cité; Practicing Psychoanalyst; Clinical psychologist at the Socio-Medical Center OSE in Paris. 3 For more information of these dance residencies, see the website of the Theatre Louis Aragon: [retrieved 5 August 2017].

References Anzieu, D. (1981). Le corps de l’œuvre: Essais psychanalytiques sur le travail créateur. Paris: Gallimard. Assoun, P. L. (1986). Le moment esthétique du symptôme: Le sujet de l’interprétation chez Freud. Cahiers de la psychologie de l’art et de la culture, 12, 141–158. Doucet, S. (2017). Les territoires de l’éducation artistique et culturelle. Report for the French Prime Minister, January 2017. Gutton, P. (2008). Le génie adolescent. Paris: Editions Odile Jacob. Maldiney, H. (2001). Existence, crise et création. La Versanne: Encre Marine. Masson, C. (2012). La fonction de l’image dans l’appareil psychique. Toulouse: Eres. ­ ndreas Proust, M. (1996). In search of lost time, Vol. 6: Time regained. Translated by A Mayor and Terence Kilmartin. London: Vintage.

12 From bystander to engaged witness Seeing through the social action and social justice lens and the scope for art therapy within the framework of social work in India Oihika Chakrabarti Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Introduction I believe that I discovered the connection between art therapy and s­ ocial work by design and not by chance. I understand this takes place when we let our intuition inform our intellect. I believe my destiny found me one striking summer afternoon in remote Santiniketan in West ­B engal, ­I ndia. In my university years, I had started volunteering at Mother ­Teresa’s orphanage, Shishu Bhavan, in Kolkata in an attempt to take art beyond the confines of art galleries and museums and was searching for a way to make it relevant to society. I was in search of ‘something’ and chanced upon that elusive something in Santiniketan. Unknown to the conscious mind on that humid afternoon, wandering down a dusty aisle of bookshelves, I came across two books on art therapy which were to change the course of my life forever! These two books had entered the library  in 1980, and I was the first to check them out in 1993! In that moment, I recognised my life’s calling. In that one moment, it was as though time stood still, and I was able to connect the dots between volunteering at Mother Teresa’s orphanage and my life’s purpose as I chose to enter the maze from being a bystander to an engaged witness. As someone who had had a privileged upbringing, even though my father’s family migrated to India from Bangladesh during the partition of India and had their own share of struggles, I find resonance in Watkins and Shulman’s (2008) reflections that although many of those ‘oppressed have described  the intrapsychic wounds that are spawned by colonialism, bystanding allows status quo distributions of power and privilege to go unchecked’ (p. 45).

146  Oihika Chakrabarti

The scope for art therapy within the social work framework in India In my view, if we are to think of social work at a very basic level, the concept of social work stems from the inequities present in the world we live in since time immemorial. Social work in its early days was inexorably linked to the idea of charity, as witnessed in all major world religions and closer to home in India through the work of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, where I found my calling as an art therapist close to two decades ago. In its modern day avatar, the concept of social work has expanded and needs to be understood in broader terms. The social work profession in contemporary times has its roots in nineteenth century philanthropy. According to Dadrawala (1996), philanthropy and charity are terms often misrepresented and used interchangeably. He points to the simple difference distinguishing the two. In simple terms, you give a fish to a poor man, and you have done charity; you teach him to fish, and that’s philanthropy. In India, too, philanthropy has played an important role post-Independence, and one sees a significant shift from the patronage and charity offered by the maharajas and Mughal emperors of bygone eras to the practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies offered by corporate houses in present day India. The rise of the NGO and the social sector as a potential ‘holding environment’ in countries in the Indian subcontinent as a consequence of weak governance presents new possibilities, particularly in the creation of new professional fields of social relevance. Therefore, it is imperative to understand that the major thrust of practice-oriented fields in India, including creative arts therapies, have often found voice for advocacy through non-profit spaces and grant-making policies affected to create change (SRTT Annual Report, 2005). Multi-disciplinary academic institutions, such as the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), have also played a key role in providing a holding environment to generate awareness of new age fields such as art and dance therapies. The Tata Institute of Social Science’s Child Guidance Clinic (CGC) was situated at the Wadia Children’s Hospital, Mumbai, where I first initiated art therapy with children facing behavioural and emotional difficulties. The CGC served the needs of middle-class and lower-income families. I became part of the multi-disciplinary team at the CGC where referrals would come to the psychiatric social workers from the community who would carry out proper intakes and evaluations before routing it to the concerned practitioners on a need-to basis. The system would draw referrals from schools, hospitals, and NGOs in the community. The CGC was a social action initiative of the Department of Medical ­Psychiatry and Social Work, (MPSW), at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. I felt, at the time, that this was perhaps the closest I could come to a conducive ‘holding environment’. Out of this was borne a post for an art ­psychotherapist at TISS’s Child Guidance Clinic two days a week and the very first opportunity for me to work alongside a multi-disciplinary team comprising of a psychiatrist, a psychologist, three psychiatric social

From bystander to engaged witness   147 workers, a special educator, and a speech therapist. Here, we had the chance to prove the efficacy of art therapy with children facing behavioural and emotional issues. At the CGC, dialogue was encouraged between members of the multi-disciplinary field to build cross-referrals. Referrals would usually be routed through the psychiatric social workers. This chapter will focus on the very first Art Social Action Research intervention initiated through TISS’s Department of Medical Psychiatry and Social Work at the Child Guidance Clinic at Wadia Children’s Hospital in India in 1999. Incidentally, the Child Guidance Clinic was perhaps the oldest CGC in the country, first established in 1937 at Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work in Bombay (Sharma, 2003), which in 1944, became the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. In 1956, it was declared a university under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act (UGC) of 1956. A good place, therefore, to start would be the process of setting up the art space which was a make-shift one, created on scarce resources, and in some sense, reflective of the larger condition of the overall mental health sector in India. Every week, I would set up the art room with floor mats, an old dilapidated doll house, some soft toys donated to the clinic by past patrons, and art materials and a table clock bought from the meagre budget provided by the CGC and stashed away in an old cupboard I shared with others. At the CGC, the art space was transitory as it was part of the social psychiatric worker’s and head of the unit’s space. During art therapy, the sink in the room, which was usually used for washing the staff’s lunch boxes, would be cleaned up and set up for sand/water play and art-making. Throughout this entire process, I learnt the importance of inventiveness, and it was interesting to see how children would mirror this value and play out their narratives, often using the sink as a fishing pond or a boating lake or they would position a crafted house under a potted plant on the window sill. In India, play is often considered unproductive and a waste of time. However, it is only in play that a child is at his/her most creative, as it is completely spontaneous, and it is only in play that the unselfconscious part of the self peeps out. Therefore, it is important that play is valued.

Case study: Dealing with anger, grief, and loss through art therapy If we are to look at symptoms and psychologies in the cultural ­context, we learn from liberation psychology that environments of injustice, violence, and repression have powerful psychological effects, whether they are embedded consciously or unconsciously (Watkins & ­Shulman, 2008). Such is the case of one child, who we shall call R to maintain confidentiality, who was referred for art therapy as he was going through a difficult transition. He was a six-year-old boy who had just experienced the brutal killing of his mother at the hands of his father. With regards

148  Oihika Chakrabarti to mourning and personal trauma or even collective trauma, each historical community or family in this i­ nstance holds what Eviatar Zerubavel (2003) calls a ‘time-map’, a social construction marking what is seen as important for that community or members to survive. Not everything that happens is remembered (Watkins & Shulman, 2008). Yet, these narratives need to be told and heard from a social justice perspective which upholds basic human rights, as a way in which human rights surface in the everyday lives of people at every level of society. R. engaged with the space and showed snippets of collective memory…‘lorry’, ‘church’ (perhaps indicative of the sister’s home or orphanage which had taken him in), ‘flag’, ‘scooter’, ‘cow’, and ‘boy’ and projected it through his artwork. The artwork was chaotic and jumbled, perhaps expressing R.’s emotional state, and contained dissociated objects that he had consciously retained in order to survive his mother’s death which he had witnessed. What had become of the difficult aspects and emotions? We were hoping the art therapy process would help R. come to terms with it. R. engaged almost immediately with the space, drew and fished in the make-believe pond set up in the wash basin. He expressed excessive concern over making a mess, worried about getting paint on his hands, perhaps needing to keep feelings at a contained and safe level. In his artwork, he created a flower, a house he called ‘jhopri’ (hut), and a man and gesticulated with his hands and articulated action noises while explaining the scenario. He introduced his sister in the next session by drawing a face with a bindi (a coloured dot worn in the middle of the forehead), saying he was going home to visit her this week. He expressed that it upset him that she does not stay with him at the orphanage and projected feelings of anger through play, expressing it through the sound ‘dishum dishum’, used in Bollywood movies when the hero beats up the villain. He made other fighting noises from Hindi movies, and he confided that he beats up other kids when angry. He asked me for building blocks and put dolls in the doll house to sleep when it was time to go. Over the weeks, R. began to access some of his real feelings. Over Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, he met his sister and brought a burnt firecracker to the session, a transitional object to remind him of the good time he had experienced over Diwali. This he left behind for me after the session. I wondered what his feelings were of not having his parents around. Did he remember celebrating Diwali with them? He seemed avoidant of the topic of his parents, perhaps because he was not yet ready to verbalize or share. He said he was not always at the orphanage. He displayed attachment and tried to prolong the session by taking additional time to clean up, in spite of being aware of the time boundaries. R. came in after weeks, and I noticed he had started referring to

From bystander to engaged witness   149 the orphanage caretaker who brought him as ‘mummy’. The next session was by far the most significant session between us. R. came in and smiled at me, engaged enthusiastically with the materials to construct a paper house with an elongated roof bridging the two walls. During the entire process of creating it, he looked to me for guidance, said he would like to use glue, but at the same time, he seemed fairly focused and worked independently. He said it was for me. He seemed to draw a clear distinction between the orphanage and his previous home. He related that he did not always live at the orphanage, and he spoke about his family members in his earlier home in Chembur, a neighbourhood in East Mumbai: nana (grandfather), nani (grandmother), and didi (sister). At this point, there was confusion in his voice. He hesitated, then said, ‘Mummy, daddy.’ He said his sister lived there with his ‘nana’ (grandfather) and ‘nani’ (grandmother). He said his mother was dead, mumbled something about a second mother, said his father had beaten her and stabbed her with a kitchen knife which had killed her. He confided that he and his sister had witnessed it. His sister had burst into tears, but he hadn’t cried. He said he felt terrible, but had he stepped in, he would have died, too. I imagined this little boy standing by and watching his mother being hit and beaten to death. He had found a way of cutting off from his feelings in order to deal with this traumatic incident. I asked him where his father was, and he replied that he didn’t know. He used expletives for his absconding father. He also confided that when the police had come, his father had fled. R had hid in a ‘bawri’, a well in the Marathi language, to escape until he had been fetched by his grandparents later. He said he didn’t speak to the policemen. During the session, he finished making a car, which looked more like a paper cutting, and made some car noises with it and asked me about the wooden train. With 20 minutes to spare, he said he would leave. I reminded him there was still time left. I sensed the session had been a difficult one for him. I asked him if he would like to play in the sink. For the rest of the time, he fished and tried rescuing what he said was a child or a man by putting him in a boat. He then went over to the doll house, emptied it out, opened all the doors, then gently put all the furniture and toys to sleep and closed all the doors as a parting ritual. However, this time there was a difference. R. said he would like to cover the house. He looked around and then covered the house in white sheets of paper, shrouding it. White is symbolic of mourning in India, and I became aware that perhaps he had attempted to give the figures of the house a decent burial. Post session, when I looked back, I understood what R. had experienced in that session that day. Simulating such a profound experience had perhaps enabled him to come to terms, in part, and bury the past in the house he had left behind. For R. this had been

150  Oihika Chakrabarti a truly powerful session as he found a way to confront his deepest fears and seek an appropriate closure. For me, it captured the very essence of the potential the therapeutic process of art psychotherapy holds. In following sessions, R. made a great mess. It marked a turning point in R.’s creative growth. He tried his hand at making various art objects, pulsating with energy and full of creativity. He identified himself within the space, drew his own hand with a flower inside, painted it, turned it over, and drew a set of two hills with the sun peeping out of the valley, some clouds, and an airplane. He then made it into an airplane and tried to make it fly. It landed on one of the window sills much to his amusement and excitement. I sensed he was deriving a sense of achievement and that the session was generating a sense of self and confidence in R. He also displayed great coping skills when things didn’t go according to his expectations. This would often be evident in his art-making process in the ‘here and now’ and in how he was able to contend better with it. He asked me if his earlier work was safe, perhaps seeking reassurance about safe-keeping and confidentiality. I reassured him and the sessions began to feel more contained. I asked him if he would like to take any of his artwork with him, and he said he would like to leave them here. Maybe it was just as well, perhaps he wished not to share it with others. Art therapy had provided him with an empowering space and process to access his innermost feelings in order to come to terms with his new reality. Throughout the entire time, I worked closely with R’s case worker, one of the psychiatric social workers, to maintain effective communication and transparency so that the case worker may also play a role in being the effective bridge with R.’s caregiver at the home. The transition was made easier for R. in this way. Periodic home visits were planned by the psychiatric social worker to ascertain the situation, evaluate progress, and help with difficult transitions. It is important to understand here that had the orphanage not stepped in, children in R.’s position may very well end up on the streets and be at-risk, something I have closely encountered in my work with juvenile offenders at an Observation Home at Dongri in Mumbai or with minor sex workers at a Deonar Home. Suffice it to say that may require another chapter altogether.

Case study: Empowering the ‘girl child’ through art therapy On my return to India from the UK, I got into talks with UNICEF about initiating an art therapy training program in Kolkata. Their focus was on empowering the ‘girl child’. It was insightful for me to see how different cultural issues were in the developing world versus

From bystander to engaged witness   151 the first world. Such was the case of D., a ten-year-old girl who was referred for art therapy at the CGC, as she was displaying severe sibling rivalry and anger issues due to facing discrimination at home. In one of her first sessions, she projected conflict at home between her mother and grandmother and other members of her joint family by symbolically representing two apartment blocks in conflict over water. I was aware of this after speaking with her case worker. D.’s caseworker informed me that there was a fair amount of friction between the mother-in-law and D.’s mother, who was a working woman, and D. was often made a scapegoat in the process. Often, harsh comparisons were made by the grandmother between D. and her younger sister on issues of beauty, skin colour, and intelligence. D., being older, was often pressured with household chores well beyond her capability, and she was often asked to run errands for members of the family. She expressed her difficulty in coping with others’ expectations by manifesting it in her drawing of the postbox stuck in a tree. I wondered if art therapy would be able to provide D. with a space to focus on her own needs and whether she would find it in herself to express them. In this way, the process would enable her to find her own voice. However, in one of the initial sessions, the drawing didn’t turn out as expected. The paints she had chosen ran into each other, and for the first time, she unexpectedly made a mess, in distinct contrast to her earlier self, neatly manifested in her well-defined, beautifully bordered work. I felt that, for her, it was an overwhelming, yet liberating, experience and perhaps also a little threatening when ‘the mess spilled over’. The following week, she drew a cat and mouse and said they were Tom and Jerry and that they were always fighting, just like she with her younger sister. She said her grandma compared them. She said she blamed her mother and grandmother for all the problems. She went on to relate that her mother had told her that when she was a baby, D. had accidentally fallen out of her arms and hit her head, and a part of her brain had been damaged. That had been the start of all the problems. Her grandma had drawn comparisons between the sisters and had proclaimed her sister as clever and her as dumb. D. said that though she had passed in all her subjects, grades were compared. Her grandmother also compared her mother to her sister-in-law, claiming that the sister-in-law was smarter than her mother. Comparisons were also made about D.’s looks. She had her mother’s complexion which was darker. India sells the highest number of fairness creams in the world. D. felt only her mother cared about her, only she is protective of her. I asked her about her feelings towards her father. She said he was caught between the two. In one session, D. seemed quite excited and said she would make an ice-cream, a treat from her aunt and uncle who were visiting them

152  Oihika Chakrabarti from Dubai. As she began her efforts, she spoke excitedly about the gigantic size of the cone. I asked her if she would need to share it, and she said no; this had been a special experience for her. Perhaps one-on-one art therapy was akin to this special experience for her. In a following session, she attempted working on a collage of female figures, five in all, women’s bodies and attire, but strangely, with men’s heads. She cut off the heads of the female figure, finding pictures from magazines of similar sized male heads. She initially said she would do one with men, too, but then abandoned the idea and came up with only one artwork with female subjects. Post group, I couldn’t help but see the link between the role of woman perceived by D. and her working mother who was the more dominant partner at home, while at the same time doing a ‘man’s job’ outside the home. This apparent link gave me insights into D.’s world, further corroborated by her case worker who felt the mother played a more active role in D.’s life and that the father needed to engage more. India is a predominantly patriarchal society and is going through an important and interesting evolution in holding onto traditional values and embracing modernity at the same time. Most women of our generation working and living in India would perhaps agree that they have to multi-task and still play a more dominant role at home. It is often a tight rope walk for the woman to maintain a balance between home and work, with the family playing an important role in Indian society. Unlike Western society, which puts emphasis on ‘individualism’, the Indian society is ‘collectivistic’ and generates interdependence, with the family being key to its social structure. According to Chadda and Deb (2013), Indian and Asian families are therefore far more involved in taking care of its members and capable of taking on greater therapeutic participation than in the West. In situations where mental health resources are a scarcity, families often provide valuable support systems. However, Chadda and Deb (2013) note that resources are not adequately or appropriately utilized. Although clinicians in India and the sub-continent take out time to educate family members about a patient’s illness and medication, this interaction constitutes mainly of information exchange, and the utilization of family is otherwise minimal. On the other hand, the close nature of joint families may also pose a problem for the individual when it comes to dealing with mental health issues. It has been observed that public admission of psychopathology and other such failings entail a ‘loss of face’ and a shameful condition for the larger society. In one of her later sessions, D. created a birthday card for herself, perhaps a need to take care of the hurting she was experiencing at home, and parallel to that, with some conflict over authority issues she was experiencing with F., the head psychiatric social worker. She made

From bystander to engaged witness   153 a drawing of her favourite cartoon character, Tweety, on the cover of the card, and inside it, wrote, ‘Happy Birthday, D. All the Best, Mom and Dad.’ Interestingly enough, she struggled drawing Tweety’s mouth, and I was able to help her draw a link to her situation, specifically her difficulty in verbalizing issues and finding her own voice. She left it undone. D. said, ‘I have never shared these things with anyone before. I am shocked at myself.’ I feel that art therapy has provided her with a non-judgmental space to express her difficult feelings. She was able to trust herself and to feel safe enough to confide and access the process. In a following session, D. was ten minutes late, and I sensed some discomfort in her when she walked in and bumped into F. She came in and sat down. I had taken out her earlier artwork—the Tweety with the unfinished mouth. She denied that she had left it unfinished, rather, that she had forgotten, but it was quite obviously affecting her present dynamics with F. With encouragement, she opened up and confided her feelings once again regarding the incident. She said she didn’t want to hurt F. I asked her what about her own feelings and helped her to reflect on the incident. She said she needed courage to speak her mind. I linked it to similar situations, both at home and school, and she said she usually kept quiet (like the Tweety with the invisible mouth). The following weeks, she kept coming back to her Tweety drawing. From her concentrated attempts to draw the mouth, it was evident she was putting in real effort. In her last session, D. immediately asked for the Tweety drawing and said she would complete the mouth. I wondered if she was ready and had finally found her ‘voice’. In the week that followed, D. made an attempt to speak her mind to F. In retrospect, I believe the non-judgmental nature of the art therapy space, which was a complete anti-thesis of her home space, had allowed D. to find her authentic voice, to creatively grow, and to derive a sense of selfworth and confidence. In conjunction, family support was provided through the social worker at every meeting to strengthen the mother and engage the father so that the situation at home may be handled in a better way and so that D. may feel better supported through these changes. Positive reinforcements were encouraged to help in behaviour modification for the other members of the family.

‘Growing Up’: Art therapy in an educational setting Increasingly, there is a need to address the challenging issues children face growing up in a changing environment. As the name suggests, the ‘Growing Up’ series of developmental workshops sought to address adolescent issues pertaining to growing up. The workshops focused on offering a creative platform whereby children would be able to use creative arts, therapeutic processes, and group dynamics to explore and express visually their

154  Oihika Chakrabarti understanding of the self, environmental influences, issues related to puberty, sexuality, adolescent behaviours, feelings, attitudes, and emotional development during this phase of growth. The workshops enabled children to identify feelings and blocks to emotional growth, express feelings which might be difficult to verbalize, improve overall communication skills, aid in increasing self-esteem and confidence, and develop healthy coping skills when faced with a stressful situation to finding creative solutions in such situations. The Growing Up creative modules addressing puberty issues were conducted extensively with cross sections of various socio-economic statuses, including children from the Anjuman-I-Islam, Marwari Vidyalaya, Cathedral & John Connon, J.B. Petit, and Dhirubhai Ambani schools in Mumbai in conjunction with Jindal Arts Creative Interaction Centre (JACIC). A comparative analysis was also conducted to understand the needs and gaps of the various socio-economic groups, and the workshops were tailored to work with girls from Ballika Ashram which houses children of lower income groups, in conjunction with Mohile Parikh Centre and the Times Foundation of Mumbai. However, for the purpose of our discussion, I would like to focus on the work done at Anjuman-I-Islam school specifically. One of the important tenets it revealed is the concept of play. Play in the ‘Western’ sense seems central to the concept of therapy. Nina Mathew’s account of her experience of acculturation in America from an Indian perspective in Hiscox and Calisch book (1998) reflects on the absence of adolescence in India. The concept of ‘teenage’ is a Western reality, and the fact is that children do not play enough in a developing nation such as India. The concept of ‘play’ is considered to be unproductive, negating the view that here in lies the real essence of creativity. Yet, ‘it is in playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self’ (­ Winnicott, 1971, p. 35). Thus, the Growing Up workshops provided children at the Anjuman-IIslam school the opportunity to work through puberty issues of growing up through the exploration of art-making and play. The process also enabled girls and boys to work in close proximity and consider thoughts, feelings, and emotions which are rarely addressed at a school or community level. While body mapping was used to explore the self, the use of Indian pop culture through Bollywood icons was particularly useful in getting participants in touch with their aspirations, and mask-making was very helpful in unmasking emotions. The Growing Up workshops also provided hands-on learning to two of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences counselling students who interned at Manahkshetra that year under my close supervision.

Conclusion ‘You must be the change you want to see in the world,’ said Mahatma G ­ andhi. I am aware that many factors are required for a conducive holding environment for art therapy to fructify. The interventions I shared therefore are just

From bystander to engaged witness   155 the beginning of new ways of expanding the lens, realizing that social work presents an important avenue in India to position art therapy within the larger orbit of community healthcare. Most liberation psychology social action projects therefore involve participatory practices of art-making, ‘to help awaken new symbols for transformation, seeking to liberate underground springs capable of renewing cultural landscapes’ (Watkins & Shulman, 2008, p. 88). Liberation psychology points to the creation of spaces where individuals and groups can grow experiments in transformation that help them towards creative restoration and, ‘claim a greater sense of agency and empowerment with which to engage with their world effectively and creatively’ (Watkins & Shulman, 2008, p. 88), as with the individual case studies I have shared. I believe such engagement requires the development of new kinds of liminal spaces and institutions in which to do this work, and I believe this is what TISS provided for art therapy in the early years. It is therefore imperative that we are mindful and aware of the underpinnings of the field of social work and its bearing and impact on the setting up of the art therapy field in India, if we are to become potential change agents engaged in participatory processes who collaborate consciously to purposefully serve in creating change within society.

Practical learnings • • • • • • • • • • • •

Make sure you have enough time to set up the space if it is a shared space. Make sure there is storage space to store artworks in a confidential manner for follow-up sessions and until the end of therapy. Budget for materials, staff training, and support groups. Seek opportunity to create awareness about art therapy with the ­multi-disciplinary team so that art therapy is valued as a service. Be open to the use of indigenous materials. Remember that our common goals provide the social glue that binds us as a community of practitioners in allied fields. Being on the same page is important when you are working on a ­multi-disciplinary team; provide supervision, if necessary. Engage and collaborate with the social worker effectively as they are often the interface between the client’s family system, community, and the therapist. Create transparency and accountability by walking the talk with your team members. Maintain periodic feedback with parents/guardians and psychiatric ­social workers. Empower psychiatric social workers by taking them through the art-making process. Last but not least, remain true to your authentic self and do not ­compromise on your ethical standards (Table 12.1).

156  Oihika Chakrabarti Table 12.1  Project protocol Materials

Setting Time frame People, amount of participants Skills

Potential pitfalls

Other users

The more art materials, the better, but this can be done with simple crayons and papers as well. It is easy to gather basic materials and keep them in a box, drawer, or satchel and to gather other interesting found objects. Any space that enables to draw—boxes or the floor can be tables. Not appropriate for a space that cannot be dirtied, such as a carpet. Whatever is available, to create a stronger relationship one needs more time, but also short term directive elements can be helpful. Individual or group context. Basic knowledge of how to use materials such as paint and crayons, and the ability to create structured ideas when needed—using one’s own creativity is enough. Do not need fine arts skills but to be familiar with materials. Not enough structure for the children or too much structure. Ability to contain chaotic feelings acted out in paints, for example, through clear clean-up rules (similar pitfalls to any intervention with children). Any intervention in social work with children.

References Chadda, R. K., & Deb, K. S. (2013). Indian family systems, collectivistic society, and psychotherapy. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 55, 299–309. Dadrawala, H. N. (1996). Management of philanthropic organizations. Bombay, ­India: Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy. Hiscox, A., & Calisch, A. (Eds.). (1998). Tapestry of cultural issues in art therapy. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley. Sharma, S. D. (2003). Mental health: The pre-independence scenario. In S. P. ­Agarwal, D. S. Goel, R. L. Ichpujani, R. N. Salhan, & S. Shrivastava (Eds.), ­Mental health: An Indian perspective 1946–2003 (pp. 25–29). New Delhi, India: Directorate General of Health Services Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. SRTT. (2005). Annual Report 2004–2005. Sir Ratan Tata Trust. Watkins, M., & Shulman, H. (2008). Toward psychologies of liberation. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan. ISBN-13: 978-0230537699. Winnicott, D. W. (1971). Playing and reality. London, UK: Tavistock/Routledge Publishers. Zerubavel, E. (2003). Time maps: Collective memory and the social shape of the past. London, UK: The University of Chicago Press.

13 The implementation of photovoice in group intervention for children of alcohol-addicted parents Menny Malka Introduction and literature survey In this chapter, we explore central themes within group and individual processes of a group for children of alcohol-addicted parents, using photovoice as the therapeutic intervention. The article will present a protocol for the implementation of photovoice as a basis for group intervention, and examples will be presented illustrating what processes have occurred, and how the use of photovoice has enabled these processes. In addition, key insights will be presented regarding the contribution of photovoice to group therapy for children of alcohol-addicted parents. Addiction of a parent has a longterm psychological impact on children’s social, developmental, cognitive, and emotional functioning. The energy required to bear the shame of the parent’s addiction and the ensuing family impoverishment, along with the need to take on parental roles at home, greatly challenge developmental processes of individuation that are central to adolescent development. These children also devote much energy into keeping the addiction secret, which creates isolation, and they must deal with unstable parental models, often causing problematic behaviours and a high risk for later use of addictive substances themselves (Rothman, Edwards, Heeren, & Hingson, 2008). At the same time, some children develop positive behaviours, such as responsibility and high achievement aspirations, to counteract these problems.

Group therapy for children of alcoholics and art A group setting helps children of alcoholics to counteract isolation and teaches effective coping methods. At the same time, groups help them to connect to the element of latency in a moderated peer group, while also providing a shared reality group and the advantages of hope, effective interactions, and alternative parental models in the group leaders (Bar-On, ­Levine-Rozalis, & Yodelevitz, 2000; Gabriel-Fried & Teichman, 2007). Group work creates a chance to be exposed to more appropriate roles and is a safe place where the child can share emotions and thoughts and can use peers to work through shame, loneliness, low self-esteem, guilt, and anger,

158  Menny Malka while providing support for others in the group. Gaining knowledge about addictions, learning effective interactions, emotional language, and conflict resolution, and finding alternative methods to cope with stress that do not include addictive substances are all very important preventive strategies for these youths (Chazan, 2001; Peleg-Oren, 2002a, 2002b). The children can address dangers, such as drunk driving, can learn how to interact with the addicted parent, and can practice making good decisions. However, it is often hard for these children to reap the benefits of group work because of secrecy and shame. Thus, it seems that indirect and expressive methods, such as working in the arts, would be helpful in the group setting (Peleg-Oren, 2002b). Art is a natural educational and therapeutic language in childhood that enables enhancement of emotional and cognitive development and sharing of emotional experiences in a more concrete and embodied way than the use of language to describe emotional states, as demanded in adult verbal psychotherapy (Kramer, 2000; Malchiodi, 2008; Huss, 2012, 2015). The arts also enable indirect expression of the secret by using symbols and metaphors, thus maintaining a sense of safety for the children that allows for sharing, but also for keeping the secret (Allen, 2003; Huss, 2012). For children who do not have the chance to play or to experience a childlike role due to home problems, an arts group enables regression and develops the psychosocial, emotional, and educational advantages of shared play that includes expressing safety, maintaining boundaries, sharing, and more (Winnicott, 1991; Steele & Malchiodi, 2008). The arts become a medium of symbolic reality within the group space that allows for the practice of social communication mediated through the arts and via the group leaders in the here and now (Waller & Mahoney, 2002; Wolfgang, 2006).

Photovoice Photovoice was developed by Wang and Burris (1997) as a methodology for utilizing critical pedagogy and feminism in social interactions. It aims to enable marginalized groups to identity day-to-day issues and to capture them through photography. The photograph is then discussed in a shared-reality group context to create a critical community narrative that can be shared with power holders and others in the same situation (Wang & Burris, 1997). Photovoice is a holistic approach that uses photography to empower individuals and groups. This approach provides visual expression and thus agency to individuals, groups, and communities by utilizing their active ‘gaze’ to define issues and engage in additional discussion in order to share and further define the issues, so that the hegemony or dominant voices are not the ones that define things (Wang, 1999; Woodlrych, 2004). Photovoice is also effective with populations who are less verbal due to age, disability, differences in culture, and traumatic experiences

The implementation of photovoice  159 that are shameful to express directly, such as abuse (Drew, Duncan, & Sawyer, 2010). The camera enables enough physical and symbolic distance from the experiences to approach them and to share them with others (Levin et al., 2007). Photovoice usually involves distributing cameras to participants in the group, teaching basic skills, and providing structured subjects for photographs. These are then discussed and shared in the group space as a ­reflective and communicative tool that helps to access and expand verbal narratives that can still stay indirect and remain focused on the image rather than on the direct, painful experience (Thompson et al., 2008; Hergenrather, ­Rhodes, Cowan, Bardhoshi, & Pula, 2009). Photovoice also enables children to be witnesses and phenomenological describers of their own difficult social experiences in an indirect way that does not endanger them psychologically or socially. This is also relevant when working with teenagers who do not want to directly expose their social life to adults. It enhances the relative power of youth in relation to adults because the youth control visibility and symbolic construction of their own reality. Thus, the camera becomes a bridge to the children’s experiences that is a more embodied and appropriate way of addressing them than through direct questions based on adult knowledge (Drew et al., 2010; Lal, Jarus, & Suto, 2012). The use of a camera is also psychosocially enhancing, as it develops new skills, enables ‘having fun’, and enhances a sense of efficacy and agency, which children often do not have (Strack, Magill, & McDonagh, 2004; Moletsane et al., 2007).

Project description This presented project aims to use photovoice at the interface between giving voice and enabling agency and therapeutic interventions. This use of photovoice is less often described in the literature in relation to children who are dealing with parental addictions. We identify a need for innovative methods to intervene and research this population, burdened with secrets and shame, that relates both to the micro and macro levels of experiences, and thus enables both releasing the external secret and building internal self-esteem. Photovoice was chosen for this group because learning to use a camera connects to the media infused peer culture of young adolescents. It helps to overcome a lack of confidence in doing art and enables learning a new developmentally appropriate skill that is hard to fail at. This can help raise self-esteem. More specifically, in relation to dealing with the secret of their parents’ addiction, it facilitates bringing the home into the group space in a gradual manner. In other words, it connects to the real surroundings or familial and social realities of the children, helping them to broach these realities within the group space.

160  Menny Malka The group and its participants The group included seven children between the ages of eleven and fourteen, three girls and four boys, who were receiving treatment at the local welfare centre and assistance from the municipality. The centre serves about 400  people in the area, including children of alcohol, drug, and gambling-addicted families. Specifically, the participants in the group were children of alcohol addicts. The parents of the group participants were patients of the centre and participated in acceptance interviews for the project, conducted jointly with the children and in evaluation interviews conducted at its end. The group protocols The group intervention was based on the use of photovoice with this group for 15 structured sessions that were held over a period of four months (see Table 13.1). First, the group leaders, who knew the children on an individual level, developed a set of concerns expressed by the children, and then, created a structured group intervention using photovoice based on these challenges. The group had two supervisors, an art therapy expert and an expert on addicted populations. The group leaders were social workers who had worked with the families and children in another program. This team together created a protocol that was used flexibly and was adjusted to issues and processes that arose within the group. Based on group theory, the aims of the group intervention were to create a corrective positive relationship within the group space and thus to enable developmental growth, as well as creating a shared reality group to address the secret and pain of the parents’ addiction. Table 13.1  Project protocol and group meeting Phase Project Protocol 1 2 3

Training in the use of the camera (Meetings 1–3) Expressing ‘who I am’ and ‘what is around me’ with the camera (Meetings 4–5) My family and the family surroundings (Meetings 6–7)


Alcohol and addiction (Meetings 8–10)


Preparations for exhibition and termination (Meetings 11–14) Group exhibition (Meeting 15)


Group Meeting Protocol Arriving: Collecting children from their homes Warm up: Food, drinks, and games, as a transition into the meeting Presenting photographs: In accordance with the principle of SHOWeD (Wang, 1999) Discussion: Connection between the photograph and the lived experience Working through feelings Summary of meeting and termination

The implementation of photovoice  161 The children were bussed to and from their homes with a student to make sure they arrived despite their chaotic home life and to show the children how important the group was. They received food and free time on arrival, followed by a warm up activity, then the sharing of photovoice assignments described in the protocol below (Table 13.1), and finally, there was a summary of the meeting and a description of what had happened emotionally. In accordance with photovoice principles, during the group’s termination stages, the children prepared an exhibition in which the photographs were presented to the parents, together with the children’s ‘voice’.

Main themes and examples from group work Personal processes of individuation through photography The children first learned to use the camera. This focus on an external skill could be seen as adapting to the challenges of mastering reality. The agreement of the group for privacy and respect was also defined. The group learned composition, meaning, symbols, and use of props. In the first three meetings after learning how to use the camera, the participants were assigned to photograph elements that created a collage of personal identity. Overall, as shown in this first section of the vignettes below, this enabled a space for exploring self-development, transition from adulthood to childhood, processes of separation (from sisters and mothers), and examining the empty depleted self. As stated in the literature review, the energy required to bear the shame of the parents’ addiction, together with the dysfunction of parental roles at home pose great challenges for developmental processes of individuation that are central to adolescent development. Example 1: Separating from symbiotic home relationships through the distance of photographing these relationships Osher is thirteen and has low self-esteem with a father who is still drinking. He has a symbiotic and infantilized relationship with his mother who does his homework, ties his shoelaces, and cleans his room for him. Osher avoided taking pictures at the beginning, stating that he did not have anything to photograph. He expressed passivity about finding interesting pictures. Towards the sixth meeting, he took ten pictures of his mother from behind in the kitchen. His mother did not know that he had taken these pictures, and he was very happy about them. This was understood as an effort at individuation from his mother, as he pictured her from the back and without her knowledge. In the group exhibition, the mother was very upset that she hadn’t known she was being photographed, expressing her difficulty with his individuation. We see that the camera enabled Osher to

162  Menny Malka observe his mother, and thus, to define himself as a separate being. His ability to subjectively define what he saw enabled him to have his own vision and to individuate. Using the discussion of the image in the group space as a distanced way to find words for emotional processes The discussion of the image within the group space enabled the participants to find words for their inner emotional world, but also, to address the secret of the parents’ addiction indirectly. The second set of assignments dealt with the addiction that represented the shared reality of the group. The group leaders actively verbalized the legitimacy of the emotions that the children felt about the addiction. In addition, information about addiction was shared by the group leaders as part of their shared reality orientation. The participants were asked to photograph elements that expressed different emotions concerning the addiction. The emotions of love, shame, guilt, courage, and fear of violence were photographed. Example 2: Using symbols and metonyms in photographs to indirectly depict parent’s addiction and to show reactions to the addiction through symbols Dor photographed drunks in the area and broken beer bottles on the rocks in a park (Image 13.1). He did not photograph his own parents’ use of alcohol. However, he photographed a wine bottle on the floor by the fridge next to a crack in the wall. He explained that the crack was in the picture because alcohol cracks the home open and brings people down.

Image 13.1  B  roken beer bottle on a rock in the park.

The implementation of photovoice  163 In this example, Dor used the symbolic and metaphorical license of the photograph to create a symbolic and distanced depiction of his parents’ alcohol use without directly photographing them. He also used the symbolic elements of the image to depict how he felt about the addiction in a generalized way. Example 3: Creating a dual narrative in which what is shown is denied verbally, or using photographs showing what children are not yet ready to ‘tell’ and expressing defences The two sisters in the group (Emma and Nataly) photographed a picture of alcohol bottles with a cut off top (Image 13.2). One of the sisters said that they were photographed in their home and stated that their mother drinks. The other sister denied this and said they were photographed in the local store. Example 4: Disclosing the secret through the image Alex stated that his father also drinks; he pretends that he has overtime work but comes back drunk. He also stated that his mother would be angry that he shared the information that his father drinks within the group space. In this example, we see that photography enabled participants to show one reality but define it verbally in different ways. The reaction to the photograph enabled one sister to express her shame and the other to express her denial in the group space around the negotiation of the meaning of the image. The photograph is a broad enough symbolic space to contain multiple interpretations or explanations, and this enables the participants to gradually approach the truth, from verbal denial to disclosure.

Image 13.2  H  eadless bottle.

164  Menny Malka

Image 13.3  B  lur to sharpen.

Example 5: Compositional elements of photographs as projective elements that help to access the inner experience of a parent’s addiction Moran created a blurred picture so as to hide his father smoking ­(Image 13.3). When it was pointed out that the photograph was blurred, he said that smoking makes one feel and behave in a blurred way. Creating a projected distanced symbol of the vulnerable self through photography Example 6: Expression of painful feelings through a picture Dor created a picture of his grandmother’s dog. He explained that his parents found it abandoned and adopted it. They gave it to his grandmother to look after, just as he moved into his grandmother’s house when his parents split up due to unresolved addiction problems. Within the group space, the abandoned dog was discussed, although this was clearly also Dor’s experience of being a ‘wounded dog’ looked after by his grandmother. Dor’s identification with the dog enabled him to indirectly work through his pain at being abandoned by his parents.

The implementation of photovoice  165 Example 7: Using the process of photographing to express defences Nataly explained that she didn’t photograph anything because they only have garbage in their area and there is nothing to photograph. She stated that ‘everything at home is ugly.’ She did not photograph anything from home but she showed group pictures with girlfriends that she likes and with whom she socializes. By explaining her refusal to photograph her ‘garbage’ neighbourhood (and home), Nataly was still accessing her strong, painful emotions around her home. She could bear to access them because she also showed her positive photos with her girlfriends. Together, the group created posters and slogans showing the dangers of drinking, based on their own images of broken bottles. Photography helped reduce denial of parents’ addiction. As stated in the literature review, a central theme for children of addicted parents is the shame over their parents’ addiction and the need to deny it from themselves and from others. This makes mediation of separation and individuation through peer interaction, and building a fulfilling social reality outside of the home, very difficult for them, increasing their isolation. Separation and final group project The final project consisted of making a personal album of pictures for each of the children. The children decided which pictures would and wouldn’t enter the group album and which would and wouldn’t be shown at the exhibition. The pages of the album were decorated with additional art materials. The children were afraid to create an ‘ugly’ album, and although the art materials created a level of aggression, it was limited by the focus on the product. For example, Emma decided to devote a page to the alcohol problem in her book but many refused to add alcohol to their albums. They drew things outside of the album. The ability to decide helped to give them a sense of control over their lives. Group exhibition Finally, there was a group exhibition of the pictures and of the albums to which the parents were invited. This enabled the children, on one level, to undergo a normative experience of showing parents how they mastered a new skill. At the same time, on a psychological level, it enabled them to become ‘visible’ to the parents and to indirectly introduce the addiction into the room. Within the exhibition, family dynamics and addiction were acted out. Example 8: Indirectly discussing the issue One mother didn’t arrive. The child was very upset. When the mother understood that there was an exhibition after being phoned, she arrived, thus

166  Menny Malka giving space to her child. The mother said, ‘Ah, that’s my bottle of alcohol,’ and she stated that she would prefer to be having a drink now than being at the exhibition. The exhibition became an indirect way to turn the subject of drinking into a talked about element in the room.

Discussion This paper aimed to explore how photovoice can help to achieve the aims of a support group for children of addicted parents. Two central themes or psychological effects emerged from the data. First, we saw how photovoice was effective in enabling developmental growth. Second, we found that photovoice was effective in expressing secret and negative feelings about parents’ addiction in a non-threatening way. The second theme is connected to the first because it freed up energy to deal with development rather than dealing with the negative and secret feelings about the parents’ addiction. The following are some of the components that describe the specific methodological contributions that photovoice make for groups of children of ­alcohol-addicted parents: • • • • • • • • • • •

Photovoice became a concrete tool and a new skill that was developmentally appropriate. The distancing of the camera made it possible to observe, rather than participate, in symbiotic relationships with addictive parents. The private space of the camera permitted the creation a zone of self-­ experience that was private and controlled by the photographer. Sharing of images enabled the group members to share their experiences and to have them confirmed. The externalizing of inner experience through an external metaphor was shown to be a safe space to meet the self. The art activity was a positive way to fill in empty spaces or lack of content (rather than using addictive substances as learned at home). The photography helped the children to start ‘seeing’ the addiction for themselves from the safe distance of behind the camera. The use of a camera rather than a cell phone helped to create this aesthetic separation as the camera made the choice of picture more intense than automatic photographing on a phone. Rather than using lies to define experience or ‘not seeing’ (a behaviour learned from the addicted parent), the children learned in a structured way to ‘see’. Another element that enabled regulation of self-disclosure is that ­photography enabled a level of control over what was photographed, although they had no control of the content. Within the group space, exposure of contents could be regulated by the child, that is, images can be talked about or only shown or not shown. This included the option to erase an image or to share it selectively.

The implementation of photovoice  167 • •

Others’ images could help soften denial because of the shared reality and metaphorical quality of the images. The indirect metaphors, together with the photographing of real places and objects (such as alcohol bottles), made a range of concrete, but also emotional, disclosures possible. In other words, the images showed feelings and reality at the same time.

The creation of an exhibition at the end of the group process further highlighted the inherent paradox of photovoice, that it is simultaneously symbolic and constructed, and that it is also ‘real’, creating an overlap between subjective and social experience or a depiction of how one experienced one’s social reality. The exhibition enabled two processes. On the overt level, the exhibition created a normalizing destigmatizing activity in which the children invited their parents to their photography show. On the other, more covert level, the children were indirectly talking to their parents about the problem of addiction through the images in a public space that helped to release the secret in a regulated, metaphorical way. We saw that the parents could still experience this as an intense confrontation. This points to the inherent complexity, but also the power, of photovoice in presenting an inner symbolic world that is embedded in the context of the real physical reality of the photographer. In other words, it creates a phenomenological depiction of a social reality To summarize, the contribution of this paper is that it has highlighted the dual role of photovoice in enhancing natural development and enabling children of addicted parents to approach their pain and defences in an indirect but concrete manner. This ability to work ‘inside’ and also ‘outside’ was shown to be especially relevant for many groups of children in complex realities. This connection between micro and macro levels of experience can help to externalize, rather than internalize, the source of the problem for the children. This is concurrent with the aim of clinical social work, that is, to present emotional problems within their social contexts, and on this level, photovoice is particularly relevant to social epistemologies of combining micro with macro perceptions, an area that needs to be articulated more clearly in social work (Huss, 2016). Regarding practical aspects, it seems that in such a project, the organizational base and parental involvement are very important. To create a basis for the implementation of photovoice, proper organizational preparation is required, including cooperation with the parents’ therapists and preparing parents for cooperation. Moreover, parental involvement and their ability to allow children to share their experiences with group members are a therapeutic element in and of themselves. Therefore, this approach is recommended for use in similar cases where there are therapeutic centres that accompany the parents, such as in the case of domestic violence or in the case of drug addiction or gambling. Regarding group work, content and process must be combined. At the level of the group process, the process

168  Menny Malka of group development is very important, paying attention to the gradual way in which children can discuss sensitive subjects. It is important at the content level to allow snapshots of general issues before directly addressing the subject of addiction. It should be remembered that photography is a medium that symbolically stores many ideas, and therefore, it is a tool that enables the creation of a transitional space in a manner suitable for children. However, it should be remembered that this approach also has limitations and difficulties. Photography requires independence and may even create an experience of exposure and lack of control. Therefore, the facilitators must be very involved in the time points beyond the group meetings. Since the children are dependent on their parents, active involvement and infrastructure are required to ensure continuous involvement and access to group meetings. We hope that our insights and learning from the project will create a clear rationale as well as a suggested protocol and approach for clinical social workers to include photovoice in group work with children of addicted parents and children at-risk.

References Allen, P. (2000). Interview with an art therapist who is an artist. American Journal of Art Therapy, 39, 7–13. Bar-On, N., Levine-Rozalis, M., & Yodelevitz, R. (2000). Groups for children of rehabilitating drug addicts. Jerusalem: National Insurance Institute, Research and Planning Administration (Hebrew). Chazan, R. (2001). The group as therapist. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley. Drew, S. E., Duncan, R. E., & Sawyer, S. M. (2010). Visual storytelling: A beneficial but challenging method for health research with young people. Qualitative Health Research, 20, 1677–1688. Gabriel-Fried, B., & Teichman, M. (2007). Ego identity of adolescent children of alcoholics. Journal of Drug Education, 37(1), 83–95. ­ hotoHergenrather, K., Rhodes, S., Cowan, C., Bardhoshi, G., & Pula, S. (2009). P voice as community-based participatory research: A qualitative review. ­American Journal of Health Behavior, 33(6), 686–698. Huss, E. (2012). What we see and what we say: Using images in research, therapy, empowerment, and social change. London, UK: Routledge. Huss, E. (2015). A theory-based approach to art therapy: Implications for teaching, research and practice. London, UK: Routledge. Huss, E. (2016). Toward a social critical, analytical prism in art therapy: The example of marginalized Bedouin women’s images. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 50, 84–90. Kramer, E. (2000). Art as therapy. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley. Lal, S., Jarus, T., & Suto, M. (2012). A scoping review of the photo-voice method: Implications for occupational therapy research. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 79(3), 181–190. Levin, T., Scott, B. M., Borders, B., Hart, K., Lee, J., & Decanini, A. (2007). ­Aphasia talks: Photography as a means of communication, self-expression, and empowerment in persons with aphasia. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 14, 72–84.

The implementation of photovoice  169 Moletsane, R., De Lange, N., Mitchell, C., Stuart, J., Buthelezi, B., & Taylor, M. (2007). Photovoice as a tool for analysis and activism in response to HIV and AIDS stigmatization in a rural KwaZulu-Natal school. Journal of Child & ­Adolescent Mental Health, 19(1), 19–29. Peleg-Oren, N. (2002a). Drugs–Not Here! Model of group intervention as preventive therapeutic tool for children of drug addicts. Journal of Drug Education, 32(3), 245–259. Peleg-Oren, N. (2002b). Group intervention for children of drug-addicted parents using expressive techniques. Clinical Social Work Journal, 30, 403–418. Rothman, E. F., Edwards, E. M., Heeren, T., & Hingson, R. W. (2008). Adverse childhood experiences predict earlier age of drinking onset: Results from a ­representative US sample of current or former drinkers. Pediatrics, 122(2), 298–304. Steele, W., & Malchiodi, C. A. (2008). Interventions for parents of traumatized ­children. In C. A. Malchiodi (Ed.), Effective practice with traumatized children (pp. 264–284). New York, NY and London, UK: The Guilford Press. Strack, R. W., Magill, C., & McDonagh, K. (2004). Engaging youth through ­photovoice. Health Promotion Practice, 5(1), 59–58. Thompson, N., Hunter, E., Murray, L., Ninci, L., Rolfs, E., & Pallikkathayil, L. (2008). The experience of living with chronic mental illness: A photovoice study. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 44(1), 14–24. Waller, D., & Mahoney, J. (2002). Treatment of addiction in art therapy. New York, NY: Routledge. Wang, C. (1999). Photovoice: A participatory action research strategy applied to women’s health. Journal of Women’s Health, 8(2), 185–192. Wang, C., & Burris, M. A. (1997). Photovoice: Concept, methodology, and use for participatory needs assessment. Health Education & Behavior, 24(3), 369–387. Winnicott, D. W. (1991). Playing and reality. London, UK: Routledge. Wolfgang, G. (2006). The ego-psychological fallacy: A note on the birth of the meaning out of a symbol. Journal of Jungian Theory and Practice, 7(2), 53–60. Woodlrych, R. (2004). Empowering images: Using photo-voice with tenants with special needs. Housing, Care, and Support, 7(1), 31–36.

14 Therapeutic applications of hip-hop with U.S. homeless adults with severe mental illness1 Raphael Travis Jr. and Aaron H. Rodwin Context While hoping to provide stability within a web of instability, and support to individuals coping with the cumulative, often traumatic (Ford et al. 2017), effects of adverse life experiences, we asked a simple question about creative arts efficacy as an intervention. Could the culturally meaningful and empowering characteristics of hip-hop facilitate engagement, empowerment, and well-being to help homeless shelter residents who were also grappling with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI)? In this instance, the art (i.e., hip-hop music; analysing and creating) was used as an adjunct to psychiatric intervention and other case management services, under direct clinical social work supervision. The intervention’s assumptions about hip-hop’s cultural significance stemmed from accumulated literature about hip-hop integrated strategies and culture (Tyson, 2003; Travis & Deepak, 2011; Alvarez, 2012; Leafloor, 2012; ­Emdin, 2016, pp. 159–161; Travis, 2016, p. 3) and the geographic location of the setting and its relevance to the birth of hip-hop culture in the United States (Chang, 2007). Additionally, many shelter residents demonstrated a strong connection for hip-hop culture, which was a catalyst for implementing an intervention harnessed by hip-hop culture. Further, the opportunity to engage in an interactive, innovative, creativity-based, and action-oriented strategy within a setting where this was not the norm, was especially promising. The United States is a complex and dynamic society from a helping and intervention standpoint. Strategies and interventions to promote well-­ being exist in the broadest universal approaches of primary prevention, to the most comprehensive including structured psychiatric and medication managed approaches. Historically, intervention trends shift based on fluctuating levels of investment by political leadership, which tend to cycle between expansive and restricted government support for human and social service needs (Desilver, 2017). For example, meeting the needs of the homeless population increased after the national deinstitutionalization of mental health patients from hospitals to community-based care during the 1960s

Therapeutic applications of hip-hop  171 (Testa & West, 2010). Steady disinvestment in coordinated structured care for individuals with mental illness and the homeless (often one in the same) continued for several decades. A more robust network of supports and services were established in the 2000s, but the level of need for the roughly 550,000 homeless U.S. residents remains staggering (Haskett, 2017). The environmental context for the present exploratory pilot study included a range of mental health strategies and professionals helping to coordinate services and strategies for residents within a homeless shelter with a diagnosed severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI). SPMI is categorized by a severe and consistent impairment in daily functioning and demonstrated reliance on treatment, as a result of a mental illness (Office of Mental Health, 2017).

Introduction to the shelter environment The shelter facility consists of a 101-bed facility for single homeless males coping with SPMI. The facility is located in an urban geographical context with a projected homeless population of approximately 50–100,000 (Department of Homeless Services, 2017). This shelter provides a range of on-site services including primary medical care and pharmacotherapy. The setting can become stressful, unpredictable, and chaotic on occasion given the high prevalence of altercations and medical/psychiatric emergencies, often requiring emergency medical service (EMS)/Police interventions for safety and stabilization. Additionally, daily therapeutic and psychoeducational groups are provided that aim to address the complex needs of this population. In particular, group topics include but are not limited to anger management, positive thinking, problem-solving, sober living, hip-hop self-expression, nursing, and housing, along with a weekly community meeting. Upon intake, residents are assigned a case manager whose primary mission is to assist residents obtain mental health supportive housing and other supportive services. Case managers, along with clinical supervisory staff (e.g., Licensed Clinical Social Workers), also link residents to community services to support psychiatric, medical, and behavioural health needs. Case managers and clinical staff use personalized treatment plans and provide psychoeducational support (accompanying the standard diagnosis-based treatment model of medication and/or psychotherapy) to assist residents with their secondary goals of employment, education, vocational training, and sometimes family reunification.

Aim The present intervention is guided by the individual and community empowerment framework (the art) and the empowerment-based positive youth development (EMPYD) perspective (well-being), all within a relational developmental

172  Raphael Travis Jr. and Aaron H. Rodwin systems theory (RDST) of human development. In particular, music was a vehicle that helped facilitate pathways to engagement and empowerment, which were priorities for residents. Thus, shelter leadership wanted residents to, despite adversity, feel better (esteem), do better (resilience), be better (growth), have a better sense of belonging (sense of community), and work toward better conditions (change) within the communities they prioritize (e.g., shelter, family, neighbourhood). Empowerment in this context is focused both on person and environment. Empowerment is relational. It is the individual and the community (whichever community the individual prioritizes). To this end, this paper integrates the importance of theoretical assumptions and applications, with the practical dynamics of cultivating a therapeutic environment for residents. The primary research question asks, in what ways can a therapeutically oriented hip-hop group in a men’s adult psychiatric homeless shelter help increase service engagement, empowerment, well-being, and self-expression  among residents? To answer this question, qualitative anecdotal data were accumulated through participant observation strategies and detailed  process notes to help capture the unique dynamics of how empowerment manifests in this setting. Further, to augment awareness of these dynamics, reflections and insights are offered about both the empowering and challenging aspects of the ‘hip-hop self-expression’ group, particularly as it relates to the high prevalence of trauma, the ability to support recovery, and the potential to complement traditional treatment strategies. In this context, this strategy aligns with the growing evidence about opportunities to help mitigate the effects of trauma and other adversities through the cultivation of positive and supportive experiences, and connections, across the home and community (Bethell, Gombojav, Solloway, & Wissow, 2016; Bellis et al. 2017; Sege et al. 2017). Finally, the present discussion lays the framework for future research using experimental designs that can further evaluate the long-term effectiveness.

The people involved What makes this pilot program unique? First, the modality is practiced with an adult population of homeless males with SPMI. Second, the residents are 18 years or older while the majority fall between the ages of 25 and 45 years old. Third, the racial and ethnic breakdown of the homeless population in the geographic area predominantly consists of African American (58%) and Hispanic (26%) individuals, which is consistent with the population at the site (Department of Homeless Services, 2017). Finally, shelter staff primarily consists of licensed clinical social workers, case managers, activities of daily living (ADL) specialists, psychiatrists, primary care providers (PCP), licensed practicing nurses (LPN), and other helping professionals.

Therapeutic applications of hip-hop  173

Method: The art form Hip-hop culture and the shelter environment There is a substantial gap in the research on use of hip-hop integrated strategies with adults, particular adults with SPMI. Hip-hop culture, while being over four decades old, faces the challenge of being universally accepted as a youth-oriented culture. But the longevity of hip-hop makes it culturally relevant to whatever region you’re in. The use of hip-hop with this study population is a promising tool for engagement because it is culturally relevant to the shelter population (Travis, 2016, p. 20), notwithstanding how the shelter’s area of the Northeast United States is the birthplace of hip-hop culture. The group’s ability to engage can attract individuals who would otherwise not attend traditional therapeutically oriented groups. For example, one of the facilitator’s recruitment techniques included walking into the main shelter cafeteria with a classic hip-hop instrumental playing from a portable speaker and saying ‘Come join us on the second floor! We are listening to Nas!’ This tactic had a tendency to capture residents’ attention and can spark their interest in attending the group. In addition, the facilitator would sometimes attract residents by reinforcing the option of merely listening to music rather than emphasizing active participation. Several residents do just that and a few even end up participating. For these residents, simply listening to the music is calming and appears to help improve their mood, consistent with research on the therapeutic and regulating benefits of music that engages neurochemical systems (Chanda & Levitin, 2013). For those who engage in more depth, it is an opportunity to learn and grow. A hip-hop–based music activity to residents is a less stigmatizing method to engage residents as it is strengths-based rather than problem-focused approach. Residents share the dual stigma of being homeless and mentally ill. Within the shelter, they are questioned frequently by professional staff about their symptoms. While the intent is to help and treat, the constant scrutiny can become debilitating as it can reinforce the narrative that these individuals are ‘sick’, which can leave them feeling like powerless victims. Most residents have extensive histories of homelessness and institutionalization across psychiatric and correctional settings. The integration of the hip-hop group into shelter programming has influenced daily interactions with residents and helped facilitate positive transference between the facilitator and residents. For example, as the facilitator walks through the building engaged in various tasks, certain clients will say ‘Hey Hip-Hop! What are we listening to this week?’ (Yes, the facilitator developed the nickname ‘Hip-Hop’). Another resident who rarely participates came to the facilitator’s desk recently after he composed a hip-hop song and requested to perform it in front of the staff and residents present. His work was honest, reflective, and insightful, and it was well received by the audience.

174  Raphael Travis Jr. and Aaron H. Rodwin

The process ‘So, tell me mamma please why you be drinking all the time? Does all the pain he brought you still linger in your mind? Cause pain still lingers on mine,’ (J. Cole, 2014 Forest Hills Drive) said Ali as he recited these powerful words from hip-hop artist J. Cole during a group session focused on marshalling personal strengths to improve well-being. Ali proceeded to express, ‘these lyrics are powerful, I can relate to this pain because I was raised by a mother who had a drinking problem…’ Then, another resident turned to Ali and empathized as he shared how J. Cole’s lyrics resonate with adversities he experienced growing up. This highlights the value of Universality, which is the normalization of certain client experiences that other members of the group have also experienced (Yalom & Leszcz, 2005). Also relevant are the factors inspiring the creation of this group: an outlet through which residents can process trauma, self-reflect, build trust, offer validation, and cultivate positive and supportive relationships in a therapeutic context. The initial indicators of the group’s success were evident based on a notable increase in consistent group attendance, levels of participation, positive chatter among residents, and positive feedback from staff. Approximately 11 residents participated during the first group, many of whom rarely attend therapeutic groups and activities. The intake and group supervisor attended an initial session and found the process and initial results promising. The facilitator debriefed with the intake and group supervisor, who offered feedback, support, and constructive criticism. Residents started to demonstrate an investment in the group as certain residents started to assume leadership roles by helping setup the group room (chairs in a circle) and inviting other residents. In particular, certain residents would come to the facilitator’s desk during the day and share rhymes and raps that they wrote independently of the group. These initial successes helped develop a sense of community within the setting, which contributed to outcomes of positive engagement and self-expression through hip-hop. While the facilitator systematically incorporated all five ICE dimensions into weekly groups, dimensions of esteem, resilience, and growth appeared to be the most beneficial. The facilitator observed the greatest therapeutic benefits when residents would identify personal strengths/skills, learn healthier coping skills, and develop short-term/long term goals. For some residents, goals included ‘staying out of the hospital’ and ‘taking medication consistently’, all of which reflect valid insights for individuals suffering from severe mental illness. For others, goals included furthering their education, seeking employment, connecting with family/friends, positive decision-making (e.g., avoiding legal problems, substance use), and making healthier life choices (e.g. more exercise and sports, better nutrition habits, etc.). Specific attention was given to empowering concepts and ideas through the words, attitudes, and behaviours of the facilitator throughout the group. They speak, model, and validate concepts of esteem, resilience, growth, community, and change.

Therapeutic applications of hip-hop  175 Many residents also draw, or use graffiti, as an outlet to express themselves during sessions. This is yet another outlet for self-expression and reflection for residents who have difficulties reading and writing. Many residents demonstrated social awareness by offering peer support when emotions were present. Reinforcing the integrity and emotional safety of the group experience reflected not only a strong social awareness, but a level of accountability to responsible decision-making and behaviours. Residents set goals and held themselves accountable at the personal and group level. Ultimately, they learned from these experiences about themselves, about others, about how to connect and relate, and about how to make the best of themselves in this setting.

The role of social workers Social work: On- and off-site consultation The program started with the program facilitator’s off-site consultation with the developer of the program model. Consultation continued with an overview of available resources to complement training. The long-term consultation continued as a modified form of supervision, including validation, constructive criticism, reflective feedback, and practice recommendations. This contributed the development of the hip-hop group and then flyers were created which read ‘New Group! Hip-hop Wednesdays, 1:30 pm on the 2nd Floor’ with a photo of Nas’s Illmatic album cover. The facilitator would recruit and inform clients about the new hip-hop group and encourage them to participate. The facilitator shadowed and engaged in a range of duties including psychiatric evaluations, therapeutic groups, and individual meetings with clients during the first weeks of employment at the shelter to become acclimated to the range of services provided. After shadowing several groups, the facilitator proposed the idea of creating another therapeutically oriented group that uses hip-hop as a culturally responsive vehicle to promote self-expression, creativity, engagement, well-being, and a sense of community among the residents. The proposed hip-hop group received approval from the shelter’s clinical supervisor and intake and group supervisor. Flyers were created and posted around the dorm and common areas to advertise the new hip-hop group.

Impact Individual empowerment: An outlet to channel anger and process trauma Ali is a male in his thirties with a history of schizoaffective disorder and trauma who was a passionate participant of the group. Ali is thoughtful, reflective, insightful, and optimistic. Outside of group, Ali would experience

176  Raphael Travis Jr. and Aaron H. Rodwin frequent mood swings characterized by yelling and hostility towards peers and staff with minimal provocation. Using a trauma-informed and psychoanalytic lens, Ali’s frequent ‘disruptive’ behaviours could be viewed as the acting out a ‘self-protective’ behaviour in response to previously experienced trauma, abandonment, and betrayal. At times, he was perceived by others as intimidating and threatening based on his unpredictable outbursts. However, he consistently attended the group. Through his active engagement in group, he showed that he was an avid hip-hop enthusiast and was highly skilled at composing his own hip-hop lyrics rich with vivid reflections of his feelings and experiences. The group was a place for Ali to showcase his rapping skills and channel his anger and emotions in a healthy way. He consistently embraced a leadership role by helping others compose raps, rhymes, and poems. From a therapeutic lens, the aim was to use this space to help Ali channel his emotions onto paper rather than through aggressive behaviours. But he also demonstrated his self-awareness of maladaptive behaviour patterns and improved his social and emotional competencies (e.g., self-management, relationship skills, and decision-making). The results were therapeutic growth for both Ali and his peers. Ali said multiple times during group that, ‘I am thankful for this group because it allows me learn from everybody else in the room and express myself.’ To this end, helping residents to feel better and to develop a more strengths-based, reflective, and proactive sense of self through hip-hop culture are important objectives of individual empowerment and this hip-hop integrated intervention. Community empowerment: Hip-hop, social change, and engaged citizenship The dimensions of community and social change are reflected within the figurative language of many song narratives in hip-hop, serving as a vehicle for dialogue about social/political issues across the mezzo and macro levels. For members of this hip-hop group, stemming from their strong sense of community, one example showcases their ability to work collectively toward a more active and engaged approach to their citizenship. During one session, Kanye West’s song ‘Gorgeous’ inspired a discussion on race relations, criminal justice reform, poverty, and mass incarceration. Residents shared their perspectives on how these issues relate to their identity and experienced reality within their community. Several residents articulated their concerns about the re-socialization of formerly incarcerated individuals into society given intense stigma and discrimination toward this population. One of the residents, Jimmy, spoke and rapped about how his prior felony record has challenged his ability to seek employment and make positive changes to improve his life. During this session, he connected with a peer who became a close and supportive friend over time. They became inseparable. Further, residents expressed their perspectives on the importance of criminal justice reform to foster reintegration, rehabilitation, and future opportunities.

Therapeutic applications of hip-hop  177 During this same session, six residents wrote elaborate raps, rhymes, and poems that were reflective, insightful, and honest critiques about themselves in the context of criminal justice reform. The thoughtful quality of their work sparked a powerful sense of energy within the group. Then, one client felt compelled to begin rapping (‘freestyling’), which energized other residents and evolved into a ‘cypher’ among many in the group. A cypher is a tradition within hip-hop culture that can be defined as artists—emcees/rappers and b-boys/b-girls—creating and performing together and independently in a circle. The cypher helps facilitate ideas, sharing, and democratic participation. It helps build camaraderie, inspire engagement, and foster constructive critique (Travis, 2016, pp. 158–159). In this context, hip-hop was a catalyst that fostered an interactive dialogue on issues at the mezzo and macro level as it relates to life experiences. This can be viewed as a result of their higher levels of participation, feelings of belonging, confidence and skills, and sense of urgency about conditions that need to improve. During the cypher, from a social and emotional perspective, residents were engaged, focused, reflective, and happy. They demonstrated mutual respect, social awareness, self-­management, and relationship-skills as they would listen and participate when it was their turn.

Reflections from the social work perspective Social work and well-being within the shelter environment: Beyond music therapy Social work as a profession aims to improve the well-being of individuals within the context of their environments with a focus on populations that are vulnerable and at risk of negative outcomes. The core social work values are dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, social justice, service, competence, and integrity (NASW, 2008). This mission is personal and social. It focuses on the individual as much as it does the community, including any community of perceived value. Attention exists to social justice issues and how equity and justice must be examined as contributors to the lived experience of clients. Social worker roles can vary widely, allowing ultimate flexibility in how service-delivery strategies are provided. In this context, social workers were involved through direct delivery of services, direct on-site consultation with the facilitator of services, or as an off-site consultant for service delivery. Direct service therapeutic strategies are more than cognitive restructuring, instead seeking to explore and integrate a client’s social environment into all aspects of the work, all of the forces exerting an influence on a client’s well-being, positive, and negative. It could be the interaction and perceived connectedness with shelter staff, perceived societal biases and stigma around homelessness, mental illness, racial or ethnic specific challenges, or individual transgressions from the past. At the same time,

178  Raphael Travis Jr. and Aaron H. Rodwin a social work perspective identifies, reinforces, and promotes individual and community strengths.

More reflections and advice The future outlook: A practical guideline for group facilitators The presented case studies illustrate how the integration of hip-hop integrated strategies can enhance clinical practice with homeless adults with SPMI using a structured system that harnesses hip-hop’s core values of self and community improvement. The primary mission was to increase levels of engagement, awareness, and offer opportunities for reflection. The group became a vehicle for residents to develop trust, build awareness, establish goals, build supportive relationships, offer validation, self-reflect, and create a sense of community. In order to build upon this work using hip-hop integrated strategies as a tool for clinical practice, we suggest the following. First, the facilitator should have an appreciation and understanding of hip-hop culture and its connection to well-being and striving for better. Second, a conceptual framework/ model to help guide activities from the personal to collective is necessary. Third, participants should be involved in the selection of music as they see relevant to learning and growth, as it can also serve as an assessment tool into participants’ identities, experiences, and perspectives. This reinforces the importance of remaining client-cantered and maintaining a nonjudgmental approach. Finally, it is crucial to be cognizant of the unique context and culture of the setting and population to maximize potential (Table 14.1). Table 14.1  Project protocol Materials

Hip-hop songs and a tape recorder to record new ones and listen to them. Setting Any room with electricity to listen to the songs (or on phones with microphone). Time frame Long-term meetings enable the development of trust and the enlargement of skills in hip-hop writing, but also one-off meetings could utilize the hip-hop method. People, amount A group size that enables the group to listen to everyone’s hipof participants hop and hear everyone—but can be adjusted to individual or to large group settings. Skills Familiarity with existing hip-hop songs and choosing a few to work with. Basic rhyming skills. Potential pitfalls Difficulty in writing hip-hop and feeling failure due to this, not connecting to hip-hop rhythms and messages. Other users Finding the right cultural songs of any group and using them to elicit messages and to express feelings and enhance belonging can be done with any group, but especially culturally marginalized groups so as to help them take pride in their culture.

Therapeutic applications of hip-hop  179

Note 1 The authors/facilitator would also like to thank Dr. Elliot Gann of Today’s Future Sound for his mentorship contributing to the development of the hip-hop group at the target site.

References Alvarez, T. T. (2012). Beats, rhymes, and life: Rap therapy in an urban setting. In S. Hadley, & G. Yancy (Eds.), Therapeutic uses of rap and hip-hop (pp. 117–128). New York, NY, US: Routledge and Taylor & Francis Group. Bellis, M. A., Hardcastle, K., Ford, K., Hughes, K., Ashton, K., Quigg, Z., & Butler, N. (2017). Does continuous trusted adult support in childhood impart life-course resilience against adverse childhood experiences—A retrospective study on adult health-harming behaviours and mental well-being: Erratum. BMC Psychiatry, 17(140). doi:10.1186/s12888-017-1305-3 Bethell, C., Gombojav, N., Solloway, M., & Wissow, L. (2016). Adverse childhood experiences, resilience and mindfulness-based approaches: Common denominator issues for children with emotional, mental, or behavioural problems. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 25(2), 139–156. doi:10.1016/j. chc.2015.12.001 Chanda, M. L., & Levitin, D. J. (2013). The neurochemistry of music. Trends in ­Cognitive Sciences, 17(4), 179–193. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2013.02.007 Chang, J. (2007). Can’t stop won’t stop: A history of the hip-hop generation. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press. Department of Homeless Services. (2017). DHS data dashboard—fiscal year 2016. New York, NY: New York City Department of Homeless Services. Desilver, D. (2017). What does the federal government spend your tax dollars on? Social insurance programs, mostly. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center. R ­ etrieved from Emdin, C. (2016). For white folks who teach in the hood… and the rest of y’all too: Reality pedagogy and urban education. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. Ford, J. D., Schneeberger, A. R., Komarovskaya, I., Muenzenmaier, K., Castille, D., Opler, L. A., & Link, B. (2017). The Symptoms of Trauma Scale (SOTS): ­Psychometric evaluation and gender differences with adults diagnosed with serious mental illness. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 18(4), 559–574. Haskett, M. E. (2017). Understanding and meeting the needs of families experiencing homelessness: Introduction to the brief. In M. E. Haskett (Ed.), Child and family well-being and homelessness (pp. 1–6). New York, NY: Springer. Leafloor, S. (2012). Therapeutic outreach through b-boying (break dancing) in ­Canada’s arctic and first-nations communities: Social work through hip-hop. In S. Hadley & G. Yancy (Eds.), Therapeutic uses of rap and hip-hop (pp. 129–152). New York, NY: Routledge and Taylor & Francis Group. National Association for Social Workers [NASW]. (2008). Code of ethics (guide to the everyday professional conduct of social workers). Washington, DC: NASW. Office of Mental Health, New York State. (2017). Serious and persistent mental illness. Retrieved 27 July, 2017, from serious_persistent_mental_illness.html

180  Raphael Travis Jr. and Aaron H. Rodwin Sege, R., Bethell, C., Linkenbach, J., Jones, J., Klika, B., & Pacora, P. (2017). ­B alancing adverse childhood experiences (ACSE) with HOPE: New insights into the role of positive experience on child and family development. Boston, MA: The Medical Foundation. Testa, M., & West, S. G. (2010). Civil Commitment in the United States. Psychiatry (Edgmont), 7(10), 30–40. Travis, R. (2016). The healing power of hip-hop. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger. Travis, R., & Deepak, A. (2011). Empowerment in context: Lessons from hip-hop culture for social work practice. Journal of ethnic and cultural diversity in social work, 20(3), 203–222. Tyson, E. H. (2003). Rap music in social work practice with African American and Latino youth: A conceptual model with practical applications. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 8(4), 1–21. Yalom, I. D., & Leszcz, M. (2005). The theory and practice of group psychotherapy (5th Ed.). New York, NY, US: Basic Books.

15 Using arts to coproduce knowledge with service users and to enhance salutogenic coping of marginalized Bedouin youth in Israel Hassen Ganayiem, Orna Braun-Lewensohn, and Ephrat Huss Introduction The salutogenic model is a theory within positive psychology that proposes that the state of emotional and physical health of each individual is an interactive spectrum between stress and coping (Antonovsky, 1979, 1987). Antonovsky broke down the concept of coping into the ability to conceptualize the world as manageable, understandable, and meaningful. This together creates a sense of coherence (SOC), which plays an important role in the way one perceives challenges throughout life. SOC is an enduring tendency to see the world as more or less comprehensible (the internal and the external world are perceived as rational, understandable, consistent, and expected), manageable (the individual believes that s/he has the resources needed to deal with situations), and meaningful (the motivation to cope and a commitment to emotionally invest in the coping process are present) (Antonovsky, 1987). Individuals with a strong SOC will be less likely to feel threatened by stressful events and will be better equipped to adjust to them (Eriksson, Lindstrom, & Lilja, 2007). This study will explore using art to enhance salutogenic coping in marginalized Bedouin youth. Numerous studies recently published show that SOC may be considered a protective factor during adolescence and that it may contribute to moderating and mediating stress experiences (e.g. ­Moksnes, Rannestad, Byrne, & Espnes, 2011; Moksnes, Espnes, & Lillefjell, 2012). Antonovsky claimed that salutogenics can be intensified and consolidated through raising these coping elements to consciousness and through focusing attention on these three elements—manageability, comprehension, and meaning. In order to gain cultural coherence, it seems that these elements need to be situated within specific spaces and narratives so that the stress and the coping can be understood in the context of a specific sociocultural location. Arts enable metonymic description of specific situations that include a subject and their phenomenological experience of the situation, but also, the background that is the social setting within which it occurs

182  Hassen Ganayiem et al. (Huss, 2015). The arts include a component of embodied ‘doing’ that, in effect, is parallel to the management element described above. Manageability as a type of embodied aesthetics can thus include elements beyond abstract conceptualizations typical of verbal therapy (Mohanty, 2003; Huss, 2007, 2010, 2012). Figures, images, colours, materials, and more are all managed by the artist to create a narrative. Indeed, Antonovsky (1996) recommended that the salutogenic model might be applied in action research. In terms of comprehensibility, the literature on multi-literacy learning points to the arts provides a concrete and spatial interactive gestalt that can incorporate multiple elements of a stressful situation, as compared to the more linear verbal analysis (Walton, 2012). This enables the valuing of pictures of coping that have internal compositional coherence in a complex gestalt that incorporates both the stressor and the context of the stress. Art-making, explaining, and observing, by definition, so creates a space that intensifies and broadens potential understandings and meanings and enables the communication of this to others (Betinsky, 1995; Huss, 2017). Creativity thus becomes a type of ‘coping’ space in its own right, as it can embody new, integrative solutions that can include moving closer or farther away, merging, separating or changing the size and contours of shapes, and centralizing or decentralizing the overall gestalt (Huss & Cwikel, 2008; Huss, 2012). This helps to reach a more enabling meaning element that is still situated within a specific social context. Overall, the arts as an embodied language are cited as involving a complex dialogue between emotion, cognition, and the senses or body that prompts fast, perceptual processing and information gathering while inducing metabolic arousal that mobilizes the organism for managing stress (Nelson & Fivush, 2004; Hass-Cohen & Carr, 2008). In sum, the literature on multi-literacy learning points to the arts as providing a concrete and spatial interactive gestalt that can incorporate multiple elements of stress and coping as compared to the more linear verbal analysis (Walton, 2012). Also relevant to the current study, because Bedouin culture does not encourage verbal description of stress, it was decided to use an indirect method such as arts-based research that utilizes symbols and metaphors. Excavating a narrative into visual form demands more intense consideration of the experience, and situating the narrative in the spatial gestalt of figure versus background enables the stress and coping to be situated within a specific social reality. Finally, the metonymic element of art encourages one to describe specific, ‘real life’-embodied situations rather than to stay within verbal abstractions that can hide power relations and specific resources—or lack thereof—that art concretizes in a narrative within time and place. Additionally, art is also a trigger for words, for more explanation, and for elaboration. This is the rational for using arts to enhance salutogenic coping. The period of adolescence is a particularly important developmental stage since social, emotional, and cognitive processes are involved in attempts

Using arts to coproduce knowledge  183 to navigate the increasingly complex relationships encountered during these years (Damon, 2004; Blakemore & Mills, 2014). SOC is an important contribution to young people’s ability to manage or regulate their feelings and to control their emotions and/or avoid being overwhelmed by them (­Garnefski, Kraaij, & Spinhoven, 2001). Youth living in social marginalization and deep poverty are even more challenged to cross the developmental milestones of adolescence successfully, and thus, need to enhance salutogenic coping even more. The indigenous Bedouin youth in Israel, our target population in this study, are an example of marginalized, impoverished youth that live in unrecognized villages in the Negev desert in tin huts with a lack of basic electricity, water, and health care and schools that are understaffed and far away from their villages. The community deals with tensions of rapid cultural transition and ongoing conflict over land ownership with the state of Israel that leads to regular demolishment of illegal houses (Meir, 1997; Porat, 2009). The first aim of this intervention is to coproduce knowledge about how marginalized Bedouin youth phenomenologically self-define the stressors and salutogenic coping in their lives, in the context of their rapid cultural transition, deep poverty, and marginalization. The second aim is an empowerment and enrichment intervention meant to enhance their salutogenic coping through drawing and talking about it together in a shared-­ reality group. The third methodological aim is to see how the arts help in concretizing salutogenic coping.

Arts methods In this intervention, we asked 40 fifteen-year-old Bedouin village youth to draw images and written explanations of ‘A day that went bad and how I fixed it’. First, the central stressors were defined, and secondly, the solutions of meaning, manageability, and comprehensibility were outlined. These central themes of stress and coping were then visually shown back to the youth and to additional groups to further elucidate and define, and thus enhance, the stressors and the coping through discussing the images and solutions of meaning, manageability, and comprehensibility. The youth self-defined the problems and solutions through images, and then, further discussed and interpreted them with the help of the first author who is an Arab psychologist within the school. Ethical considerations Because this intervention is aimed at coproducing knowledge, this research received University and Ministry of Education ethics clearance. All identifying elements of the youths’ images and conversations were anonymized, and all of the youth signed consent to partake in the study, also an empowerment and enrichment intervention. It is important to state that this

184  Hassen Ganayiem et al. research is part of a larger funded body of research on arts-based methods to enhance salutogenic coping of Bedouin youth.

Findings Themes Stress between home-study demands: Contextual analysis The largest stressor around studies was the conflict between demands to help at home and the need for time to study. The Bedouin family relies on children to maintain the household, animals, and farming; this is the traditional responsibility of the children, expressing the value of the family as a collective, self-supporting unit. Thus, letting the children, especially girls, study is in conflict with this value (Meir, 1997). Examples of this theme are as follows: Participant: ‘A good day is when I can study; it becomes bad when my father has many visitors in the men’s tent. I have to prepare a lot of food, and I have to go and get water or clean the tent or look after animals. I can’t study, and I don’t know in advance when guests will come, and if it’s an evening before an exam, I cannot study.’ Participant: ‘A good day is when the internet works, and I can do homework; a bad day, most days, is when it doesn’t.’ These school-related stressors were visually described using pictures of the school building, of school books, of exam situations, and of pages being split in two, with one side home and one side work. Environmental stressors In addition to the systematic destruction of illegally built houses in the villages by the government (see literature survey), another related problem is lack of road infrastructure and cheap cars that, together with a macho-style driving culture, leads to many fatal car accidents. Also, due to political conflict, the police are not a resource to create safety, but rather, are another danger. Another difficulty in a situation such as an accident is reaching health resources, as the villages do not have healthcare centres. All of these create a very dangerous environment greatly lacking in resources. Examples of this theme are as follows: Participant: ‘A bad day is in the winter when a flood starts. There are no buses to school, and we are stuck at home. No one leaves. I miss exams and other important things because I have to wait until we can leave.’

Using arts to coproduce knowledge  185 Participant: ‘A bad day is in a desert storm when the tin roof flew off the house, and we couldn’t do anything. Only in the morning could we fix it.’ Participant: ‘A bad day is, of course, a death in the family. My ­ rother-in-law died in a car accident.’ b This theme was described with pictures of accidents, floods, and wild animals. As stated, after enabling the youth to self-define their stress themes, we created images of these themes and focus groups of how to cope with these stressors. Enhancing salutogenic coping through discussing solutions to these stressors Manageability solutions Using indirect methods to manage conflict. Participant: ‘Sometimes I fix the day by saying that I have a headache so that I can’t help at home, and then I go to my room to prepare homework.’ Containing negative emotions so as not to burden the already burdened family. One participant said, ‘I choose to walk away in order to calm down.’ Another explained, A relative was in an accident. I left school immediately to go home and be with my parents, but I chose not to talk to anyone. I took a few hours to be silent. I didn’t want to make it harder on my family. It is important to understand that these indirect methods connect to the values of a collective culture where maintaining the status quo is vital. While, from the outside this looks like lack of management, it in fact demands intense self-control of feelings and an ability to indirectly influence the system without direct confrontation. Using meanings and comprehensions. The first meaning level was the clear comprehension that success at school will provide an exit from poverty. This gave meaning to managing the problem. Participant: ‘We find a solution, we study into the night because we have a wish to succeed—it is meaningful, study is our gate to a better future.’ Participant: ‘I did not fight with my father so I could stay in school. Studies will be my gate into the world; I have to succeed.’ This follows the literature on the transition of the Bedouin to modernization, where study becomes a key entry point. However, interestingly, comprehension solutions to this entry to modernity are derived from meaningful

186  Hassen Ganayiem et al. people, such as the elders and the sheik and prayer, and not from school or the ‘Western’ knowledge bases they are trying to acquire, for example: Participant: ‘I listen to older people in the tribe and see how they manage.’ Participant: ‘I listened to our family; I stayed away from the police.’ Participant: ‘I drew a mosque because this gives me strength.’ Participant: ‘I understood that this was his fate, to die in an accident.’ This can be explained because of the tension with the dominant society. The youth turned to people in their tribes with traditional knowledge and to religious leaders to create meaning. Often, religious leaders and elders will provide emotional, as well as physical, support in such a situation. Interestingly, we see that meaning and comprehension are thus in tension with the manageability solution of entering modernity through studies. We see that drawing the situations and then discussing the images enabled the verbalization of ways of managing these stressors in the shared reality of the group. The youth themselves were the experts on defining the stressors and the solutions. They managed these stressors by using indirect methods of persuasion and confrontation so as to respect home demands, but also to study, that is, by negotiating dual levels of responsibility rather than choosing only one. This is in contrast to Western ways of solving problems with more direct confrontation, especially between adolescents and adults. Another way they managed stressors was by internalizing and hiding negative feelings. Again, this is in contrast to Western ways of managing stress, where externalization of feelings is recommended. However, it served to maintain family harmony and not to overburden systems without resources. Thus, emotional self-regulation was very important. They tried to understand these stressors by understanding that education will help them transcend poverty and by turning to traditional elders and family members for advice (rather than turning to representatives of the dominant culture). The youth created meaning out of these stressors, by turning to religion, again, rather than turning to representatives of the dominant culture such as school, police, and health practitioners.

Discussion Through the use of arts as a method to understand and enhance socially contextualized salutogenic coping, the youth were able to situate their phenomenological experiences within concrete situations in their day-to-day life through drawing specific situations and using visual symbols. This emotional, phenomenological experience, for example, of the dichotomy between traditional and Western culture or between school and home responsibilities, was described through compositional elements such as dividing lines, symbolizing a distancing of the self and physical rather than

Using arts to coproduce knowledge  187 verbal proximity to family as closeness, even if these feelings are not verbalized. Emotion was expressed in colour. Meaning structures, such as school, the family, or the mosque, were expressed in places and objects rather than in abstract terms. If the management of emotions includes learning not to talk about them so as not to disrupt the fragile harmony and coping within the system, then these forms of coping may be lost if one is verbally asked to describe one’s feelings in verbal interviews, as the youth will reply that everything is ‘okay’. Thus, the arts helped to intensify and ‘bring out’ both the stressors and the ways of coping with them. The arts enabled the youth to work with stressors and coping and with the three elements of sense of coherence—meaning, manageability, and ­comprehensibility—as a complex, cyclical interactive process that both separates and defines each element while also showing its relationship to the other elements. This may be what creates ‘synchronicity’ or ‘sense of coherence’ in Antonovsky’s terms (1979). The arts were shown to have inherent salutogenic elements, connected to the levels of art materials, compositional elements, and discussion of the art product that embody and enhance management, meaning, and comprehensibility within specific social contexts. Manageability is created firstly on a ‘here and now’-embodied level through managing the art materials and managing the content and compositional level. Art-making enables control as it helps one self-define the problem and ‘take action’ of drawing. It also depicts the issue that is troubling as situated within reality, as a spatial concept that has a figure but also with a background (i.e., studies are the subject, drawn in the social background of having to do housework). ‘Managing’ is shown by drawing the varied components of the experience (emotions, thought, and actions) and giving them concrete depictions to help organize them. Observing and explaining the image, further enhancing comprehension and meaning making, is intensified in a shared reality group. In the focus group section, the focus on salutogenic coping expressed in the task ‘What do you do to solve this?’ or drawing ‘How I fixed this’ both help to further imagine actions, meanings, and understandings used. The arts became a methodology following the aims of postcolonial research methods and feminist empowerment interventions to show how people actively cope in the context of a concrete lack of resources, rather than staying within abstract concepts that disconnect people from environment and describe him/her as weak or pathological (Brington & Lykes, 1996; Tuhiwai-Smith, 1999; Mohanty, 2003; Theron & Theron, 2010). This intervention, while empowering for the youth, also co-creates culturally relevant knowledge for social work on macro and micro levels. On the policy level, the state can provide more outreach to make civic structures such as police, hospitals, and educational elements less threatening to the youth. Schools can provide more homework support, so that the youth are not in a divide between home and school. On the micro social work level

188  Hassen Ganayiem et al. Table 15.1  Project protocol Materials


Time frame People, amount of participants Skills

Potential pitfalls

Other users

Wax crayons that are easy to carry and that can draw lines and fill in areas are basic, but all of the following materials can be used: fine line markers (assorted colours), oil pastels, poster paints, medium sized acrylic brushes, watercolour and drawing paper, construction/print paper (assorted colours), palette container, water container, masking tape, flip chart paper. This project took place in school, but the drawing activity can be undertaken individually, in small groups, or in large group and only needs a table or hard area to do a quick drawing. Depending on how long it is discussed, it can be a trigger for a long discussion, or it can be a short drawing activity. Variable. Creating a directive that focuses first on drawing a problem, and then, on adding a solution to the same drawing. This can be adjusted to different cultures. Here, we used a good day that went bad and then how I fixed it, but the theme can be defined in different ways for different age groups. Drawing can be a strange language. There exists a need to explain the aim of drawing as a trigger for a discussion and for generating new perspectives on the problem and harnessing creativity for the solution. With all researchers in social work in all individual, group, and community settings, it can be used as an informal evaluation of problems and solutions or as a group intervention.

of intervention, indirect methods of coping, as well as meaning structures such as religion and traditional knowledge, can be understood as sources of strength and manageability, rather than turning to Westernized coping styles and meaning levels (Table 15.1).

References Antonovsky, A. (1979). Health, stress, and coping: New perspectives on mental and physical well-being. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Therapy. Antonovsky, A. (1987). Unravelling the mystery of health: How people manage stress and stay well. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Antonovsky, A. (1996). The salutogenic model as a theory to guide health promotion. Health Promotion International, 11(1), 11–18. Betinsky, M. (1995). What do you see? Phenomenology of therapeutic art experience. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley. Blakemore, S. J., & Mills, K. L. (2014). Is adolescence a sensitive period for sociocultural processing? Annual Review of Psychology, 65, 187–207. Brington, C., & Lykes, M. (1996). Myths about the powerless: Contesting social inequalities. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Using arts to coproduce knowledge  189 Damon, W. (2004). What is positive youth development? The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591(1), 13–24. Eriksson, M., Lindstrom, B., & Lilja, J. (2007). A sense of coherence and health. Salutogenesis in a societal context: Aland, a special case? Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 61, 684–688. Garnefski, N., Kraaij, V. & Spinhoven, P. (2001). Negative life events, cognitive emotion regulation, and emotional problems. Personality and Individual Differences, 30, 1311–1327. Hass-Cohen, N., & Carr, R. (Eds.). (2008). Art therapy and clinical neuroscience. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Huss, E. (2007). Symbolic spaces: Marginalized Bedouin women’s art as self-­ expression. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 47(3), 306–319. Huss, E. (2010). A social-critical reading of indigenous women’s art: The use of visual data to ‘show’ rather than ‘tell’ of the intersection of different layers of oppression. In S. Levine & E. Levine (Eds.), Arts and Social change (pp. 15–21). London, UK: Jessica Kingsley. Huss, E. (2012). What we see and what we say: Using images in research, therapy, empowerment, and social change. London, UK: Rutledge. Huss, E. (2015). A theory based approach to art therapy. London, UK: Routledge. Huss, E. (2017). Arts as a methodology for connecting between micro and macro knowledge in social work: Examples of impoverished Bedouin women’s images in Israel. The British Journal of Social Work, 48(1), 73–87. Huss, E., & Cwikel, J. (2008). Embodied drawings as expressions of distress among impoverished single Bedouin mothers. Archives of Women’s Mental Health, 11(2), 137–147. Meir, A. (1997). As nomadism ends. Denver, CO: Westview Press. Mohanty, C. T. (2003). Under Western eyes: Feminist scholarship and colonial discourses. In R. Lewis, & S. Mills (Eds.), Feminist postcolonial theory: A reader. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press. Moksnes, U. K., Espnes, G. A., & Lillefjell, M. (2012). Sense of coherence and emotional health in adolescents. Journal of Adolescents, 35(2), 433–441. Moksnes, U. K., Rannestad, T., Byrne, D. B., & Espnes, G. A. (2011). The association between stress, sense of coherence and subjective health complaints in adolescents: Sense of coherence as a potential moderator. Stress and Health: Journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress, 27(3), 157–165. Nelson, K., & Fivush, R. (2004). The emergence of autobiographical memory: A social cultural developmental theory. Psychological Review, 111(2), 486–511. Porat, H. (2009). The Bedouin in the Negev between nomadism and sedentarization 1948–1973. Beer Sheva, Israel: Ben Gurion. Theron, L. C., & Theron, A. (2010). A critical review of studies of South African youth resilience, 1990-2008. South African Journal of Science, 106(7–8), 1–8. Tuhiwai-Smith, L. (1999). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples. London, UK: Zed Books Ltd. Walton, P. (2012). Beyond talk and text: An expressive visual arts method for social work education. Social Work Education, 31(6), 724–741.

16 Using arts to engage community Nepal and Canadian experiences Marleny M. Bonnycastle and Tuula Heinonen Introduction In this chapter, we will share our stories and experiences of integrating arts into social work education in two different contexts: Nepal and ­Canada. Through the narratives we share, we will discuss how we used arts in two different settings: with groups of people affected by physical and social–environmental issues, such as natural disasters and armed conflicts, and in the other, with students learning about practice and inquiry in social work. In both settings, arts-based methods were used as pedagogic strategies to engage students in critical thinking, learning social work values and theory, as well as developing skills for their future professional practice. One of the authors of this chapter, Marleny, developed a workshop in Kathmandu with Nepal School of Social Work students and instructors who were impacted by two mega-earthquakes in 2015. This type of workshop is highly relevant for social work education today; both climate changes and the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development have required new roles of social workers to support vulnerable populations affected by environmental events due to climate change (Drolet, Sampson, Jebaraj, & Richard, 2014). Social work education needs to be strengthened to help students to work with communities impacted by natural disasters. In her workshop, Marleny included the use of different visual art forms, including drawing and collage, that helped social workers and students cope with their experiences and build possibilities to contribute to their community in its recovery and healing. Next to a description and reflection on the workshop, she also reflected on the question of how social work education can use the arts to prepare students to provide responses and engage communities after emergencies. This narrative is sketched from Marleny’s Latin American social work perspective, built on the roots of participatory action research (PAR), ‘praxis’ (action–reflection–action), and popular (‘ordinary and grassroots people’) education (knowledge for action) (Kane, 2001). Both PAR and popular education promote collective production of knowledge from learners’ stories and daily lives using, ‘community arts … [to release]

Using arts to engage community  191 collective imagination about other ways of being’ (Barndt, 2011, p. 10). In doing so, learners are encouraged to take action. The other author, Tuula, teaches social work practice and inquiry courses that make use of the arts for expression, practice, and community-based research applications as well as for professional development. These experiences have inspired and informed her experiences in teaching and practice and will be discussed using various examples. From our two accounts, we will identify several themes that emerged from these experiences. These reflect the use of the arts in social work education in ways that can be recognized by diverse social workers across borders, cultures, groups, and fields of social work. Enriching the social work profession (Sinding & Barnes, 2015), as well as our pedagogical approaches in social work, can help our students to develop and use their own creative capacities in visual and other non-verbal forms of communication (Stevenson & Orr, 2013). Use of these arts-based methods can foster inclusive interventions for those who cannot express themselves easily through verbal communication.

Nepal experience: Art workshop The main purpose of the art workshop was to increase participants’ capacities to provide post-earthquake responses and engage their community using community engagement approaches such as arts-based activities. The participants included both social work educators and students of the Nepal School of Social Work who were involved in rescuing and supporting activities in communities affected by earthquakes. The workshop had three objectives: (1) to use the art workshop to help participants debrief and cope with the impact and experiences of the earthquake; (2) to demonstrate the use of arts-based activities to help increase people’s resilience and build hope; and (3) to develop a plan for an arts-based workshop to train teachers and communities to work with children affected by the earthquake. I (Marleny) used a variety of arts-based methods to help participants in their current situation to deeply reflect on where they came from, to get to know one another, and to take opportunities to explore their own self-awareness. To help with the first objective, I used Tymothy Pyrch’s ‘tree of life’ metaphor in an individual and collective activity (2012, p. 106). This activity involves creating a visual conception of one’s life in the form of a tree that is used to help participants to connect with their natural environment (Linton, 2017). Participants were invited to create their own tree of life using items they chose from a variety of supplied art materials. The tree of life metaphor uses the entire tree. The roots represent the family, from which we come, the strong influences which have shaped us into the person we are now and the traditions of one’s family. The trunk and branches represent the structure of our life today including job, school, family, organizations,

192  Marleny M. Bonnycastle and Tuula Heinonen communities, and movements to which the person belongs. The leaves represent our sources of information. The fruits represent our achievements at different levels. Finally, the buds represent our hopes for the future. Drawing their trees helped participants to identify their strengths, and it strengthened the internal resources that enhance their healing and recovery (Graham-Pole & Lander, 2009; Kalmanowitz, 2016). Creating the tree also helped participants to locate themselves within their own environments and to reflect on the use of arts in healing. The method enabled participants to build critical awareness and a sense of community significance through dialogue with others. During the workshop, they also found connections between their trees and their experiences of working with earthquake-affected people. For example, they were able to compare their strengths and reflect on the resilience and survival skills of the individuals and communities they helped. They were hopeful to be able to continue contributing to people and therefore outlined ideas to use the tree of life as a ‘critical visual’ (Marino, 1997) to mobilize and integrate action with affected communities. The following picture shows a collage depicting the drawings of trees of some participants (Figure 16.1). In the same workshop, I used ‘appreciative inquiry’ to ask questions while participants presented their ‘tree of life’ to the rest of participants. Their presentations provided an opportunity to draw on successful experiences of their lives that they wished to share. The rest of the group learned and appreciated more about the presenters. Social work instructors and students spoke about their strengths and assets such as their families, their Nepali identity, their regional-ethnic identity, and/or their feelings of being ‘a citizen of the world’. Participants also spoke about their career aspirations and goals, as well as their current achievements in different areas of their life, such as hobbies and raising children. Together, we highlighted these personal factors and characteristics that might help the presenters to be social workers and to support others. Throughout the presentations, I used appreciative questions to create the bridge between their tree of life and possible future roles in using arts-based activities with children. The three questions were ‘Without being humble, please tell us what you value about yourself?’; ‘Tell us about how you would define success after experiencing the earthquake and supporting communities?’; and ‘What factors contributed to the success you described?’ It became obvious by the end of the exercise that the ‘tree of life’ concept could potentially be an effective arts approach for inviting people to reconnect with self, reflect on and appreciate who they are, where they came from, and visualize possibilities of hope for themselves and others. In this case, the appreciative inquiry approach (Cooperrider & ­W hitney, 2000) helped participants’ own recovery and helped to build on their strengths and assets for the future. Appreciative inquiry philosophy and ­ ositive methodology takes the idea of social construction of reality to its p extreme with an emphasis on relational ways of knowing, as well as on

Using arts to engage community  193

Figure 16.1  P  articipants’ trees of life. (Photo taken by M. Bonnycastle.)

language. It argues that there is a tendency in our cultures to personalize the deficiencies in life.  Victimization is the dominant representation of people affected by ­disasters; it portrays them as passive victims. ­Little ­documentation is ­available on survivors of natural disasters (Larson, ­Drolet, & Samuel, 2013) or people affected by armed conflict that focuses on their success and the factors that contributed to their success (Kollontai, 2010). Appreciative inquiry builds on generative questions to explore the ­participants’ best experiences instead of focusing on their struggles and ­issues. It is based on the constructive principles of the appreciative inquiry ­approach, that ‘the way we know affects our actions’ (Cooperrider & Whitney, 2000, p. 17).

194  Marleny M. Bonnycastle and Tuula Heinonen In terms of the second objective, to demonstrate the use of arts-based activities to help increase people’s resilience and build hope, I asked participants to visually represent and create questions regarding children living in the earthquake-affected areas. The purpose of this exercise went beyond seeking general information. Its intent was to generate group conversations and use questions as generative and therapeutic interventions (McGee, Vento, & Bavelas, 2005). The questions helped participants to interact during the group activity while the drawings helped them illustrate their experiences in providing earthquake relief services and the emotions and stories that come with it. The workshop also included learners reflecting on how the use of arts allowed them to draw on their own individual strengths and provided a forum to discuss challenges of trying to work together. Though at times, they mentioned that they felt at a loss for ideas, the participants commented that completing this task enabled them to reflect more deeply on their own personal experiences. They also liked the use of art materials to express their feelings and comments. The group dynamic changed from the start of the workshop, where they seemed more reserved, than later in the activity. Many participants opened up to the group and shared personal stories and experiences working in earthquake relief. Comments from participants included ‘Feeling more connected to myself’; ‘Feeling broken at the time but now stronger for having gone through it’; ‘Inspired to do new work’; ‘I feel inspired to organize future sessions like this one’; ‘I’m reflecting on what knowledge I didn’t have before, and now I realize what I didn’t know’; ‘Everyone has a different perspective.’ We can learn from the ways in which we are different to others. For example, some people see things in a positive way while others don’t; and ‘I have learned how to be realistic about the goals that we have for the community.’ The development of a plan for an arts-based workshop to train teachers and communities to work with children affected by the earthquake was our third objective. It seemed useful to help participants understand the theoretical foundations of arts-based approaches in social work, particularly on how the arts in social work practice can be helpful in working with children. As a start, I gave a formal lecture on the topic, ‘Using art to help children in coping and building dreams’. This touched on many key areas, including the impacts of war and natural disasters on children, the purposes or aims of using arts-based activities, and an introduction to holistic arts-based work for children (Coholic, 2010). I then introduced various art books and educational materials with art exercises and games to help participants work on an intervention that focused on the development of workshops with teachers and communities. I included a video presentation, Arts Based Group Work with Children (Coholic, n.d.). Then, participants were organized in groups to discuss different intervention options, such as using dance, visual arts, and music to help children process trauma experienced from the earthquake. Many of their group activities seemed to focus on making others feel loved and respected, highlighting the similarities

Using arts to engage community  195 between children and their peers and thus breaking down barriers between ‘us and them’. Finally, I discussed the need to focus on long-term community development strategies based on needs analysis and a strengths approach (Saleebey, 2006). Sometimes, working in a post-disaster climate can cause people to feel disempowered or victimized. I showed how art activities allow people to express themselves freely and to look towards the future without being labelled. To aid this discussion, I used creative activities that focused on how children might create visual representations and find their own words to name their feelings, putting some distance between them and their feelings (Kalmanowitz, 2016). The participants discussed the importance of focusing on the resilience of people and the collective knowledge of the community, rather than on their vulnerabilities and weaknesses. To end, I closed the workshop with an art exercise using the pieces they created during this event; with their artwork in their hands, participants talked about their experience and the potential use of arts in their future community practice.

Canadian experience: Education and practice application The arts in social work education Academic social work education has not traditionally included creative methods such as drawing, painting, poetry, narrative, photography, drama, and music in the curriculum. However, this has changed with the rising interest shown in exploring and integrating the arts into social work practice and education (e.g., Boehm & Boehm, 2003; Conrad & Sinner, 2015; Sinding & Barnes, 2015). Below, I (Tuula) reflect on my experiences and views as a social work educator about how various arts-based media and methods have contributed to my teaching and learning with our social work students. I have been able to draw on my art therapy and art history education and on 25 years of social work teaching in Canada and abroad. Over the years, I found that many social work students possess s­ ignificant, creative experience or capacity, even if they have not applied it in their studies. I have also recognized that in social work, there is much room for creative approaches in practice and research. Supporting and offering ­opportunities for students to explore and critically reflect on creative ­expression through class exercises can generate powerful insights and heightened awareness of the ­potential uses of the arts in various fields of social work. Providing a range of resources, tools, and techniques helps students to learn about ­potential practice and research applications. It enables social work students to appreciate and understand the use of arts-based methods in various practice fields and with different groups of people for whom they provide s­ ervices. For ­example, the promotion of well-being and belonging for youth in transition between adolescence and adulthood can be assisted by theatre, ­video-making, photography, painting, or music. The creative arts offer h ­ elpful channels for youngsters to

196  Marleny M. Bonnycastle and Tuula Heinonen express emotions such as anger, hurt, frustration, and joy (Furman, Coyne, & Negi, 2008; Skudrzyk et al., 2009). Creative methods for practice: An exercise During courses about social work practice and use of creative methods, undergraduate social work students took part in making a group collage and drew from their knowledge of violation, fear, rage, and oppression to select a problem or issue they thought called for social transformation. Deep discussion and interactive creative activity helped the group members learn about themselves as individuals and about other group members in relation to their views on the issue they selected. Through the collage process, they developed strategies for working together to change the issue to a better scenario. Once the collages were completed, some groups chose to act them out, sharing their ideas through poetry, movement, or theatre in powerful and poignant performances. Classroom exercises like these constitute powerful learning experiences that are not easily forgotten. They invoke deep emotion ‘from the gut’ and active participation, offering enduring knowledge from experience that can empower, not only those who present the collages, but also those who participate as observers. Many students commented that the collage exercise was one of the most meaningful learning experiences they had participated in during their social work studies. In another social work and creative methods class, students participated in a dynamic painting exercise in which they moved with paint-saturated brushes around a large table. They followed commands from a guide who instructed them on when to speed up or to slow down while holding the paintbrushes as they moved in unison around the table. This exercise took place at a community centre that provided services to people who had experiences with mental health services. The exercise showed the students what it was like for those living with mental illness to hear voices they feel compelled to obey. The students who participated were able to make connections between the controlling voices and their own feelings about being controlled. The exercise helped them to understand the effects of mental illness, a topic relevant to the students in preparation for social work practice. Students noted their emotions as they followed the instruction of the voice that told them to move slowly or quickly. Although engagement in the exercise was far more important than the product of the art-making, the painting that resulted was a powerful metaphor for what the students learned, and many wanted to have a photograph of the painting to remember the experience. To them, the long, colourful painting was a vivid reminder of what hearing voices and being controlled felt like for those who experienced such symptoms as part of their mental illness (Figure 16.2). The two class exercises described above provided expressive learning opportunities for the social work students and generated meaningful discussion

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Figure 16.2  E  voked emotion in painted colours. (Photo taken by T. Heinonen.)

of applications to practice, for example, when working with youth involved in the criminal justice system or those living with mental illness. Arts-informed social work in research The use of the arts in qualitative research can add additional insights that may not be possible through interviews. Arts-informed methods in social work research primarily involve photography (e.g., Bonnycastle & Bonnycastle, 2015), although other creative methods such as poetry, drawing, collage, and theatre can also be used. In this chapter, it is possible to discuss only one arts-based application used in a Master of Social Work course in

198  Marleny M. Bonnycastle and Tuula Heinonen which I was a co-instructor. It focused on bringing several forms of the arts into qualitative social work inquiry. In the course, students worked on and completed individual collages using mixed media on an 8.5 × 11 inch-sized piece of cardboard. They applied magazine images, adding oil pastel strokes and embellishment with other materials to visually depict a social work topic of interest to them. This art work took some time to produce, as the students explored the materials and the ways they could combine and position them together on their collage surface. Once the students completed their individual collages, each wrote a page about what their collage art piece meant to them. Finally, they highlighted or underlined those words on their written page which had invoked the most powerful or significant meanings for them. These words were then extracted and re-assembled into a poetic text by the students. Butler-Kisber (2010) was the inspiration for this exercise. One of the students, whose first language was not English, chose to write her narrative and poetic text in her native language. None of the other students or the instructors understood her poem, and we asked if she could translate it. She did so with some disappointment because, as she said, the power was ‘sucked’ out of the poem when it was translated. All the students who participated in the exercise were moved by what they learned and could see how words that were significant to an author could be re-­configured and distilled into a poem or poetic text. The most powerful account was described by the student who used her own first language to produce the writing and poetic text. I noted that the significance of language and one’s place in a social, cultural, and historical setting is often central to creative expression. This same exercise was introduced to a graduate class of students in Finland who were in a number of human service fields. The topic was different, but the impact of collage with individual narratives and what can be termed ‘found poetry’ (Butler-Kisber, 2010), or the selection of text for poetic writing, was strong. Just as occurred in Canada, the Finnish students experienced new insights and perspectives that enhanced their research process. Arts-based methods could be a useful topic across graduate social work programs internationally, opening vibrant and creative pathways in qualitative research. Whether through poetry, visual expression, or other creative modes, there is much to explore and understand about creative research processes and their impacts at individual and collective levels.

Themes Depth and strength in expression The arts help to create a supportive space for expression and reflection. As pedagogical approaches, they facilitate depth and strengths to express oneself, demand group dialogue, and use participants’ personal experience. It is a place where participants can safely explore their own voices and

Using arts to engage community  199 expression. The arts help to create space for problematizing and dialogue (Freire, 1970), as well to generate empathy and to understand others. The experiences described here showed evidence of this kind of safe space for deep individual and collective insights and expression. Effects and outcomes through experiential learning The focus of employing these approaches in social work education is on helping students develop skills in using arts for both the process of discovery of their clients’ needs and strengths and for the engagement of clients in developing strategies to work on their needs. This chapter examines both examples of the use of arts as experiential learning (Cramer, Ryosho, & Nguyen, 2012) and their outcomes. The tree of life helped Nepali participants to discover themselves and release their emotions while drawing and presenting their trees. Then, in groups, they could design workshops with children. For the Canadian participants, the different art experiences, such as drawing, collage, drama, and poetry, helped with their exploration of issues and presentations of them. Empowerment and power An approach for healing and change reaches beyond the art itself. It is about the participants discovering themselves. It is about using one’s control and power to help gain insight and valuing oneself, to strengthen the capacity to act in interactions with others (Leonardsen, 2007) and to become agents of one’s own healing and action. The above examples have showed how the arts have helped participants to feel empowered by increasing their capacity to talk about themselves, be sensitive of others, build awareness, and discover who they are and what their needs are. Sharing their art work created the safe conditions to make personal and collective changes and retain control over their own lives. Self-reflection and insights: Application for innovation and improved outcomes Students at different levels and with a range of social work experiences developed their knowledge and skills through participatory, arts-based learning. For many, the experiences they took from the courses were essentially professional development, as many were already practicing social work. They wanted to broaden and deepen their knowledge, while critically assessing what the arts as a vehicle could offer them for their work. Students also explored their own social locations, their personal and professional values, and their ethical stances. Through this process, insights and ideas that could be applied to social work practice or inquiry were generated through arts-based individual and group exercises and class discussions.

200  Marleny M. Bonnycastle and Tuula Heinonen Reflexivity and learning The act of reflection and action through the arts sets in motion a process of reflexivity that often enriches professionals’ practice and inquiry repertoires. These continue to be honed with further experience through application, ­innovation, and adaptation (e.g., Boehm & Boehm, 2003; Furman et  al., 2008). To promote reflexivity, it is important to receive supervision and/or peer ­support when using arts-based methods, which in turn, enhances practice and research and improves social work processes and outcomes for those who receive services. The arts can be employed as a means for practitioners to practice self-reflexivity and to continuously question their own practice in order to include their clients’ knowledge. In both settings, arts-based methods were employed as pedagogical strategies to engage students in critical thinking, learning about social work values and theories, and the development of skills for their future professional practice.

Conclusion The two projects described in this chapter depict experiential activities in very different country-specific situations and cultural contexts. A common thread that weaves through the arts-based projects is the focus on coping, healing, and strength in the human spirit to survive and thrive despite challenges, stresses, and worries of what is to come. From this work, we learned more about the capacity to build community with those who understand and support one another through lived experiences they know well (Table 16.1). Table 16.1  Project protocol Materials

Wax crayons, fine line markers (assorted colours), oil pastels, poster paints, medium sized acrylic brushes, watercolour and drawing paper, construction/print paper (assorted colours), palette container, water container, masking tape, flip chart paper. Setting Community centre, school, social service meeting room with small removable tables and chairs or outdoor space with tables and benches. Time frame Two hour sessions, half-day workshops, or longer, more sustained time frame for a sequence of activities. People, amount of From 5 to 20 persons. participants Skills Capacity to imagine, use materials, and describe arts-based projects. Potential pitfalls Fear of not having talent in art, lack of experience in using materials, or mistrust of usefulness of art process. Other users Students, educators, social work professionals, community animators, organization managers.

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References Barndt, D. (2011). VIVA: Community arts and popular education in the Americas. Toronto, ON: Between the Lines. Bonnycastle, M. M., & Bonnycastle, C. R. (2015). Photographs generate knowledge: Reflections on experiential learning in/outside the social work classroom. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 35(3), 233–250. Boehm, A., & Boehm, E. (2003). Community theatre as a means of empowerment in social work: A case study of women’s community theatre. Journal of Social Work, 3(3), 283–300. Butler-Kisber, L. (2010). Qualitative inquiry: Thematic, narrative and arts-informed perspectives. London, UK: Sage. Coholic, D. (2010). Arts activities for children and young people in need: Helping ­children to develop mindfulness, spiritual awareness, and self-esteem. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley. Coholic, D. (n.d.). Arts-based group work with children. Video retrieved on August 13, 2017 from: Conrad, C., & Sinner, A. (Eds.). (2015). Creating together: ­Participatory, communitybased and collaborative arts practices and scholarship across Canada. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Cooperrider, D., & Whitney, D. (2000). A positive revolution in change: Appreciative inquiry. In D. L. Cooperrider, P. F. J. Sorensen, D. Whitney, & T. F. Yaeger (Eds.), Appreciative inquiry: Rethinking human organization toward a positive theory of change. Champaign, IL: Atipes Publishing L.L.C. Cramer, E. P., Ryosho, N., & Nguyen, P. V. (2012). Using experiential exercises to teach about diversity, oppression, and social justice. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 32(1), 1–13. Drolet, J., Sampson, T., Jebaraj, D. P., & Richard, L. (2014). Social work and environmentally induced displacement: A commentary. Refugee Studies, 29(2), 55–62. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin. Furman, R., Coyne, A., & Negi, N. J. (2008). An international experience for social work students: Self-reflection through poetry and journal writing exercises. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 28(1), 71–85. Graham-Pole, J., & Lander, D. (2009). Metaphors of loss and transition: An appreciative inquiry. Arts & Health, 1(1), 74–88. Kalmanowitz, D. (2016). Inhabited studio: Art therapy and mindfulness, resilience, adversity and refugees. International Journal of Art Therapy, 21(2), 75–84. Kane, L. (2001). Popular education and social change in Latin America. London, UK: Latin America Bureau. Kollontai, P. (2010). Healing the heart in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Art, children, and peacemaking. International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, 15(3), 261–271. Larson, G., Drolet, J., & Samuel, M. (2015). The role of self-help groups in post-­ tsunami rehabilitation. International Social Work, 58(5), 732–742. Leonardsen, D. (2007). Empowerment in social work: An individual vs. a relational perspective. International Journal of Social Welfare, 16(1), 3–11. Linton, J. (2017). A natural response to a natural disaster: The art of crisis in Nepal. Canadian Art Therapy Association Journal, 30(1), 31–40. Marino, D. (1997). Wild garden: Art, education, and the culture of resistance. ­Toronto, ON: Between the Lines.

202  Marleny M. Bonnycastle and Tuula Heinonen McGee, D., Vento, A. D., & Bavelas, J. B. (2005). An interactional model of questions as therapeutic interventions. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 31(4), 371–384. Pyrch, T. (2012). Breaking free: A facilitator’s guide to participatory action research practice. Calgary, AB: Timothy Pyrch Publishing. Saleebey, D. (2006). Perspectives in social work practice (4th Ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education. Skudrzyk, B., Zera, D. A., McMahon, G., Schmidt, R., Boyne, J., & Spannaus, R. L. (2009). Learning to relate: Interweaving creative approaches in group counselling with adolescents. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 4(3), 249–261. Sinding, C., & Barnes, H. (2015). Introduction. In C. Sinding & H. Barnes (Eds.), Social work artful: Beyond borders and boundaries. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Stevenson, M., & Orr, K. (2013). Art therapy: Stimulating non-verbal communication. Nursing & Residential Care, 15(6), 443–445.

Section III

Introduction Macro-level arts-based interventions in community development and societal change Eltje Bos This third section contains contributions of practices with arts-based ­activities that contribute to empowerment in communities and change (movements) on a societal level. In the theoretical section, we addressed how the arts can contribute to personal empowerment, since arts-based activities help to enhance positive emotions. This can have a positive effect on how people feel about themselves and help them to develop agency to act in the world around them. Arts-based voluntary activities can have a strong effect as they combine and connect cognition, emotion, and the senses, as is stated in the introduction to the theoretical part. So far, the literature and research on empowerment has been mainly ­directed at individual empowerment. Zimmerman (1995) distinguishes three components for individual empowerment that are further explored by other authors in community psychology (Christens, 2012). These components are (1) an emotional ­(intrapersonal) component referring to self-perceptions of one’s competence to exert influence (in the socio-political domain); (2) a cognitive ­(interactional) ­component referring to the skills and critical understandings necessary for exerting ­socio-political influence; and (3) a behavioural component referring to the actions taken to exert influence. In attempts to gain a better understanding of what happens in processes of group and civic empowerment, since this is not yet fully understood, scholars and practitioners are still in the process of conducting (empirical) research on group empowerment, as well on the level of theory as its translation into practice (Regenmortel, 2011; Christens, 2012). One of the approaches is to add another dimension to the above-mentioned concept of individual empowerment: the interactive or relational component. Christens (2012) considers this relational component to contain, ‘the psychological aspects of interpersonal transactions and processes that undergird the effective exercise of transformative power in the socio-political

204  Eltje Bos domain’ (p. 121). He specifies the constituting elements of this relational component consist (of processes) of collaborative competence, bridging social divisions, facilitating empowerment of others, mobilizing networks, passing on a legacy, and so on. Granovetter (cited in Christens, 2012) also addresses the subject of the relational or interpersonal component of empowerment: The analysis of processes in interpersonal networks provides the most fruitful micro-macro bridge. In one way or another, it is through these networks that small-scale interaction becomes translated into largescale patterns, and that these, in turn, feed back into small groups. (p. 117) The findings of the sociologist Collins (2004), although his disciplinary approach being a different one, point in the same direction. He explores how it is that being with other people, e.g. during a concert or performance, generates another energy than the one we perceive when listening to a concert or watching a play alone at home. This energy is especially fuelled when the public participates in one way or the other. Collins refers to these experiences of emotional contagion as rituals. He argues that repeated, positive ritual experiences generate emotional energy. This energy makes people think more positively about themselves and the people in their group, and from there, a feeling of solidarity arises between the group members. Moreover, they carry this emotional energy with them, even outside the context of the ritual. Similarly, Sennett (2012) points to and elaborates on the pleasures of working together in, The Rituals, Pleasures, and Politics of Cooperation (see also, Bos, 2016). Another, somewhat different angle to get a better understanding of the constituting elements of psychological, social, and civic empowerment has been taken on by the community psychologist, Maton (2008). He uses the concept of ‘empowering settings’. These settings are specific since they ­contribute at once to empowerment on the individual, group/social, and community level. Social empowerment is about acquiring effective and ­valuable social roles. This includes both individual change and change of status/role of a group. Civic empowerment can be seen as acquiring rights or the realization of goals in a broader community (Maton & Brodsky, 2011). Simultaneous empowerment on these various levels is seen by Maton as a group-based process. Based on a vast amount of research, Maton describes six dimensions of various (organizational) aspects that characterize empowering community settings: ‘group based belief system, core activities, relational environment, opportunity role structure, leadership, and setting maintenance and change’ (Maton & Brodsky, 2011, p. 8). In working with groups, the assets of the arts that we have explored in the earlier chapters also are helpful in group and community settings and in actions or movements for societal change.

Macro-level arts-based interventions  205 The impact on the brain of participating people can be strong, and in a group, can cause the ‘emotional contagion’ Collins (2004) describes. ­Garofalo (2010) explores how music and songs are used in settings to create solidarity for various political ends, also in authoritarian regimes that one wouldn’t necessarily like to support. As for solidarity, national anthems and protest songs can create solidarity, since they create a collective memory, through an embodied, emotive activity (DeNora, 2010). Also in a group or community setting, working with arts can create a transitional space between participants enabling symbolic expressions of layered feelings and ideas that can help groups and communities to explore, redefine, and eventually, recreate their realty (see also Freire, 1970; Boal, 1979). Arts-based activities can help to create or challenge a symbolic order, or belief system as we see in the contributions by Nadia Virasamy of South Africa and Griet Verschelden, Jolijn De Haene, Tijs Van Steenberghe, and Luc De Droogh of Belgium in this section. As Ephrat Huss put it in the introduction to Section II of this book, words tend to be more linear while the arts can contain multiple and conflicting meaning. In this section, we see examples of this in Australia and Sri Lanka. With use of the arts and play in the transitional space that theatre and dance offer, just by participating in this out-of-real-time-and-space activity, people can get closer (Huizinga, 1938). In many cases in community work and in processes to foster societal change, there are power issues, a person or party being more powerful, for example, because of a position in an institution, than others. In playful activities, power relations can be challenged and reversed, and even more, can help to generate humour and fun. These are important, since having a good laugh together can be very helpful in solving tensions or conflicts and can enhance collaborative learning in groups and communities (De Kreek & Bos, 2017). In this section, Shamila Sivakumaran illustrates how theatre contributes to the defining and resilience-enhancing activities in a community of fisherman in Sri Lanka. There, the power of traditional parai drum sensitized and motivated people to come together and show interest in the project. Theatre games were also played in order to have fun and open up to expressing feelings and thoughts. All of this was synthesized in theatre plays making use of the traditional drum and bodily movement to give the women voice on matters important to them and the change they want to achieve. In terms of the above-­mentioned community approaches, here the collaborative competence of the communities was activated, through the ‘emotional contagion’ by participating in music, dance, and play. The transformative power came about, the network was mobilized, the women could exchange and explore how they see their lives, and they could challenge the group-based belief system about the role of women. Nadia Virasamy writes about the work of the long-term organization, Moving into Dance, in South Africa. This organization has a multifaceted approach: it changed the idea and language of professional dance in

206  Eltje Bos South  Africa by giving youngsters from townships the opportunity for a dance career while also introducing the idiom of traditional dance forms. In outreach community building activities and projects, they engaged many children, and they provided a platform for dance to enable disabled people to engage in movement, while also questioning the concept of disability. So there, through dance under Apartheid, MID was in itself a resilient ‘empowering setting’ with a group-based belief system that a dancing company with youngsters from underprivileged areas could be established. They also challenged and reshaped the belief system of the broader society on the possibilities of black dancers and the traditional dance idiom. The MID community was and is a space of agency, where dominant narratives are countered and rephrased by the shapes of movement. The MID community maintains and passes on its legacy to new generations. Griet Verschelden, Jolijn De Haene, Tijs Van Steenberghe, and Luc De Droogh write about Brussels’s System_D film festival which strives, with the help of social workers, to give a(n artistic) answer to a political problem, the ‘heated’ neighbourhoods in Brussels, and more specifically, the under-­ representation of the stories of the youngsters in the media. Once in ­contact with the young people from these areas, the professionals of System_D realised that the youngsters already voiced and depicted their experiences and stories, but these products weren’t heard or seen. So, they decided to provide for a setting (a relational environment) where the skills and creative products of the youngsters were appreciated and given a platform. In doing so, the artistic products of the youngster could play a role in challenging and redefining a dominant vision in society of what they think and do. Bala Raju Nikku, Pradipta Kadambari, and Anne Riggs explore how visual art and theatre tools were applied in communities during social work interventions of post-2015 earthquake disasters in Nepal. More specifically, they explored the question of what can the arts contribute in impoverished environments and unprofessionalized services in times of social crises. They describe how painting helped to create a wall of hope in a secondary school enabling the kids to connect in looking forward and how in a primary school kids started to paint about their cracked houses, as well as the beautiful surroundings. In the meantime, they had fun during the painting process, mixing paint and observing to each other’s work. This created a setting and space to cope with the events, to share experiences, and to have fun. With women, they created a space through the use of painted cards to express their experiences and feelings, providing for another symbolic space between themselves and the events. Through community theatre, students helped to create community cooperation after the earthquake disasters. The contribution by Leanne Schubert and Mel Gray is on an arts-based, community focused project that aims to address attitudes towards domestic and family violence in an Australian community. The project was complex and layered, and it involved a community of workers and two communities of citizens. This project used a variety of art forms, including

Macro-level arts-based interventions  207 drawing, painting, collage, photography, mosaic, installation, and conversation for public community education. The approach addresses the whole of the community to raise awareness and to change attitudes. Combining surveys, meetings, and installations, community members made a mosaic in a park on Respect and a Hopscotch mosaic based on children’s drawings and a huge Snake and Ladders (a play) mosaic, designed by a huge number of residents, engaging in an inspiring environment. Creating these artworks, symbols of a new belief system on domestic violence for the community, involved the community in various ‘teams’, enhancing participation of the community members and their capacities to interact, cooperate, deliberate, choose, and create. On an individual level, this project raised awareness and allowed individuals to negotiate internally old and new perceptions of violence. The Oklahoma City Girls Arts School is the subject of the contribution by David Moxley. This art school, which is outside of the regular educational system, gives youngster and teachers the opportunity for new forms of learning. The school also opens opportunities for girls from underprivileged areas since they encounter these forms of learning and get to know people with other resources, a process of bridging, as Putnam (2000) puts it. The school suggests that social change can be a product of their approach. In terms of empowering community settings, the school provides a belief system and a relational environment where girls get the opportunity to develop new skills and new roles, and this has the opportunity to contribute to social change. In all of these contributions of different nature and setting, community organizers, social workers, in some cases, together with artists, played an important role. We hope their work will inspire social workers engaged in community organizing.

References Boal, A. (1979). Theatre of the oppressed. London, UK: Pluto Press. Bos, E. (2016). Music: Playful power for the personal and the political. In S. ­Trienekens & C. Groot (Eds.), Age included on music, generations, and freedom (pp. 52–63). Amsterdam, The Netherland: SWP. Collins, R. (2004). Interaction ritual chains. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Christens, B. D. (2012). Toward relational empowerment. American Journal of ­Community Psychology, 50(1–2), 114–128. doi:10.1007/s10464-011-9483-5 De Kreek, M., & Bos, E. (2017). Playfully towards new relations. In S. Majoor, M. Morel, A. Straathof, F. Suurenbroek, & W. van Winden (Eds.), Lab Amsterdam: Working, learning, reflections (pp. 78–88). Bussum, The Netherland: Thoth. DeNora, T. (2010). Emotion as social emergence: Perspectives from music sociology. In P. N. Juslin & J. A. Sloboda (Eds.), Handbook of music and emotion (pp. 159–183). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Herder and Herder.

208  Eltje Bos Garofalo, R. (2010). Politics, mediation, social context, and public use. In P. N. ­Juslin & J. A. Sloboda (Eds.), Handbook of music and emotion (pp. 725–754). ­Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Huizinga, J. (1938, 2010). Homo Ludens. Amsterdam, The Netherland: Amsterdam University Press. Maton, K. I. (2008). Empowering community settings: Agents of individual development, community betterment, and positive social change. American Journal of Community Psychology, 41(1–2), 4–21. Maton, K. I., & Brodsky, A. E. (2011). Empowering community settings: Theory, research, and action. In M. Aber, K. I. Maton, & E. Seidman (Eds.), Empowering settings and voices for social change (pp. 38–64). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American ­Community. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. Regenmortel, T. V. (2011). Lexicon van empowerment. Marie Kamphuis-lezing 2011 [Lexicon of empowerment]. Utrecht, The Netherland: Marie Kamphuis Stichting. Sennett, R. (2012). Together: The rituals, pleasures, and politics of cooperation. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Zimmerman, M. A. (1995). Psychological empowerment: Issues and illustrations. American Journal of Community Psychology, 23(5), 581–599. doi:10.1007/ BF02506983

17 Community theatre and community work A Sri Lankan experience Shamila Sivakumaran

Introduction This chapter discusses advantages and effectiveness of applying community theatre in community work with a specific sociocultural location, enabling powerless (vulnerable) groups to self-define and to adjust resilience-enhancing interventions to their own perceptions. About the country Sri Lanka is a multicultural and multiethnic country consisting of Sinhala, Tamil, and Muslim ethnic groups. Further, the country’s location near the subcontinent of India and separated by a narrow water stripe of Palk Strait has made a significant impact, not only with natural environment factors, but also with the politics and the culture of the society. Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948 after being under various colonial regimes for almost 450 years. Splits and rifts were prompted by British colonial practices, and discriminatory policies between the majority Sinhalese and minority ­Tamils were put into place. This led to a struggle for autonomy by Tamil armed groups, and the conflict lasted for more than three decades and caused massive destruction in every aspect of the country. Sri Lanka also experienced natural disasters like tsunamis, landslides, and flooding in various time periods which accelerated the vulnerability among poor people in the country. Role of performing arts for community empowerment in Sri Lanka Different forms of performing arts are used in Sri Lanka by various stakeholders in community empowerment activities. Sensitization programmes depend on drama, dance, street play, and puppet shows. The traditional Sri Lankan universities and performing institutes have newly introduced arts into their curriculum in order to enhance their students’ involvement in the activities and in bringing about changes in the lives of underprivileged communities living in different parts of the country.

210  Shamila Sivakumaran The National Institute of Social Development (NISD) has been committed to nurturing social work and social development professionals to meet the higher demand for trained manpower in social work and social development, both nationally and internationally, since the 1950s. It offers certificate courses, diploma programs in social work and counselling, and bachelor’s and master’s degree courses in social work. This is designed to entice adult learners and persons with considerable experience in this field. Since the two main components of the NISD involve teaching and vigorous training programs, it needs to incorporate entirely new and innovative teaching ideas in order to keep the classroom lectures and field practice activities energetic (Ranaweera, 2012). The institute also needs to be competent and dynamic to compete with traditional universities, colleges, and private educational entities and to maintain its professional status and the quality of its programs. It is also worth considering that the institute needs to maintain its uniqueness and autonomy by introducing innovative ideas and teaching practices (Subramanian, Hatta, & ­Vasudevan, 2014).

The project Background of the work This particular community work was carried out in seven villages: ­Sakkoddai, Inparsiddy, Oorani, Munai, Manalkadu, Potpathy, and Alvai. These villages are located in the coastal area of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka where the majority of its population consists of fishermen communities. These villages are very remote and have been restricted access to basic facilities due to many reasons, such as dilapidated roads, physical isolation, and negligence by the state and its officials. People in these areas have been massively affected by internal armed conflict, drought, and tsunamis. Multiple displacements and loss of human life and materials have made these villages more vulnerable and powerless. Particularly, women and the children were the victims of these disasters and needed great support in order to rebuild their lives. Aim of the work The eventual aim of using a form of theatre as a technique for intervening with this particular group of women was to sensitize them to be self-­ reliant. When compared to other techniques of social work, theatre is a more practical way to communicate with susceptible and isolated people in the ­community. It was expected that the theatre would also bring about an effective change with their participation. This work was carried out with the long-term goal of bringing a sustainable change in the community with the active participation of this group of women.

Community theatre and community work  211 People involved The core of the project was 10–15 women from seven villages who were identified as dealing with fear, shyness, inferiority, a feeling of suppression, and isolation. The community workers were a social worker who completed a Bachelor’s degree in Drama and Theatre Arts and a post graduate with a Master’s in social work, as well as five graduate students from the fine arts department working towards their Bachelor’s degree in Drama and Theatre Arts involved in this community work.

Methodology Social work is a helping profession grounded in the values of human d ­ ignity, equality and equity, social justice and human rights (IFSW & IASSW, 2014). In this regard, theatre is a tool for communication where all categories of people can be treated with human dignity without discrimination. In the described practice, people’s participation was a key aspect and highly appreciated. Therefore, sustainability of intervention might be long lasting with social workers attempting to make pragmatic changes in the particular community. The combination of community work and theatre in social work practice brings effective changes where we work. Considering this aspect, the community work was carried out in a remote area in Jaffna, an area in the north of Sri Lanka, with marginalized women. As common in a traditional Sri Lankan rural community, these women were found to be uneducated, economically deprived, voiceless, and having experienced grief throughout their life. Community work Weyers and Geyer (2001) see community work as an effective approach because it is respectful towards people and their inherent capacities. Community work is about mobilizing communities to strengthen their own capabilities in different ways. Aspects of a possible change by community work are (1) development of the human potential, including people’s problem-solving ability, (2) improvement of the provision of resources and services that are needed to prevent and eliminate social dysfunctioning, and (3) promotion of social justice. The learning process coming out of community work projects (also) enables the co-construction of people’s capacity building. The mentioned aspects of possible change by community work can help social workers to take a stand in meeting the needs and aspirations of people and promoting human rights in order to create equal living conditions (Ife & Fiske, 2006). Community theatre The community theatre is an arts-based method and an indirect form of communication which has proved to be an efficient tool in fostering change

212  Shamila Sivakumaran in people and in a community as a whole. Specifically, people in remote areas deal with shyness, hesitance, and inferiority in expressing their needs, feelings, emotions, and problems in front of others. Community theatre is therefore chosen to be an effective medium to present the hidden feelings and problems of this selected participant group and community. The original impulse behind what came to be community arts had been the desire for a liberating self-determination through which groups of people could gain, or regain, some degree of control over some aspects of their lives, and the parallel realization that an artistic practice could itself be a form of cultural activism. The way in which this practice was established, however, meant that it was, in many areas, likely to lessen the self-determination of those people with whom we worked. We were arriving more and more, not as activists, but as quasi-employees of one or another dominant state agency. We were, in effect, inviting people to let one branch of the state send in a group of people to clear up the mess left by another branch of the state, while at the same time denying that we were working for the state. Theatre is one of the art forms that presents an effective way to ­positively redirect energies, so that participants can contribute something good to their community and to their families. In community theatre, people are what they act and act what they are—that is the basic principle. This type of theatre tries to combat continuing social problems by transferring its creativity and theatre skills to a broad range of communities. Theatre is also understood as rehearsal for social transformation and ritual or the place where humanity heals. Social work is a profession that works towards the transformation of individuals, groups, and community. According to van Erven (2002) community theatre is an important device for communities to collectively share stories, to participate in political dialogue, and to break down the increasing exclusion of marginalized groups. It is practiced all over the world by growing numbers of people (van Erven, 2002). Van Erven also adds that community theatre is moving, pertinent, powerful, and effective in strengthening the groups of people it caters to Community Theatre privileges the artistic pleasure and socio-cultural empowerment [expertise] of its community participants. Its material and aesthetic forms always emerge directly (if not exclusively) from ‘the’ community, whose interests it tries to express. Community Theatre is thus a potent art form that allows once largely silent or silenced groups of people to add their voices to increasingly diverse and intricately ­inter-related local, regional, national and international cultures. (Van Erven, 2002, p. 3) In Cohen’s quote in Van Erven (2002, p. 256): Community is that entity to which one belongs, greater than kinship but more immediately than the abstraction we call ‘society’. It is the

Community theatre and community work  213 arena in which people acquire their most fundamental and most substantial experience of social life outside the confines of the home. Rather than with material boundaries or objectifiable institutions, Cohen is concerned with the way people imagine or psycho-culturally experience and interpret their community, which, he argues, has never been free of all sorts of internal divisions, even in its pre-modern manifestation. Hawkins (1993, p. 20) argues that community theatre would be capable of restoring the ‘alienated, disenfranchised, post-modern urbanite’. In community theatre, people in the community present their stories in their own voices, with genuine emotions and their identities barely masked. Community theatre is a participatory approach which evolved from top-down emancipation for the culturally deprived, via individual artists looking for new inspiration, to a resource for the affirmation of different social groups and the expression of various issues (Van Erven, 2002). Process of intervention The process of intervention consists of the following steps and tasks. They are 1 Playing drums: introducing the purpose of community work to the community members 2 Home visits: rapport building 3 Observation: understanding the nature of women 4 Informal discussion: identification of needs and the problems 5 Community performance: applying community theatre in order to bring change in the target group 6 Evaluation and follow-up: ensuring the sustainability of the work All of these steps and tasks were implemented after getting the permission from related authorities in the community. Playing drums The initial step of this community work was started with playing drums, an instrument representing marginalized groups in the community and a very effective tool for reaching people. By hearing the drum sound, people in the village came out of their houses and gathered in a common place. The working team shared the purpose of their community work and obtained the permission from participants for further activities. Home visits The research team made home visits to the selected area where they spent ample time building rapport with the people in the community. Rapport

214  Shamila Sivakumaran building is defined as building a trustworthy relationship in an initial and long-lasting process and is central to all methods and approaches in social work. In this stage, following a meaningful self-introduction, team members were involved in active listening in order to understand the actual nature of the women in their home and outside of it. Specific rapport building done with this community can be seen in this example: Participant: ‘We trust in you and willing to send our daughter with you…she will be strong in future.’

Observation Participatory observation was carried out by the team members in order to understand practices and habits in the communities in relation to the women. There was a pilot visit conducted by team members for the tentative preparation of the work because of the need for the community prepare and implement the actual work. All the members of the team stayed four days a week in the community for a six-month period. Informal discussion and playing games Informal discussion took place in a common setting where the group of women gathered; team members initiated the discussion in a friendly manner. In a typical rural community, it is not easy to gather women outside of their homes and to engage them in formal discussion. The team chose this meeting place, but they were very silent in the beginning of this stage. The focus of the team was identifying the problems of the women and the needs in their day-to-day life. However, there was no promise made by the team to fulfil the needs or to solve the problems. Fear, shyness, and hesitation were the barriers which prevented these women from engaging in public activities. All selected group members were involved in a series of informal meetings and discussions that took place in a common, open area, and they were guided in the use of theatre games such as ‘Goat and House’ (Aadum Veedum), which includes pulling the fishing net, singing action songs, and passing a ball. The purposes of using theatre games are to relax the mind and the body, to foster aesthetic and creative thinking, and to build a co-­ operative environment. Playing these games dramatically reduced the fear and shyness and increased the ability of self-reliance and independency in the women’s lives. Community theatre (arangalayam) On the final day of the process, the selected members from seven communities gathered in a common closed place with a sense of privacy and security

Community theatre and community work  215 to work on the community theatre play. The place was very specific and suitable for a large group of people, specifically who were dealing with bottled up internal pain. This closed space helped a freer expression of feelings and ensured confidentiality. The venue was meaningfully decorated with local resources, exhibiting the women’s culture and tradition. Each activity was carried out with a focus on ensuring equality and respecting dignity of every individual who entered in (i.e. welcoming one another, shaking hands, and hugging each other). Process of the theatre play. There were five steps involved in the creation and production of the community theatre play: •

Step 1: Playing drums (parai). Parai is one of the oldest leather musical instruments which was used as a communication mechanism to convey message to people in ancient days. Here, it was used in creating an environment that leads to catharsis. The drum beat was started with slowly and gradually increased in rhythm and pace. Step 2: Body movements. A social worker and the team started moving their body according the rhythm. Following this, participants, one by one, started moving their bodies. The drum beat was dramatically increased, and the body movements also increased in intensity with the beat. Step 3: Catharsis. The sound and the rhythm of Parai roused the feelings of the participants and helped them to reach the climax of emotional ecstasy with the movements. After that the participants experienced a sense of calm. This process helped the participants to get into a mental state that enabled them to discover the way out of their problem and miseries. Step 4: Play. Participants started expressing their feelings regarding their experiences within the community. For example, one participant said, ‘I cried… I was not allowed to participate in any community activity because I am a woman.’ Another participant added, ‘I am afraid of talking to others because I was not allowed to talk with people from outside.’ At this stage, the social worker provoked the participants by saying, ‘Yes, we are women, therefore, we should follow all these [rules].’ As a reaction to this, another participant said, ‘No, no, this is not good for ourselves and the community as well…we should break these boundaries…we should be brave and contribute to our community’s improvement.’ This helped the participants to bring out their real feelings. The performers and the audience together were participants in the play. Step 5: Formation of teams. Members from the seven villages formed seven different teams for action.

Evaluation and follow-up The outcome of this intervention was seen as being very effective; the women who did not even talk about their problems became the advocates for others

216  Shamila Sivakumaran in the community. The following examples are some of the statements which were expressed by the villagers and the group participants: Villager: ‘I was shocked to see R. [participant], who never came out of her house, but after participating in the arangalayam, she came out in the open. Participant: ‘I was not aware that I had these talents…after this arangalayam, I can acknowledge it.’ Participant: ‘I should uplift my community…I am ready for that.’ The change occurred in every person who participated, and each individual worked to positively impact their communities. As follow-up, a social worker periodically visited the seven villages to get an update on the groups’ activities. She also facilitated more group work them and linked the women to relevant resources.

The role of social worker The role of the social worker in this community work was multi-­dimensional. The main role was to act as a community worker. In this way, the social worker played the role of mobilizer, organizer, facilitator, interpreter, and actor. Each of these roles will be discussed in the following pages. Community mobilizer The social worker had to act to bring people together so as to utilize their potential or position to improve their own or other people’s circumstances. The social worker mobilized the people in the community and the local resources for the benefit of the group and of the entire community. There were good leaders, writers, care takers, players, and public speakers identified from within the group, and their talents were acknowledged. It was key for the social worker to identify these players. Community organizer The role of community organizer starts with identifying the target group, their needs, and their problems. The community organizer understands the nature of the community by using different techniques and methods of community organization. There are two levels of understanding: the first level is the understanding of the community by the organizer, and the second level is helping the community understand their own situation. In this intervention, the social worker acted as a community organizer by organizing the groups of women from seven villages, all with similar characteristics which prevented them from being effective citizens in the community.

Community theatre and community work  217 Facilitator In this type of community work, it is very important to let the ideas come from the people, the citizens of a specific community. Facilitation is an ­i mportant role in the community work from the beginning to the end. In this intervention, the social worker helped the women to be effective participants in the work. With this group, the principle of nonjudgmental attitude was critical to maintain while facilitating the painful emotional release from the women. Actor The social worker played the role of an actor because all the group participants were involved in the play, and she could not be away from them. This role is similar to that of the facilitator. By taking part in the play, the social worker also motivated group participants’ involvement. Lesson learned Theatre is not just a simple play. It is an effective mode of communication which can bring unspoken issues out. It also has the power of healing and empowerment. Using theatre discrimination can be countered, therefore, it is helpful to reach disadvantage people in a community or society. In this example, the women are the powerful leaders in the community who were able to work for sustainable community development. The application of community theatre in the community work process can be in any stage and will provide a very effective impact in the end. In community theatre in this specific example, the drum played a significant role which can easily attract the people and reach out to the larger community (Table 17.1). Table 17.1  Project protocol Materials Setting Time frame People, amount of participants Skills Potential pitfalls Other users

Drums and theatre props. Community centre, the villages in the centre, such as a school. Can be done in a few sequential visits—two hour sessions, half-day workshops, or longer, more sustained time frame for a sequence of activities. From 5 to 20 persons. Basic theatre warm ups—don’t have to be actors, basic drumming skills. Fear of not having talent in theatre, shyness, cultural role of staying in the background and not making noise, or not being theatre people. All groups that need to find voice and community coherence.

218  Shamila Sivakumaran

References Ife, J., & Fiske, L. (2006). Human rights and community work: Complementary theories and practices. International Social Work, 49(3), 297–308. IFSW & IASSW (2014). Global definition of social work. Retrieved from http://ifsw. org/get-involved/global-definition-of-social-work/ Ranaweera, A. (2012). Professionalization of social work in Sri Lanka: 60th Anniversary 1952–2012. Rajagirya, Sri Lanka: National Institute of Social Development. Subramanian, J., Hatta, Z., & Vasudevan, V. (2014). Introducing innovations in social work teaching and practice: A micro experience from the National Institute of Social Development, Sri Lanka. In B. R. Nikku & H. A. Hatta (Eds.), Social work education and practice: Scholarship and innovations in the Asia Pacific (pp. 54–71). Brisbane, QLD: Primrose Hall Publishing Group. Van Erven, E. (2002). Community theatre: Global perspectives. London, UK: Routledge. Weyers, M. L., & Geyer, L. S. (2001). The theory and practice of community work: A Southern African Perspective (2nd Ed.). Potchefstroom, South Africa: KeurKopie.

18 Film as social change From giving voice to giving a stage Griet Verschelden, Jolijn De Haene, Tijs Van Steenberghe, and Luc De Droogh Introduction This chapter discusses how an artistic collective of young filmmakers tackles broader sociopolitical questions and gives the opportunity to showcase different perspectives on social reality. System_D is situated in the metropolitan and diverse context of Brussels and reaches groups of socially vulnerable people with various ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. System_D supports young filmmakers in making films and organizes a biannual film festival. The project is a part of the Piano Factory (www., a cultural and community centre in Saint-Gilles. They create an artistic answer to the political problem of misrepresentation of Brussels youth in connection to the riots in 2010 in Saint-Gilles, a so called ‘heated neighbourhood’ in Brussels. At first, the project tried to give voice to ­Brussels’ young people by organising workshops and other programs. After some time, they realized that these young people were already giving voice but lacked a forum for their perspectives, stories, and films. So ‘giving voice’ became ‘giving a stage’ on which positions and inequalities can be discussed. Therefore, System_D raises the possibilities of reconceptualization of the concept of living together in the city by fuelling collective learning processes and democratic moments and by making urban life more ‘public’ in the end.

The case of System_D In this chapter, we discuss the case of System_D, which is, in their own words, ‘an inclusive neo-urban artistic (film) festival’. This case study has been carried out within the framework of an interdisciplinary research project, ‘DieGem’ (diversity and community), researching solidarity in diversity in everyday activities. We conducted 32 case studies across four domains—namely labour, housing, education, and leisure—where people from different ethnic origins met each other and explored (new) forms of solidarity.

220  Griet Verschelden et al. The case of System_D is a retrospective case study in which we explored forms of solidarity that originated bottom-up, using document analysis, semi-structured interviews, and participatory observations. We analysed internal documents of the project, policy papers, jury reports, and a selection of the films. We conducted semi-structured interviews with professionals (N = 8, with the coordination team and conceiver (3), the head of management, jurors (2), a board member, and a participant of the general assembly). We participated in one of the screenings of the films, and we assisted during the general assembly. During this assembly, which was organised as a world café, all participants got the opportunity to discuss the aims and direction of the project. We were asked to participate and report about this world café. In doing this, we got to know the young filmmakers and got an in-depth insight into their perspectives. Before we discuss these perspectives, a short description of their activities and context is in order. System_D: A collective of young filmmakers System_D’s activities are shaped around two main clusters: organising a biannual film festival and supporting young filmmakers in making films. The biannual film festival presents a selection of films made by young filmmakers to a broader audience. Selecting the films and the film festival as such doesn’t stem from a categorical approach; everybody who ‘feels’ young at heart, who is connected to Brussels, and who didn’t receive a formal film-education can submit a film. They focus, in other words, on anyone who’s an autodidact and who makes films linked to Brussels. The choice for autodidacts is related to the ‘discovery’ of informal networks of moviemakers who aren’t part of dominant discourses. System-D tries to deal with the different possibilities people have to take part in mainstream networks and cultural production. On a whole, the film festival is shaped by the filmmakers, partnerships (with, for example, the Flemish Royal Theatre), the audience, a steering committee, and a jury (containing professionals and non-professionals). The jury selects the films for the festival and initiates discussion sessions during the festival. The steering committee, which selects the films, focuses on several aspects of the films: how the diverse context of Brussels takes part in the film, the diversity in themes across submissions, the artistic and technical quality of the films, and more. They try to make a selection which mirrors the diversity across the submissions. During the screening, each film is followed by a public discussion, in which filmmaker, jury, and audience take part. System_D also supports young filmmakers in making films. This support does not start from an expert who teaches a student. The starting point is an artistic connection between filmmakers, an artistic playground between equals, between colleagues helping each other out. There are

Film as social change  221 also no prescribed contents to learn before young people are allowed to make or present a film. The unconditional belief in their cultural production as meaningful and artistic is the starting point. As such, the film festival is the beginning, where filmmakers present what they’re capable of; only then, professional filmmakers come into play to work with them. Throughout and after the film festival, connections are made and opportunities arise to help each other out. They share material, know-how, time, and locations. Sometimes they provide a crew to help in realising the films. An important aspect of System-D is the connecting of formal and ­informal networks of art and culture production. To facilitate the films and the festival, System_D works with different partners, among which several social and artistic organisations (formal and informal) and wellknown filmmakers. By bringing together a professional crew from different ­domains, they’re able to support the young people in making their films. These different networks are realised through professional filmmakers as well as a crucial partnership with the Flemish Royal Theatre. In 2014, there was a partnership with Belgian filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. They have a similar background, growing up as members of an ethnic minority in super-diverse Brussels, as is the case for many of these young filmmakers in System_D. They also directed the movies Image, about misrepresentation of certain groups in Brussels, Black, a raw drama depicting the darker side of life in Brussels, and Patser, which is located in Antwerp. These three movies address crucial aspects in the lives of these filmmakers. Throughout the film festival, they made connections with ­actors, and some of them became part of the next movie from Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. ­ lemish System_D works with the Flemish Royal Theatre, as well. The F Royal Theatre was and is the most important place in Brussels for the ­Flemish traditional cultural elite, staging, until very recently, the classic repertoire of the big theatre houses which the cultural elite expects to see. A decade ago, the Flemish Royal Theatre decided they wanted to break out of this closed, white, cultured elite and to open up to the reality of the diversity of the city and the many different groups in that city that never participate in this part of the elite cultural life. They wanted to become—as they formulated in their new mission statement—an ‘important cultural partner that embrace(s) the diversity and plurality in the city, and want to reinforce the voice of the city and the people living there in the so called mainstream art world’ ( An initiative of the Piano Factory in Saint-Gilles in Brussels To fully understand the character and specificity of System_D, it is necessary to take a look at the context in which it operates, both institutionally as geographically. The project was initiated within the contours of the ­Piano

222  Griet Verschelden et al. Factory, a cultural and community centre in Brussels. The mission of the Piano Factory is to promote the quality of life of and in the city, firstly through community oriented work in terms of communication, information, and services, secondly through cultural participation, animation, and distribution, and lastly through (permanent) education. The Piano Factory sees itself as a place where people can experiment with art and culture without any pressure or the need to be part of dominant discourse. This kind of free cultural breeding ground opens up possibilities for people to discover their talents, to explore, and to develop them. That is why they form an ideal home for System_D. To create this open experimenting space, the Piano Factory bases its work on transversality. They combine practices of learning, work, and leisure time and are part of a large network of both cultural and social actors and organisations. They do not organise themselves in sectors or domains, and they try to respond to the needs and questions of the lifeworld of people as a whole. Unfortunately, this is a difficult issue for policymakers. Because of their transversality, practices like System_D don’t fit the requirements for specific grants. Even though policymakers do recognise the importance of  working transversally, they don’t translate this in their subsidising framework. ­Because of this, System_D as a project is integrated in the r­ egular work of the Piano Factory but keeps on struggling to gain additional ­finances for the project. System_D and the Piano Factory are located in Saint-Gilles, one of the so-called quartiers chauds or ‘heated neighbourhoods’ in the South of ­Brussels. This municipality is in the ‘croissant’ of Brussels, the circle of more vulnerable nineteenth century neighbourhoods in the city. More than 40% of the inhabitants don’t have Belgian nationality; they come from many different countries. This is reflected, as well, in the population of the Piano Factory: one-third of the young people and one-fourth of the adults have a different ethnic background, consisting of 68 different nationalities. Besides the ethnic diversity, there are also socioeconomic challenges. To summarise, we can conclude that System_D is situated in the metropolitan and diverse context of Brussels and reaches groups of young people with various ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. The Piano Factory is a crucial framework for System_D as it gives room for experimenting, works transversally, and strongly engages with the local context. Riots in Saint-Gilles A catalyst for the creation of System_D was the 2010 riots in Saint-Gilles. After a young man was shot by police officers, different stories about what happened started to circulate. While witnesses said that the young man was no threat, the police never publicly admitted that they might have made a mistake. This caused riots to break out. As often is the case in

Film as social change  223 these kinds of situations, the incident was only the straw that broke the camel’s back. These riots originated from an accumulation of different causes and issues that had been in existence for a long time, including the difficult relation between youngsters and the police, the difficult relation with other social and educational organisations, the socioeconomic vulnerable situation of a lot of inhabitants, and the one-sided reports in the media of events. During the riots, this last issue became extremely apparent. With headlines such as, ‘Dozens of young people arrested after new riots in SaintGilles’ (2010, April 10th) and ‘Heavy riots with young people in Saint-Gilles’ (2010, April 12th), the cause of the riots was systematically attributed to the young people of Brussels, without any space for alternative perspectives (Ben Yakoub, 2010). As a consequence of this one-sided report, the young people did not recognise themselves in these images and felt excluded from discussions in which they were stakeholders. Following these riots, several professionals (including social workers) saw a mismatch between the media coverage and the stories of youngsters and their mothers regarding the neighbourhood. Social workers and community workers started to reconstruct the riots in order to understand the underlying dynamics, which led to many conversations with people, especially mothers, from the neighbourhood. The social workers involved grasped this moment and sought ways to take action in order to balance the representation of young people in Brussels. With System_D they wanted to give an artistic answer to a political problem: they wanted to counteract the mis- or non-representation of young people and young people’s voices in the media and in the neighbourhood. From giving voice to giving a stage for dialogue After reconstructing the events, experiences, and stories about the riots, the professionals of System_D decided they wanted to give voice to these young people. They set up educational workshops on film making for the youngsters. Despite their initial interest, few showed up for the actual workshops. Not grasping this contradiction, the professionals started to ask around about why their workshops didn’t appeal. At the same time, they received a question of one the young people with whom they work. He was looking for a place to show his film. So, they realised that the young people they targeted were actually already making films themselves in more informal networks. At this point, the professionals in System_D realised this group of young people in Brussels were already voicing and depicting their lived experiences in a creative way. They didn’t need to be given a voice because they already had one. The critical problem was that their stories, their perspectives, and their voices weren’t heard. They had no (access to a) stage or platform to make themselves heard on a public

224  Griet Verschelden et al. forum. This moment was crucial in realising their own approach towards the political problem with which they were confronted. In a way, the professionals from System_D reflected on their social role and their naïve approach towards young people in the neighbourhood. They had to make a crucial shift. One of the main aims became bringing the films to a broader audience. The productions were taken ‘outside’. They were shown in art houses, cultural centres, or other festivals to reach a varied and diverse audience. Herein lies the importance of their partnership with one of Brussels’ leading art houses, the Royal Flemish Theatre. Every other year, they put on a three-day film festival. As such, the film festival became part of an acknowledged cultural institution—a place that is culturally meaningful in the eyes of the cultural elite, and thus, also politically relevant. This gave the festival a broad stage, a public credibility, and ‘official’ artistic value. Some of the films were also broadcast during other local film festivals, for example, the Mestizzo Art Festival. Another important aspect of the System_D approach is that the films should show or capture the ‘spirit of Brussels’. It is one of the few criteria stipulated by System_D. What this spirit exactly entails is not specified. When we look at the films though, we see a (re)presentation of life in Brussels. The films are about life and personal experiences in the city. They depict hobbies, day-to-day life, conversations, jokes, and more from the filmmakers and thus have Brussels as the main scenery in their films. They show what people think of each other, how they are talked about, and how they are treated—it is their reflexion upon living in the super-diverse city. From abstract and contemplative to parodies and absurdities, all genres and themes can be found in the different films. Even though these films seem highly artistic or are just funny or easy to watch, there lies a deeper societal meaning in quite a number of them. As a lot of these filmmakers, especially during the first edition of the festival, live in the ‘heated neighbourhoods’ in Brussels, what it means to live here is captured in the films. They touch on themes as poverty, poor housing, sexism, racism, islamophobia, unemployment, and police encounters. Two editions later, System_D now calls itself an inclusive, neo-urban artistic (film) festival and is focusing mainly on the creative aspect, the artistic quality of the work, and less on the social or community-oriented aspects. System_D as an unconventional artistic practice System_D shifted from giving voice to creating a stage together with the young filmmakers. From this point, System_D was no longer a film project for vulnerable young people interested in film; it became a co-owned project shaped by young cinematic talent from Brussels. But System_D didn’t stop evolving. It now reaches young people from all over Brussels, touches upon

Film as social change  225 a broad range of topics, as we’ve described earlier, and is broadening and strengthening its artistic identity. Its history combined with the perseverance and even stubbornness of these young filmmakers gives System_D a unique and unconventional identity. This unique perspective even starts with the D in System_D. It stands for se débrouiller, which means managing and coping with the few means you have. The professionals believe in the autonomy of the young people and their ability to create valuable and meaningful films. Se débrouiller is not a choice; it is a necessity. It refers to the difficult, socioeconomic position of these young people while still being able to produce artistic or qualitative movies, and it has, in a way, become a title of honour. It is a mind-set, a way of living, and something to be proud of—being able to survive with little means and/or to make films of high artistic level with little or no resources. Another important principle of System_D is unconditionality. The project is built upon an unconditional belief in and recognition of the perspectives of young people. Filmmakers, professionals, and the audience are seen as equals and connected through their interest in film or their connection with Brussels. For some, the commitment to realise a positive representation of young people in Brussels stays a third connecting element. The choice to organise a world café with the general assembly shows ­System_D’s adherence to co-creation and co-ownership. The central idea is that System_D doesn’t exist without the filmmakers and that the focus of the project should be related to their concerns, dreams, and goals. The professionals of System_D don’t have sovereignty over the project. The identity, goals, and mission of the project are decided upon and realised by the young filmmakers, not for them. In a way, it is being attentive to the negative experiences of many young people with different kinds of institutions where they are not acknowledged as ‘full’ citizens, as such. The fact that this group of young people can take credit for a successful film festival and that they can ‘claim’ the Flemish Royal Theatre as their home base for three days shows this, as well. Furthermore, they see young people as producers of culture and makers of symbols. Young people create their own symbols and give meaning to their life by making films, drawing from their place in society. Culture and art has the potential of giving people the opportunity to create different meanings, other ways of viewing and imagining the worlds. System_D supports individuals and groups to contribute to the collective symbolic production within society. At the same time, young people grab the potential of art, creating culture. Last, but definitely not least, the project focuses on the artistic product. The last edition of the festival was strongly focussed on the artistic value and the artistic meaning of the films, more than the social problems (and possible solutions) of the young filmmakers. They explicitly describe their

226  Griet Verschelden et al. work as an artistic practice and not as a social project or as a socioartistic practice, community arts, or participatory arts. They created a platform to show the films as an artistic production. The goal was and is to produce films of high artistic quality and to find a broad audience for these productions. System_D opens up possibilities for many of these filmmakers to find a way into the mainstream arts and to get expert recognition. However, there is a subtle balance between becoming part of the dominant discourse without forcing these young filmmakers into that same discourse. System_D embraces the struggle of balancing in between becoming part of dominant culture production and institutions, and at the same time, questioning and disrupting those mainstream dynamics. System_D tries to realise a space of mutual learning where cultural codes and structures can be untangled, analysed, and questioned. Enhancing public friction In talking with different people involved in the project—professionals, jurors, filmmakers—we hear different motives to participate, ranging from a solely artistic motive to filmmakers that explicitly want to bring out a public message. The strength of System_D lies in the fact that the film festival is a meeting place of different lifeworlds and the collective presentation of these different stories. The films are a ‘reading’ of lived experiences by young people and are by no means pre-designed by artists and social workers. The film festival became a forum on which different perspectives are shown, and lived experiences are subject for discussion and debate. This opens up possibilities to gain insights in other perspectives and lived experiences, as well as to reflect upon one’s own frame of reference and perspectives. Whether intentional or not, the political significance of these films is apparent. The films keep on touching on societal and political themes. Even issues such as gentrification, inaccessibility of institutions like hospitals, distrust in society, and polarisation are featured in films. By doing so, the films raise questions about mainstream imaging, stereotypes, the inaccessibility of the mainstream art circuit, the democratisation of audio-visual media, and the role of media in society. Through the creative work of these young filmmakers, the concept of living together in an urban context gets reconceptualised. The film festival creates possibilities for dialogue about these reconceptualisations and is a forum to address social issues and inequalities. The films are reflections upon the world in which they grew up and looks upon these worlds that become reinforced by using artistic imagery, through deconstructing their lifeworld and showing through their fiction or documentary work a perspective on life in contemporary Brussels that is not a part of the dominant cultural canon. What we see is the sociological imagination at work through artistic means. System_D as a whole

Film as social change  227 succeeds in creating a broad, public stage where filmmakers can tell their tale. Herein lies the main social value of the project: it facilitates the transfer of private concerns to public issues. The public character of lived experiences as such is not that important, but the public friction is. System_D is explicitly searching for the ‘right’ places to perform. They aim for a diverse audience that does not solely consist of acquaintances, friends, and family of the filmmakers. They aim for a wider public, including critical viewers. The partnership with the Royal Flemish Theatre is key in reaching this aim as the audience during the film festivals consists of regular customers, as well. The Royal Flemish Theatre adds the festival in their regular program, thus valuing these films equally to the other productions of the art institution. Again, there is no categorical or social approach to the film festival of System_D. The central focus is the art production. Even more, the meaning of place plays a crucial part in the film festival. For many young filmmakers to be able to be in the Royal Flemish Theatre while being acknowledged as a producer of art has a great societal value. It represents a symbolic belonging in an institution that, for some, until then was unknown terrain. The partnership of the Royal Flemish Theatre and System_D also has an impact on professionals themselves. The film festival is carried out by professionals and volunteers from both parties. The professionals of the ­Theatre are responsible for hosting and organising the festival. In doing so, these professionals were confronted with their own views and expectations about these young people and their films, as the following quote from one of the professionals shows: It’s always quite funny, the general nervousness about who we’re about to bring in. In the past, when I didn’t work here yet, there had been some incidents. They associate young people with fighting hip hoppers. But that’s not true. There always is some curiosity, more in the beginning. We actually very much underestimated it, like it was just some small-scale gig during Christmas season, when everyone is on holiday. Not everyone went during the festival, but people actually went to watch afterwards because of the positive feedback the festival got. They were blown away by the success and the quality of the films. It’s not merely audience and professionals that are challenged in their ways of thinking. The young filmmakers too are challenged by each other’s work. They raise questions about their own creative process and the themes they depict, as this example strikingly shows: During one of the discussions following the screening, they debated the role of police. In the various films, many stories from many different perspectives were told. Someone drew on experiences from being

228  Griet Verschelden et al. in prison. Others told about experiences in their neighbourhood, for example, about a burglary. A couple of youngsters had even made a humoristic podcast about their relationship with the police, mocking the stereotypes. All of these films shared two characteristics: their authenticity and the fact that they solely depict the young people’s perspective. One film, however, brought a different story. N. made a project to bring young people and police closer together. N. tried to depict both sides, that both young people and police use stereotypes and that there are rotten apples in both parties. He got a wave of reaction during the discussion, and the debate became very sharp at that point. Many viewers criticised his empathy for the police’s position. At the same time, his family and his producer defended him. By creating a stage for these films, System_D enables other social and cultural professionals (e.g. the professionals in the Royal Flemish Theatre) to understand the unique sociopolitical context of their practices and to position themselves in the context of the youngsters’ work. A contextualised approach requires a reflexive position towards their own practice, and the underlying assumptions made. Problematising or problem-posing (referring to Freire, 1995) helps practitioners to understand the meaning of their work in relation to the context. It is about being accountable for one’s own practices, in relation to the social, historical, and spatial context in which one intervenes. It is crucial to connect those day-to-day experiences to contextual dynamics which are inherently part of it.

The role of social workers An artistic answer to a political problem? As Lefebvre (1968) has argued, the struggle between different individuals and groups for the right to the city is not an equal one but very much affected by existing power relations. This connects practices of social workers with broader sociopolitical questions and links with topics from other fields. This, in turn, gives the opportunity to combine different perspectives on social reality. System_D can be seen as an artistic answer to counteract the non-representation of young people. By giving young people a voice and a stage, they focus on the recognition and representation of these young people. System_D creates a cultural and political forum through the film festival, where social issues aren’t denied. One way of understanding this forum is as a counteracting dynamic towards social and political processes where solutions to social problems (such as racism, islamophobia, sexism, and more) are conceived and carried out over the heads of the involved groups. The film festival itself has the potential to be a powerful disruptive practice as a source of inspiration for different approaches to existing social

Film as social change  229 issues concerning diversity, recognition, and representation. In other words, System_D creates a temporary place where there is room for shared meaningmaking, questioning dominant discourse, and challenging of power relations. The film festival can also be viewed as an educational space (Biesta, 2011). By creating a forum and focusing on a different, positive (re)imaging of young people, System_D contributes to the cultural and political recognition and representation of this group in both the traditional art world and in the wider society. Social workers as agitators System_D as a collective of young filmmakers creates an openness for different perspectives on social reality, and thus, automatically tackles broader sociopolitical questions. Its practice is based on a social commitment to counterbalance dominant discourse and social problem definitions by imaging the point of view of less heard voices. Social workers who support this practice play an important role in creating, maintaining, or challenging the agreed symbolic order of society (Biesta, 2011). Their practices support democratic processes and take the context of the city as-is as the starting point for processes of civic learning. They cannot keep themselves apart from asymmetrical social relations and socioeconomic fragmentation in the city. They can question historically developed processes of marginalisation or be sharp in their attempts to tingle powerful actors. They are agitators in that they are questioning society and supporting democratic processes. However, the power of System_D lies in the realisation of an art practice together with young film makers, cultural institutions, professional filmmakers, and a diverse audience. As such, the practice of agitation becomes bigger than the actions of social workers. System_D plays an important, critical role in the institutional, social, and cultural field. They break in upon the dominant social and cultural order. The art circuit has its own dominant (Western) codes and art forms and is not accessible for everyone. A growing diversity of artists seems to experience difficulties in gaining access to this circuit because they have different frames of reference and other artistic codes. System_D provides a forum for alternative frameworks and codes. In that way, they offer the possibility to participate in cultural production in which the prevailing canon is challenged. In doing so, they tackle the dynamics of social and cultural exclusion. They want to interrupt and deconstruct dominant discourses on arts and society and maybe even transform the mainstream. These practices can dismantle existing realities and can question the cultural obviousness (Mollenhauer, 1983). As a form of cultural action (Freire, 1972, 1995), the project is questioning and challenging dehumanizing processes by unveiling realities and taking a critical position in realizing human dignity in a social context (Table 18.1).

230  Griet Verschelden et al. Table 18.1  Project protocol Materials Setting Time frame

The materials the young people are already using: (smart) phones, in this case. Giving youngsters space in an existing (artistic) context, platform, or event. In this case, the possibility to show products on an existing film festival. Meetings over time, so as to develop contact, understanding, and set goals. Around 20 people.

People, amount of participants Skills For the social worker: to find the youngsters, to make sense of their needs, to see what they are already making, and to bring them into contact with the organizers of the (artistic) event. Potential pitfalls To overlook the strengths, capabilities, and activities of the young people. Other users Visitors of the artistic event learn what youngsters feel and think through their products.

References Ben Yakoub, J. (2010). The dark side of Brussels: feiten en f(r)ictie. Retrieved from Biesta, G. J. J. (2011). Learning democracy in school and society: Education, lifelong learning and the politics of citizenship. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers. Freire, P. (1972). Pedagogy of the oppressed. London, UK: Penguin. Freire, P. (1995). Pedagogy of hope: Reliving pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Continuum Publishing Company. Lefebvre, H. (1968). Le droit à la ville. Paris: Anthropos. Mollenhauer, K. (1983). Vergessene Zusammenhänge: Über Kultur und Erziehung. München, Germany: Juventa.

19 Moving into Dance in South Africa Nadia Virasamy

Introduction South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and has a population of close to 56,000,000 people. South Africa is a multiethnic society, encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution’s recognition of 11 official languages. However, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. During the twentieth century, the black majority sought to recover its rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a large role in the country’s recent history and politics. The National Party imposed the apartheid system in 1948, institutionalising previous racial segregation. After a long and sometimes violent struggle by the African National Congress and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, discriminatory laws began to be repealed or abolished from 1990 onwards. Since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the country’s democracy, which is comprised of a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is often referred to as the ‘Rainbow Nation’ to describe the country’s multicultural diversity, especially in the wake of apartheid. In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per-capita income in Africa. However, poverty and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed and living on less than US$1.25 a day. Nevertheless, South Africa has been identified as a ‘middle power’ in international affairs and maintains significant regional influence (

Context: Description of Moving into Dance (MID) Moving into Dance (MID) is South Africa’s premiere professional, full-time, contemporary African dance company, training academy, and outreach program, with a national and international footprint. Under the leadership of chief executive/director of education Nadia Virasamy and artistic director Mark Hawkins, MID presents work that is thought-provoking and innovative yet accessible. Its work brings to life the zeitgeist of contemporary

232  Nadia Virasamy African dance, Afrofusion, characterised by sheer physical beauty and self-expression. With its educational and outreach programs, integral parts of the training, students are groomed in Edudance methodology (the use of dance and creative movement to teach social issues and academic concepts) and then go out to teach in schools and community centres. The outreach serves as a form of on-the job-training whereby the students use their communication, dance, and social skills to educate youth and adults alike of issues such as nutrition, health, woman’s issues, rape, abuse, and road safety, among others. MID was founded in 1978 as not-for-profit organisation and continues to hold fast to the original ethos of founder, Sylvia ‘Magogo’ (grandmother) Glasser, who started training youth from disadvantaged communities and equipping them with skills which could be used to overcome poverty. Since its inception as a non-racial dance and cultural activist company, MID has had a major impact on the sociocultural transformation, as well as the economic empowerment of South African youth and boasts an incredible alumnus of South Africa’s top performing artists. MID is a professional company and, importantly, an accredited training organization that continues to produce a multitude of award-winning and productive dancers, choreographers, arts administrators, and teachers working throughout South Africa and internationally. Additionally, MID continues to be involved in outreach programs through Edudance (using creative movement and dance to teach academic subjects and social issues) is used as the medium through which educational and scholarly concepts are taught, and through which social issues are introduced from a safe and non-threatening platform. Some areas covered in the past were HIV/AIDS, domestic abuse, child rights, global warming, climate change, factorisation, water conservation, water cycle, and nutrition, among others. MID aims The goals of MID are as follows: •

• • •

To offer training in dance performance, choreography, and teaching as well as in arts administration, information technology, financial acumen, and communication skills to economically underprivileged youth and unemployed young adults To offer on-the-job training, ensuring the possibility of a further career in the arts industry, through the second- and third-year training programmes To offer employment to artists primarily from economically underprivileged backgrounds, through MID’s Professional Dance Company and other identified opportunities To ally with local artists to develop collaborative performances both in South Africa and abroad

Moving into Dance in South Africa   233 • • • • •

To maintain artistic excellence through all our activities and performances in South Africa, in performance spaces, festivals, schools, and communities To develop and sustain new audiences especially through our outreach performances, interactive dance, and creative movement workshops in schools and community centres To develop performances through our own Edudance method that are meaningful and appropriate to the life experience of communities To promote gender equity by supporting female students, choreographers, performers, and administrators To work twice a week with 11 schools for able-bodied and disabled children, teaching movement and dance

Programs and projects Through the organisation’s Performing Arts Training Course (PATC), talented young school leavers between the ages of 18–30 from some of the most impoverished areas in the country are identified and invited to Johannesburg to audition for inclusion in MID’s South African Qualifications Authority Accredited Training Course. This vocational training programme is premised upon a 25-year history of the Community Dance Teachers Training Course (CDTTC) that was recognised in South Africa as an established training programme for community dance teachers. The students auditioned and accepted into this training program are housed, fed, and clothed and are not only trained in dance and movement, but also educated in business communication skills, computer training, career development skills in related environments, research ability, and dance facilitation and choreography. The theoretical dance course consists of dance and related academic subjects as well as oral and written communication, history and anthropology of dance, financial acumen, information technology and computer skills, choreographic development, research, written and oral communication, and career development skills in related environments such as arts management. The practical dance course includes Afrofusion, contemporary dance, indigenous South African dances, body conditioning, as well as choreographic skills. Second- and third-year trainees receive on-the-job training programme for talented individuals selected from the one-year MID Performing Arts Training Course (PATC). These additional two years of training encompass practical training in skills of performing, creating, and choreographing works, teaching dance in schools as part of the Arts and Culture Learning Area, learning how to work with and teach people living with disabilities, obtaining practical administration and marketing skills for the Recreational Dance Class programme, as well as coordinating the MID Schools Festival. These programs work on a developmental basis, and only the exceptionally talented from the PATC are retained to train in the second year. This number is dependent on funding but does not exceed ten young people.

234  Nadia Virasamy Similarly, the third-year training is a selection of the highly talented from the second-year program, which again is funding-dependent and does not exceed five young people. From the third-year program, one to three young people, who exhibit exceptional talent, are selected to work with the professional dance company as junior dancers. Professional African Contemporary Dance Company The MID Professional Dance Company brings fluency to the language of movement and extends the limitations of the human body to produce inspired dance and beautiful movement narratives. Internationally recognised as an incubator producing a multitude of award winning and productive dancers, choreographers, arts administrators, and teachers, MID has become recognised as a serious development organisation with the ultimate output of a highly acclaimed professional dance company. Wrapped in ribbons of rhythm, this contemporary African dance company produces work that is a fusion of African movement, ritual, and music with Western contemporary dance forms and music. MID aims to present work that is thought-provoking yet accessible, dynamic, energetic, and exciting. The Company consists of ten dancers between the age of 22 and 38. These company members have all progressed through the ranks of Moving into Dance’s training program, becoming exceptional performers, choreographers, and dancers. All versatile performers, they are equally at home in theatres as they are in arenas, schools, conferences, and corporate events (Image 19.1).

Image 19.1  Oscar Buthelezi and Muzi Shili in Road (Photo by Val Adamson.)

Moving into Dance in South Africa   235 Edudance and outreach projects Outreach projects were started by Sylvia Glasser in 1987, and over the past three decades, have been developed by MID Edudance teachers to become an accessible, fun, and interactive way of teaching, of creating awareness for social issues, and of using a creative approach in communities and schools. In schools, also, general school subjects like maths, language, science, biology, and life skills are addressed. The outreach projects are undertaken in schools and with community youth groups in and across the country. The outreach projects are comprised of workshops in the skills of Afrofusion, contemporary dance, African dance, choreography, and Edudance skills, as well as performances by MID and workshop participants. The outreach projects are critical for the sustainability and growth of the MID’s programmes. Amongst other things, these provide us with an opportunity to • • •

Identify and work with underprivileged communities and schools which are lacking resources Create new audiences and an awareness of MID and our programmes Collaborate with professional and community-based youth groups sharing expertise with them and identifying and developing new talent

As dance is a non-verbal form of communication and expression, it can be used as a powerful medium to teach in a multi-lingual society with diverse cultures. Dance can serve as an effective medium of communication between people from different backgrounds and languages. Its medium is movement, which is common to all people. In ‘traditional’ or pre-industrialized African societies, dancing was both part of everyday life and used for special occasions. Dance was used as a positive medium of education from an early age. Children were taught discipline and life skills through various dances and indigenous games. Dancing was also part of the activities at initiation schools and used to teach physical, social, and moral values. So, dance is a deeply engrained medium in many South African cultures and an excellent medium for reaching audiences and creating awareness on social subjects. The word Edudance was adopted by MID in 1992 from the Weekly Mail journalist, Alex Dodd. She watched a lesson on chemistry of water formation and wrote an article entitled ‘Making Atoms Come Alive’. Edudance is dynamic and movement-based, and it developed out of the concept of using integrated holistic education to teach a wide range of topics. Through Edudance, learning is achieved not by only writing, listening, or talking, but by doing. Participants are engaged physically, mentally, and emotionally. Edudance stimulates both creative and critical thinking

236  Nadia Virasamy skills. Participants are encouraged to use their critical thinking skills to gather, discuss, and analyse information. Based on this information they would use their creative skills to create movements. Edudance also is a valuable supplementary teaching for subjects as diverse as basic literacy and numeracy to topics such as the water cycle, creation and dangers of electricity, water conservation, HIV/AIDS, and child rights, among others. Children engaging in Edudance activities are given tasks or problems to solve and asked to make choices themselves. While they solve problems, they are given boundaries or rules and within these boundaries they have freedom to make decisions for themselves. MID has always been an organisation with deep community roots. Working with schools in the townships of Johannesburg and engaging with the youth therein has opened our sensitivities to the existing needs. It is through these engagements that we strive to formulate relevant Edudance performances so that information and possibly behavioural change can be impacted through these performances. An example of this is the fact that South Africa was in drought for the better part of 2016, and people in the townships had to be provided with effective means to saving water. MID created an Edudance on water conservation, and this was taken to schools across the various townships. Simple solutions were offered to communities, things that they could affect at no cost, to save water. Some of these solutions included showering instead of running a tub of water, using a cup to drink water instead of cupping your hands around a running tap, or using a bucket to catch the water running from the shower before it warms and using that water to do laundry or water gardens. However, these messages are not preached to the audience; they are, instead, done in catchy tunes that cause children to often leave singing and adults to often leave with the message and tune running through their minds. When we hear children singing the message, and they always do, we know that they may have learnt a song but with that they are carrying a life/ behaviour changing message. As a social justice organisation, MID is committed to providing equal opportunities to both men and women. Strangely, it has become increasingly difficult over the years to source female dancers, but we continue to strive to attract female dancers and groom them into successful choreographers. Through Edudance, female choreographers are given the opportunity to explore their talents in choreographing sections of the Edudance work. It also allows them to be groomed in researching the subject matter before embarking on styling the movement structure. This lesson of research is best taught through Edudance, as all material needs to be verified, nothing can be assumed and presented from prior knowledge, as it is information that is presented to an audience that will use the information to change their lives and or behaviour. Ultimately, having a strong researched premise before engaging on choreography is an important skill to add to a choreographer’s skill set.

Moving into Dance in South Africa   237 Moving into Dance works in about 11 schools per week, reaching over 2,500 young people. As part of the 11 schools in which we work, five schools are for young people with special needs. In 2016, MID launched an outreach project called Enable through Dance. Methodology of Edudance During the Edudance lesson, the facilitators use stimuli such as elements of movement, visuals, or the learners’ environment and pictures, a dramatic voice, musical instruments, or music, mostly Kwaito1 (a South African music genre influenced by African rhythms, with elements of rap and township culture) or any popular songs that relate to learners. Additionally, instead of teaching the learners questions are asked pertaining to the subject matter so that the learners get to share their existing knowledge and feel that they have something valuable to add to the engagement. Each lesson follows the basic structure below, and facilitators play within these parameters to develop their own lessons. The ice breaker. This begins with the facilitators creating an atmosphere in which the learners feel comfortable and feel an energy of fun and excitement. The facilitator introduces him/herself and talks about being a dancer and his or her experiences. This creates an air of familiarity and he/she allows them to ask him/her questions about who they are and the job they do. Then, they proceed with a game. A popular one used is as follows: to introduce everyone to the group, the facilitators will lead a ‘name game’ for all participants in the room. In this game, everybody stands in a big circle, and the first person says his or her name in a rhythm created by the syllables of his/her own name while clapping, stamping, or moving. Then, everybody repeats the sound and action. This goes around the whole circle so that everyone has a turn. Of course, each person tries to make the rhythm increasingly difficult so as to confuse the others, and this leads to much laughter, which is great for alleviating any tension in the room. Warm up. It is important that the learners first warm up the body before dancing or doing any kind of physical activity in order to prevent injuries and to get in the right state of mind to engage in dancing. The facilitator usually conducts this by using locomotor (running, skipping, jumping) and non-locomotor or axial (bending, stretching, twisting) movements in the classroom/hall or outside. One facilitator plays a simple rhythm on the drum while the other one directs the participants to imagine that everywhere in the space of the room there is a drum. The participants play these imaginary drums using different parts of their bodies in various directions and levels of space. The tempo of the rhythm changes from time to time, accelerating and decelerating. This, too, adds to the fun and creates an environment in which the learners feel comfortable. Exploration and development. This section of the lesson enables the facilitator to explore the theme further. The learners are also encouraged to

238  Nadia Virasamy work in groups with constant guidance from the facilitator. The facilitators constantly try to challenge the learners. This is done by encouraging them to use their bodies more creatively to demonstrate the Edudance lesson. The use of signals like ‘hold’ or ‘freeze’ is important to give the learners the opportunity at times to process the information before proceeding on to the next task/activity throughout the lesson. Appreciation and reflection. Here the learners show each other what they have come up with in their various groups. The children watching are encouraged by the facilitator to watch carefully whether the other groups understand the topic learnt. They, therefore, have to use their observational skills and are encouraged to think critically. This is another innovative way that the educators can assess the learners. It also gives the educator an opportunity to ensure that when the learners put ‘practice into theory’ through assessments, the learners score well. The repetition also encourages the reinforcement of knowledge. Enable through Dance MID has redirected its thinking around disability to an alternate perspective that speaks to a ‘social model’ of disability. Through this model, we understand that disability is constructed through the manner in which society is organised. The operations of social and professional life are generally structured around the needs and functioning of people that are not disabled. People with disability are not fully afforded the tools or means to operate independently in society and enjoy the benefits the rest of society does. It’s not disability that stops disabled persons from doing what everyone else does, but the fact that the world ignores their needs for access, understanding, education, etc. Society excludes disabled people by erecting physical and mental barriers and assigning labels such as ‘special needs’ to people. MID realised that removing the barriers through allowing accessibility and equal opportunity to disabled people could aid in changing the face of how disability is perceived. Understanding that disability is propagated through a lack of social awareness, we work to remove the barriers preventing people with disability from living life to the fullest. As part of breaking down the barriers, MID has introduced a project called ‘Enable through Dance’ which recognises the lived-experience of disability, seeking to restore confidence and self-esteem, not as a medical model construct, but as a social phenomenon, through artistic, literary, and creative means. Moving into Dance has piloted this project by contracting Gladys ­Agulhas, who has been trained and is qualified to work with people with disabilities. Gladys is the founder of Agulhas Theatre Works, a dance company for people living with disabilities. She trained 15 MID members over the last two years in this specialised dance facilitation skill. The training

Moving into Dance in South Africa   239 period included a practical component where the trainees worked with disabled youth under her strict guidance. They were closely monitored, and regular feedback was provided. Once the training was done, they worked with disabled youth in schools under supervision. Piloting this project was one of the greatest achievements of MID. This subject has weighed heavily on us for years, as we tried to source the funding for it. We are grateful to the National Arts Council for seeing its value and granting us the initial funding to train 12 dancers to teach dance to people living with disabilities, working with expert facilitator, Gladys Agulhas. The success of this project was seen in the following aspects: •

• • • •

Observing and experiencing the transformation of the trainees as they experienced the positive outcomes of a new skill learned was incredible. It was a complete mind-shift for all who work and train at MIDM. Seeing such intense mind-set changes in the trainees and how their knowledge, understanding, and sensitivity has increased through teaching learners living with disabilities, and their insight on issues concerning people living with disabilities. Part of this was also seeing friendships develop and engagements with people living with disabilities that were no longer awkward and uncomfortable. Observing the positive impact the outreach programme has on learners with disabilities when they actively participate in the dance workshops and the reaction of the trainees and the educators at schools. Staging a truly integrated dance production was an emotional but amazing feat. Being able to accept three youth living with disabilities into our Performing Arts Training Course class of 2017. Better understanding the needs of people living with disabilities and being able to better cater to those needs.

Methodology: Enable through Dance The importance of the Enable through Dance project is that it would include the persons living with disabilities and give them a chance to gain self-confidence and embrace life differently. The training programme is comprised of the following aspects: • • • • • •

Introduction and understanding within the disability sector Teaching principals within an inclusive environment Identify the core principal of MID chosen technique Practical teaching and outreach opportunity Orientation within different spaces Choreography and performances

240  Nadia Virasamy The practical training that the trainee participating is currently implementing consists of the following sessions: • • • • •

A role play session, through improvisation experiencing their own disability An adaptation and translation of movement vocabulary accessible for all learners, including deaf learners (continues learning process) A practical application of adapting material of MID’s core chosen technique, ‘Afro-fusion’, making the teaching accessible for dancers with diverse abilities A practical training on how to do space orientation for persons living with disability, especially a person with visual impairment A session where we only work on structure of class, including planning class, practicing the material, teaching the class to learners, and the follow-up session includes an evaluation on the class structure, rectifying it where it needs to make the class accessible for the dancers that attend

The outreach program is also currently in progress. Here the trainees experience the environment of learners with disability; they have to adapt to this environment, bring the dance to the dancers (Image 19.2).

Image 19.2  Edudance performance on Water Conservation in Soweto (Pic by Thandi Tshabalala.)

Moving into Dance in South Africa   241

Result/impact The story of Moving into Dance is entrenched in a story of a country fragmented and out of sync with nature. It is at the start of the narrative that brought people, separated politically, together in beautiful movement. It speaks to a feisty Sylvia Glasser who, under apartheid, saw a different world, a world where people of all races danced together. Today, this haven of beautiful movement provides a place of hope for those whose struggle with race has now translated into a struggle with class. However, survival of this historical shrine of transformation is at the forefront constantly, and funding is in short supply always. But the achievements of our graduates are a reminder that the work we do is important, needed, and helpful and a reminder that we do not just dance—we change lives and forge new paths for those who would not have claimed a pathway of their own. Through our Accredited Vocational Training Courses, integrated programmes, and projects, MID has developed hundreds of young artists who are now leaders in the arts/dance sector throughout South Africa. We have also trained and mentored a multitude of award winning and economically productive dancers, choreographers, arts administrators, and teachers who are now working throughout South Africa. MID continues to be the incubator for feeding talent into other dance and performing arts companies, as well as broadcast media across the globe: The (MID) graduates have become synonymous with achievement and excellence in their respective fields. They are making distinctive marks as distinguished choreographers and directors of their own independent companies; excelling as professional dancers in local and international companies; functioning as pioneering teachers, inset trainers, administrators, researchers, stage and TV actors, or as cultural officers in government departments. (Adrienne Sichel, leading arts journalist, MID Anniversary Booklet—Foreword) MID’s activities generate competent youth, well able to avail themselves of sustainable job opportunities. Our programmes foster skills development and on-the-job training opportunities for talented youth from underprivileged communities, our reaching out to assist communities (schools, youth groups, and the general public) in rural and township areas through performances and workshops, and all of this is possible by creating and presenting innovative works that promote our African identity and aesthetic: Long before the dawn of democracy, it (MID) had transformed itself into a pocket of non-racialism to give creative expression to indigenous talent irrespective of background, class, or colour. Thus far it had outgrown the heights of super-achievement to be an example of day-to-day

242  Nadia Virasamy self-pride, hard work, and determination. Today, it is a dance company whose infectious energy inspires national pride, while its explosive talent gives self-love, hope, faith, and achievement to youth who seek purpose and meaning in life. (Sandile Memela, Spokesperson for Department of Arts and Culture, MID Booklet) Thirty-nine years of full-time vocational training is a huge feat in an industry that is under-resourced, under-funded, and whose impact is constantly bombarded by questions of economic viability. MID continues to hold fast to the original ethos of founder, Sylvia Glasser, to train youth from disadvantaged communities and equip them with skills which could be used to overcome their socio-economic circumstances. MID does not just teach youth to dance, it equips individuals from under-resourced communities with the skills and confidence to become productive and self-sufficient people who are able to support their families and extended families. With the continued high rate of unemployment, MID continues to be a safety net for many people who are the sole supporters of extended families as a result of the training they have received through us. In this way, the cycle of poverty has been broken through career training and job opportunities for many young people from impoverished communities. For propagators of the free market, all the world needs is for business and government to supply all public goods, but the ‘real world’ tells a different story which speaks to the need or non-profit and non-governmental organisations to fill the gaps in business and government delivery of public services. MID is one such organisation that provides for the needs of people in the ‘real’ South Africa where unemployment is rife and poverty is great. MID’s 40 years of training under challenging conditions has proven one thing and that is that the power to survive lies in the passion for an art form that does not just build muscle, but also, communities (Image 19.3).

The people involved The founder, Sylvia Glasser. These days, MID continues to hold fast to the ethos of our founder, Sylvia Magogo (grandmother) Glasser, who was been honoured in 2016 by being awarded The Order of Ikhamanga by the president of South Africa, which honours citizens who excelled in fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism or sport. Glasser was knighted by King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands for her tireless work in the arts and was also awarded Living Legend Status by the Department of Arts & Culture. Glasser’s pioneering work in Afrofusion and Edudance, at the interface between dance and politics, has had a major impact on the democratisation and transformation of dance performance and education in South ­A frica. Amongst her awards are the inaugural David Webster Award from the

Moving into Dance in South Africa   243

Image 19.3  E  ugene Mashiane in Big City Bity Dreams (Pic by Lauge Sorensen.)

Department of Social Anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1990, a Special Award from the FNB Vita Dance Umbrella in 2000, and a Lifetime Achievement from the Arts and Culture Trust in 2004. Chief executive and director of education: Bernadia Virasamy (Nadia). Nadia Virasamy has a master’s degree in arts, culture, and heritage management from Wits University and a bachelor’s degree in social science with honours from the University of Natal – Durban. She began her career in academia at UKZN and then at UniVen for two years. Thereafter, she was employed at a music record label as an artist/events manager where she managed some of SA’s acclaimed musicians. After two years she chose to pursue her education interests again. In 2005 she began her employ at Moving into Dance Mophatong as director of education for eight years and currently serves the position of CEO/director of education. She has been part of the

244  Nadia Virasamy sessional staff at the Wits School of Dramatic Arts and lectured in performing arts marketing and organisational management. She has recently completed three arts and culture textbooks that she was commissioned by Cambridge University Press to co-author. She also sits on the board of the Newtown Improvement District as well as Poetso Music, which is an NGO that works with the rehabilitation of ­prisoners through music. She was among the top five finalists in the Standard Bank ­Rising Star Awards in the category of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, among the top three for the Business Women’s Associations Regional Awards in 2015 and named among the Top 100 Difference Makers in SA. Nadia became Chief Executive Officer of MID in 2013. Artistic director: Mark Hawkins. Mark was appointed NAPAC Dance Company artistic director in 1993 (renamed Playhouse Dance Company in 1995) and under his direction the company toured nationally and internationally. He formed the Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company in 1998, presenting work at all major national arts festivals. He served on the judging panels of the Sanlam International Ballet Competition, the South African National Panel of Recontrés Choreographiques Internationales de Seines-Saint-Denis, and The South African National Choreographic Competition. He was also appointed repertoire tutor for the RAD Vocational Graded Mini Congress 2007 and as adjudicator for the RAD Grades Ballet Bursary Awards 2007. He choreographed works for Hong Kong Ballet, CAPAB Ballet, PACT Dance Company, State Theatre Ballet, Ballet Theatre African, the Playhouse Dance Company, and Moving into Dance Mophatong, also working as ballet Table 19.1  Project protocol Materials

An inside and outside space where the youngsters will be able to move. Drums or other rhythmic instruments and a facilitator who is able to play it. Setting Any space that enables movement, in a context of a school or other community setting. Time frame The workshop with the youngsters takes about three hours. Before, that a relationship with the school/community must be built over time. People, amount of Depending on the context and the number of facilitators, participants each session should include about 30 participants. Skills For the facilitator: basic knowledge of types of bodily movement; knowledge of how dance sequences can be put together; knowledge of the use of dance as a means to express emotions and give shape to issues in the community; and the ability to reflect on the expressions the youngsters create. Potential pitfalls Issues of being visible. Other users The Edudance approach can be used in a variety of settings.

Moving into Dance in South Africa   245 master for Dada Masilo’s award-winning production of Swan Lake, touring Europe, Scandinavia, Switzerland and London seasons (2013/2014). Mark was appointed artistic director of Moving into Dance in May 2015, working on MID’s education, outreach, and performance programmes, locally, nationally, and internationally. Dance company manager: Macaleni (Muzi) Shili. Macaleni Wessel Shili has filled the roles of performer, teacher, choreographer, and facilitator. His professional dance training began with Moving into Dance, Community Dance Teachers Training Course, graduating 2000. Muzi joined the Moving into Dance performance company and started touring with the company nationally and internationally in 2001. He was also part of the group sharing the stage with the world musicians at the 2010 FIFA World Cup opening in South Africa. He is no stranger to awards, having been both nominated and awarded a variety of accolades (Table 19.1).

Note 1 Kwaito. This genre of music started emerging in the 1990s. It is a mixture of a number of different rhythms from marabi of the 1920s, kwela of the 1950s, mbaqanga/maskhandi of the hostel dwellers, bubblegum music of the 1980s, and imibongo (African praise poetry).

20 Recreating creative social work Insights from Nepal 2015 disasters Bala Raju Nikku, Pradipta Kadambari, and Anne Riggs Introduction This chapter outlines the use of visual methodologies in doing post-­ disaster social work in Nepal by a young school of social work. The aim is to provide practical perspectives on the use of visual art and theatre in social work from a Nepalese social work perspective. The main research questions answered were how were the visual art and theatre tools usefully applied in working with communities during social work interventions of post-2015 earthquake disasters?; what were the insights?; and how can the use of the arts within the specific context of Nepal enhance disaster ­social work? This chapter is based on the insights of the three authors who have conducted interviews and had discussions with students and faculty members of the Kadambari College and the Nepal School of Social Work (NSSW) and who were involved in arts projects in the disaster rehabilitation of Nepal. Nepal is socially, culturally, economically, and environmentally diverse and prone to both natural and political disasters. Nepal is highly prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides, floods, thunderstorms, ­g lacial lake outburst floods (GLOF), avalanches, fires, windstorms, droughts, forest fires, and epidemics. In addition, the high mountains of ­Nepal, covering about 15% of the country, are quite susceptible to land degradation caused by glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF). It is one of the poorest and least developed countries in South Asia with a per capita ­i ncome of less than $1,000 (WHO, 2013). Life expectancy in Nepal rose from 43 years in 1973 to 54 by 1990, and it now stands at 68 years with women beginning to outlive men (WHO, 2013). These improvements are largely related to reducing birth rates and increasing access to education, family planning, and o ­ bstetric health care (Khatri, 2011; Nepal School of Social Work, 2012; Parker, Nikku, & Khatri, 2014). Nepal is also known as ‘multiethnic’. Its population of about 30 million has 125 caste/ethnic groups with 123 languages and 10 religions with Chetri (16.6%) and ­Brahman (12.2%) being the dominant castes and with Hinduism being the dominant religion (81.3%).

Recreating creative social work  247

Nepalese social work Compared to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka in the South Asian region, Nepal is relatively young in its introduction of social work education. The first department of social work began in 1996 with an a­ ffiliation with Kathmandu University and the support of Nirmala Niketan, an Indian social work school. The initiation of social work education in Nepal was largely under the purview of Affiliated Colleges of the Universities. A ­ lmost all of these affiliated colleges providing social work education are located in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, resulting in restricted access to social work education for students from poor, disadvantaged, and distant rural areas of Nepal. The title ‘social worker’ is rather loosely used and may be abused in the context of Nepal. Any one working in a social service, including NGO staff and politicians, can claim that they are doing social work. The social work education in Nepal currently lacks coherence, and no one formal body exists to monitor and enrich the quality of teaching and practice (Nikku & Kadambari, 2016). The focus of this chapter is how the arts can contribute to disaster work lead by Nepalese Social Workers living in the shared reality of the disaster. We are asking, what do the arts have to contribute to an especially impoverished environment and to unprofessionalized services in times of social crises? It does this through a discussion of a range of projects: the first, run in various communities by a team of students and staff from the NSSW in the Sindhupalchowk region of Nepal soon after the 2015 earthquake, and the second, a training program conducted by Artists in Community International at the NSSW. This second project began nine months after the earthquake in Kathmandu and took place in five earthquake-affected villages outside Kathmandu within the first year and a half after the event. Arts are useful in developing resilience, meaning-making, and problem solving. They connect to expression and transmission of moral, social, and religious values that help guide a community in crisis (Sclater, 2003; ­Bledowski, Rahm, & Rowe, 2009; Huss, Sarid, & Cwikel, 2010; Atkins et al., 2011; Huss, 2012). In an impoverished environment, these qualities are accessible and sustainable resources which are also culturally contextualized. The arts can draw out from individuals that which they cannot yet put into words in terms of cultural taboos or psychological trauma, thus catalysing healing and subsequent therapeutic conversations. At the same time, the art is focused on coping and reframing the experience. The arts are ­effective in addressing trauma situations that are often encoded in images rather than in words. The arts are cited as recreating a connection between cognition, emotion, and the senses that encourages ‘flow’ and that helps to redefine disturbing memory-images through verbalizing about them, and thus, transforming their impact. Lived experiences become meaningful and gain coherent narratives when described or reflected back through symbolic productions that enable a coherent narrative of disaster—that which is often shattered in war and in natural disaster. The arts are useful in bridging

248  Bala Raju Nikku et al. different cultures, and as such, are particularly valuable in post-disaster contexts when external NGOs, professionals, volunteers, and/or social workers are coming from different cultures than that of the local population ­(Mason, 2002; Huss & Cwikel, 2005; Riggs, 2010). However, traditional use of arts in non-literate societies is didactic. Religion uses art didactically and spiritually, as a way to impart central narratives and values to illiterate people. These art-uses are embedded in different arenas of everyday community life and are very helpful in creating a coherence sense of hope and community in times of disasters. While social workers are not taught to be didactic, we see the power of a positive message of cooperation, for a community in deep stress that can lose the powerful anchor of shared positive values of cooperation. Another important element of this direction is the use of arts to create a pleasurable experience in the here and now. Within conflict negotiation, according to contact theory, a shared positive experience disconnected from the conflict is the most effective way to restore harmony. The issue of pleasure and humour is often lacking in social work, more so focusing on solving problems lower on Maslow’s hierarchy. However, pleasure and humour are a huge resource for people in hard times. It would seem fitting that social work also addresses them. Another element we used was that of social workers as ‘artists’ who bring pleasure and who tap into their own creativity to engage with the senses and creative skills of their clients. This was a strong experience for the students and can be seen as helping social workers shift from the usual type of mechanistic social work to one that utilized the ‘whole’ social worker in a more humanistic way. There is much to be gained when the social worker is prepared to step out from behind the desk and use his arts skills, even if not very developed: This has implications for including arts and humanities training within social work training in Nepal, South Asia, and beyond. The following case studies will illustrate these points.

Background on Nepal Nepal is a seismically active country. Between 1900 and 2011, there were six serious earthquakes. On April 25, 2015, Nepal was struck by an earthquake that took the lives of more than 10,000 people. Following the 2015 disaster, the NSSW was able to respond and provide service to the community. Although also victim/survivors of the earthquake, the students and ­faculty of Kadambari College and NSSW came together three days after the earthquake to devise a response strategy. Based on a pre-assessment of perceived needs of the community members, the NSSW team chose to work in the Sipapokhari VDC in Sindhupalchowk District where there was a high loss of life reported. Immediately after this decision was made, planning for resource mobilizations began. Very soon, the Social Work School became a temporary hub for providing information related to disaster management,

Recreating creative social work  249 a shelter to community members, and a place for local police to plan and discuss relief activities (Nikku, 2015). During post-relief discussions, it was clear that NSSW not only intervened with disaster victims who were in need of help but also engaged in the self-care of staff and students, creating groups where those involved could share their experiences. Providing self-care (care for the ‘carers’) is an important concept in social work to avoid compassion fatigue and burn out of social workers. We utilized structured arts-based concepts that we had been taught to provide self-care and also as a model for going out into the community. We connected to artists from NGOs (i.e. Anne Riggs and Alex Pinder, founding members of the Artist in Community International, an Australia based not-for-profit). This included drawing the journey of a hero, a tree of life, a metaphoric picture card, and using dance to relax the body from the traumatic stress that it was holding. Following are examples of some of the interventions that we then continued to use with children after the disaster.

Case study 1: Using artwork with traumatized children at Bhimeshwor Secondary School, Sindhupalchowk In this case study, we present the Nepal School of Social Work and the use of art with children at Bhimeshwor Higher Secondary School in Sindhupalchowk by the NSSW team. The April 25, 2015 was a Saturday, and schools in this area are closed. The school children were enjoying their weekend with their families, helping around the house and learning various household chores. The sudden rattling of the earth on this very day brought the highest death toll of the earthquake in the Sindhupalchowk district. The team’s first objective was to gain the trust of the residents of this area by living with the distressed community. It all began with helping the school to clear the debris from their classrooms. Two Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) students from Kadambari Memorial College (the sister college of NSSW) and four Master of Social Work (MSW) students from Tata Institute of ­Social ­Science lived in the affected area for 21 days. The social work students used art and play (games) as stress releasing tools, and they introduced group games. The school students were then provided with various art supplies. Different coloured paints were put in plates, and the students were invited to put their hand prints on white paper. At the beginning, the school students looked hesitant. One of social work students put her hand in the colours and printed it on the paper. Slowly, the kids started to join, looked at their hands full of colours and started to smile. After finishing the handprints, it was hung on a wall as a ‘wall of hope’.

250  Bala Raju Nikku et al. Children experienced a safe and non-threatening environment and wanted more games from the social workers. The children started sharing how difficult the disaster time was for them; many had never faced an earthquake before. The children told about how the regular water supply dried up due to the earthquake. The games and artwork conducted by the social work students served as an initial medium to start ventilating their stress and helped the children to distract themselves from the fear.

Case study 2: Continued use of artwork with traumatized children at the Melamchi Primary School When the team arrived in June 2015, the primary school in Melamchi was in bad shape and still not functioning. As the school was severely cracked and deemed unsafe, the children were being taught outside on the school grounds whilst two temporary shelters were being built. Many students were scared and showed signs of trauma. All had lost their houses. One of the authors had spotted one small girl who was terrified, hugging herself when the air suddenly blew a little stronger and made a noise. Responding to the students’ stress, the team divided the students into two groups; their teachers also participated in each group. The team played games with the students, and as students felt a little more comfortable and started to smile and laugh, the team asked them if they want to paint. All students became excited and wanted to participate. The team leader led one group, and the social work student led the other. They split into a blue group and a red group, creating artwork based on warm-coloured paintings and cold-coloured paintings. Each group member was encouraged to share about their favourite colours and the use of that colour in the theme. The students worked individually with crayon. They drew their houses collapsing and their surroundings. However, they also drew the beauty of Nepal. When they finished, the devastated school walls were decorated with two collages. The students were delighted to see their piece of artwork as part of a bigger collage. While doing the artwork, they talked with each other, with their teacher, and with the NSSW team. Not everyone talked about the effect on him- or herself but they talked about their pictures. The children who, at the b ­ eginning, looked unsure of what they can do and were not speaking, slowly engaged in mixing the colours, looked at each other’s drawing, gave comments, laughed, and became engrossed in their work. When the teachers were not sure what they could do with the students

Recreating creative social work  251 and no one was prepared to begin the curricular activities, they found art as the best way to engage the children by focusing on the beauty of Nepal and igniting hope, pleasure, and pride in the end product that was hung on the wall and helped to redecorate the ruined school. In this example, the arts helped in dealing with psychological stress levels. The activities of NSSW also helped on the more basic level of giving teachers time to make other plans to recover, and some teachers were also able to support the social work students in conducting art activities and games. They reflected that these activities are very useful, not only during disasters, but also as a part of daily school activities. The team has experienced how the arts enable both ventilation and debriefing of the traumatic event in a safe and collective environment. It gave the children choice as to how much they wanted to express the event visually, verbally, or not at all yet, and thus gave them back control over the uncontrollable situation. The partnership between the NSSW and the school also led to a therapeutic experience for the teachers, who, like the social workers, lived in the shared reality of the earthquake with their students and were, therefore, equally stressed. The arts were a simple and cost-effective way to provide relief for the different groups—­t eachers, students, and social worker students—simultaneously in terms of the shared reality context.

Case study 3: The use of projective cards with female workers who experienced domestic violence after the earthquake The NSSW team continued to provide much needed Psycho Social Services (PSS) to the home-based female workers who were affected by earthquake and who were struggling to build back their livelihood. Domestic violence is also an issue for some women in this area. The workshop was planned to cultivate an understanding of the stress that these women were facing due to the earthquake and also due to violence they experienced at home. P ­ rojective cards, cards with images on them, were used by the social workers with groups so that they could discuss this in an indirect and destigmatizing way, as a trigger for a discussion about how the women were coping with the stress of their post-disaster reality. The projective art cards enabled the women to easily tell their stories of the earthquake. In a traditional culture that does not directly express negative emotions, the projective cards enabled participants

252  Bala Raju Nikku et al. to create a distance between themselves and the difficulty and to indirectly touch upon the traumatic event without ‘breaking down’ in front of the group (Huss, 2012, 2016). This encouraged them to talk about the problems they were facing through metaphors. The discussion around the images enabled the shared-reality group to gain emotional and practical support from each other, including sharing ideas on how to cope. Rather than being an adjunct, the art in the workshop became the main component of PSS techniques.

Case study 4: Community theatre to empower women The aim of using community theatre was to provide psychosocial support for those affected by the earthquake through creating shows that were entertaining but also gave positive messages about the earthquake. Here, the students themselves were the actors. The students, with very few resources, used theatre, puppet shows, and songs that focused on social messages of community cooperation. The second element of these community theatre shows was the focus on a pleasurable experience for the whole community. The students were positively affected by their ability to bring smiles and a feeling of happiness to the people through using the arts. One student shared, ‘I had never thought that my acting in the theatre could make ­p eople laugh so much.’ Participants said that, although they had received food, some money, and assistance from NGOs and government, they had not gotten the chance to laugh. One participant added, ‘You young people gave us the chance to laugh and dance. We have not had such a joyous moment since the earthquake.’

Case study 5: Dealing with disaster trauma through Concertina Books as self-care for social workers in a shared reality Nine months after the earthquakes of 2015, Artists in Community ­International (ACI),1 returned to Nepal. This small organization provide an arts program each year to a range of communities in Nepal with the NSSW as part of the institutional capacity building in using arts in social work practice.

Recreating creative social work  253 As these students and teachers had been deeply involved in the earthquakes in Nepal, tending to family and communal needs, they had yet to fully reflect or express their own feelings about it. Most revealed that it was only after doing this project that they realized and appreciated how their experiences had been weighing on them as individuals. One student reflected, Before doing this art, I hadn’t expressed my own feelings, and I hadn’t expressed these feelings with anybody else. Here, I expressed my feelings through the arts, and I would like to give a very big thanks to the team. The first stage of this case study was teaching and helping to understand trauma theory. The second stage was creating handmade concertina books, including making a cover and naming the book through the process. The third and final stage was interviewing students about their experience of the process via video. These interviews form the basis of the reflections presented in this section. Concertina Books The traditional concertina book-making technique works beautifully with telling an unfolding story. Opened one way, the viewer can turn individual pages much like in any book; however, they also offer another way of viewing as they unfold so that all the pages can be experienced as one story. When taking this concept to other trauma work (such as child abuse), this dual way of looking at an issue can be useful in helping people understand that memories might be fragmented and unable to be told as a continuous narrative. The books are small and intimate, an excellent vehicle to explore and express feelings and ideas that are being formed. They are sensitive, delicate, and might need to be private. They can easily be picked up and worked on, put down and picked up again. The materials needed are easily available and inexpensive. Hand-made concertina books are useful for working with victims of trauma as they can • • • • •

Incorporate all forms of visual arts, text, and binding techniques Be made by people with or without art experience, the literate and the illiterate, adults and children, and more Respond to a range of cultural experiences of trauma and grief, processes and recovery Deepen understanding of how trauma and grief that affects the whole community can be expressed, shared, and validated Help reduce the long-term impact of trauma through enabling individuals and communities to recover from it

254  Bala Raju Nikku et al. We learnt that arts programs in the community work best when participants learn techniques and the benefits of creative practice through doing (by themselves), rather than through lots of explanation and rules set by the instructor. At the end of creating the books students were very keen to share their stories of the earthquake with each other and with the facilitators. The Australian writer, Arnold Zable,2 who has worked extensively in story-­t elling with victims of trauma, said that stories are usually conveyed in three parts: the time before, the rupture, and the long aftermath. Interestingly, the students’ books provided very precise descriptions of their trauma: Participant: ‘There were four members of my family in the house—my mom, my grandmother (she had just come from the Durai region to stay in Kathmandu for a while), my uncle’s son, and my cousin from my mother’s elder brother.’ The Rupture The earthquake and its aftermath were so shocking that students re/told their story a number of times in different ways to emphasize the details and the impact of this catastrophic event. It is worth noting the small details in the creation of these books prompted the students to retell their stories. These are the memories that had become embedded as a part of their traumatic experience. One young woman told a very lengthy story about her experience, although her book is quite sparse in images. Using the book as her aide memoire, she used the same pictures to tell her story again and again in slightly different ways, each time adding extra detail: Participant: ‘When the earthquake came, I was a bit shocked and quickly came downstairs. It was very violent and quite difficult to hold onto the rails. I had to really, really hold onto the stair rail strongly, you know, because the house was trembling violently. I would have just fallen downstairs if I had not held on.’ The Long Aftermath One student’s book depicted his broken house; he described the constant fear of living in a house that is severely damaged: Participants: ‘‘It may fall down! It may fall down!’ I think like that, but it hasn’t fallen down totally. We live in it because we don’t have any other options. It was very cold and to live in a tent was very challenging.’

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Conclusions The following elements were enabled by including art in disaster intervention and have therapeutic values which Nepalese social workers and others can further utilize: • • • • • • •

Arts as indirect and mediated ventilation and expression of traumatic experiences Arts as reigniting and remembering beauty, strengths, and positive meaning levels in moments of despair Arts as enabling immediate here-and-now experiences of pleasure and positive cooperation in communities to counteract the conflicts that emerge in the long rehabilitation process with limited resources Arts as enabling immediate action and distraction from problems in times when it is not clear how to continue or what to do Arts as providing an indirect trigger for group work to enhance empathy and to share problem-solving skills Arts as providing a moral compass and reminding one of positive social behaviour Arts as providing relief for both participants and for local social work practitioners, government front-line workers and practitioners in a shared-reality context where they are also traumatized and under stress

The use of the visual arts and theatre to work with disaster victims proved to be very useful in the populations of children, women, communities, as well as in social worker self-care. The arts also helped to expand upon the roles of social workers as creative and flexible and as able to bring pleasure and provide social cohesion and direction in concrete ways in times of crisis (Table 20.1). Table 20.1  Project protocol Materials

Setting Time frame People, amount of participants Skills Potential pitfalls Other users

Props for small theatre interventions Art materials—paper and pens and glue to create concertina books Projective cards or pictures from magazines that can be used. Any setting where people can draw and write and act, that is, not too hot or cold and with places to sit or to stand. Can be short-term, one-off, product-based meetings and debriefings—or can be an ongoing support group that takes more time to create the arts products. It can be large or small groups or individual work. Learn the concertina bookmaking skill (can use any bookmaking technique) basic theatre warm ups and creating projective cards. Difficulty in mobilizing people and in containing the traumatic stories, although the structured use of arts helps. All groups dealing with violence and transition.

256  Bala Raju Nikku et al.

Notes 1 Artists in Community International (ACI) is an Australian based not for profit organisation founded by Anne Riggs with performing artist Alex Pinder. See 2 Talk given by Arnold Zable, Remembrance and the Expressive Arts Study Day, 11 September 2015. Melbourne University.

References Atkins, S., Knill, P. J., Simoneaux, G., Abbs, K., Kalmanowitz, D. L., Huss, E. & Calderon, J. M. (2011). Art in action: Expressive arts therapy and social change. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley. Bledowski, C., Rahm, B., & Rowe, J. B. (2009). What ‘works’ in working memory? Separate systems for selection and updating of critical information. Journal of Neuroscience, 29(43), 13735–13741. Huss, E. (2012). What we see and what we say: Using images in research, therapy, empowerment, and social change. London, UK: Routledge. Huss, E. (2016). Arts as a methodology for connecting between micro and macro knowledge in social work. British Journal of Social Work 0, 1–15. doi:10.1093/bjsw/ bcx008 Huss, E., & Cwikel, J. (2005). Researching creations: Applying arts-based research to Bedouin women’s drawings. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 4(4), Article 4. Retrieved from Huss, E., Sarid, O., & Cwikel, J. (2010). Using art as a self-regulating tool in a war situation: A model for social workers. Health & Social Work, 35(3), 201–209. Khatri, R. (2011). Gender mainstreaming and maternal mortality in Nepal. In Education and Development Special Edition (pp. 75–89). Kathmandu, Nepal: CERID, Tribhuvan Universality. Mason, J. (2002). Qualitative use of visual methods. London: Sage Publications. Nepal School of Social Work. (2012). Aging in Nepal: Situational analysis and role of service providers (government, NGOs and volunteer organizations in meeting the needs). Report from British Academy Small Grant. Retrieved from www.ljmu. Nikku, B. R. (2015). Living through and responding to disasters: Multiple roles for social work. Social Work Education, 34(6), 601–606. doi:10.1080/02615479.2015.10 90942 Nikku, B. R., & Kadambari, P. (2016). Teaching and practice of family social work: Insights from Nepal School of Social Work. Indian Journal of Social Work, 77(4), 479–490. Parker, S. L., Nikku, B. R., & Khatri, R. (2014). Social policy, social work and age care in Nepal: Mapping services and missing links. European Journal of Social Work, 17(3), 353–366. doi:10.1080/13691457.2013.878315 Riggs, A. (2010). The creative space. PhD Dissertation, Victoria University, Melbourne. Sclater, S. D. (2003). The arts and narrative research—Art as inquiry: An epilogue. Qualitative Inquiry, 9(4), 621–624. WHO. (2013). Nepal country statistics. Retrieved from

21 Safe at Home An Australian example of arts-based community-focused practice Leanne Schubert and Mel Gray Context of the project Geographically, Australia is vast. It is the sixth largest country in the world with a land mass of approximately 7.7 million square kilometres. Most of the population (over 24 million people) lives on the eastern seaboard, m ­ aking it a highly urbanised country (Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 2017). As a Western democracy, the lifestyle of Australians continues to reflect its ­Western cultural and colonial history. The traditional custodians of the land, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, comprise 2.2% of the population. Of these, a third live in rural and remote areas and even smaller numbers maintain a traditional way of life. Increasingly multicultural, ­Australia has over six million settlers from approximately 200 ­nations. Thus, 40% of Australians are migrants or first-generation children of migrants. Of these, half are from non–English-speaking backgrounds. As a stable, developed market economy, Australia has maintained high growth, low interest rates, and low inflation in recent years. Historically well-­supported by its physical resources, the service sector dominates the Australian economy. Safe at Home was an arts-based community development project ­conducted as part of a research study within the Hunter Valley Region of New South Wales. Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA) ­covers approximately 1,950 square kilometres and is located about 40 kilometres west of Newcastle and 120 kilometres north of Sydney. The town of Cessnock is the commercial centre of the region (Cessnock City Council,  2011). The estimated population based on 2009–2010 figures at the time of the ­i ntervention (2007–2011) was 51,706 and growing (ABS, 2011). The loss of the area’s main industrial base, coal mining, and the simultaneous growth of the wine and tourism industry shape the character of the region. Today, Cessnock LGA encompasses one of Australia’s famous wine regions and some 57 distinctive towns, villages, and localities, which contribute to a unique sociocultural setting. Domestic violence is a significant problem in Australia. Prior to the Safe at Home project, in addition to the extensive associated health and social costs, domestic violence cost the country an estimated 8.1 billion Australian

258  Leanne Schubert and Mel Gray dollars (Laing & Bobic, 2002). In terms of level of domestic and family violence, the Cessnock LGA ranked 22nd out of 143 LGAs with a population of over 3,000 across New South Wales in 2006. Within the Cessnock LGA, the reported incidence of domestic violence was  625.7 per 100,000 of the population, as compared to the state average of 389.1 per 100,000 (Bureau of Crime Statistics and ­Research, NSW, 2008). ­Police  estimated calls for domestic violence incidents in the Cessnock  and Kurri Kurri areas were ­increasing, with 812 calls in 2006 increasing to 867 in 2007 (J. Brown, 20 May 2008, personal communication). An ongoing concern in addressing domestic violence against women was how to prevent and determine the success of preventive measures. One main strategy has been public community education. Raising public consciousness through community education has been a long-term project of feminist social work with posters a major means of conveying key messages. A ­variety of approaches to reducing and preventing domestic and family ­violence have been tried, with many focusing exclusively on women, including self-­protection and personal safety training and specialised sexual assault services. These approaches were unable to deliver the hoped-for change to pervasive violence against women. Despite this, they emphasised the complexity and diversity of those affected. Recent strategies attempted to target men. However, community education is, at best, a partial solution to this problem, as awareness does not equate to behavioural change (Carmody & Carrington, 2000). Carmody (2003) recognised the demonising of men and simultaneous construction of women as victim was counterproductive. She and others recommended actions to change community attitudes, balanced with a whole-of-community response, which acknowledged that most men detest violence against women (and men) (Carmody & Carrington, 2000; Pease, 1997, 2002, 2008). Safe at Home responded to this challenge and attempted to take a whole-of-­community approach to raising awareness and attitudinal change regarding domestic and family violence.

Aim of the project Safe at Home had an explicit agenda of raising community awareness about domestic and family violence. It advocated that everyone had the right to be ‘safe at home’. It aimed to develop, test, implement, and evaluate a creative social intervention that would highlight and raise awareness of domestic and family violence across the whole community. The people involved. Leanne Schubert, a social worker who had worked in Cessnock for almost 15 years, led the project while undertaking PhD study, supported by her supervisors; Mel Gray, a social worker; and Anne Graham, an artist. Safe at Home related to three ‘communities’ of people: 1 The Cessnock Anti Violence Network (the Network), a group of concerned practitioners, including social, community, and welfare workers,

Safe at Home  259 focused on providing a holistic, multi-service approach to domestic and family violence 2 The community geographically located on the Housing NSW estate in East Cessnock, where key creative interventions occurred 3 The wider geographical community of the Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA) in keeping with the whole-of-community approach The needs and interests of these three communities were diverse and only an ethical approach could realise a balanced ‘whole-of-community’ focus, given limited available resources. In practice, the Network drove the awareness-raising agenda during the project, as the topic of domestic and family violence was not a natural choice for the more broadly defined communities and was, at times, at odds with their priorities. To ensure an ethical approach toward the identified priorities and preferences of the wider community, the researcher/artist referred all other issues to the Community Development Worker, Housing NSW, or another relevant local agency for follow-up. Social workers took a variety of roles in this project. Importantly, social workers supervised and led the project. This included the making of the artworks and the facilitating of community activities and events and combined a variety of group and community work tasks.

Method: The artform The Safe at Home project was multi-modal and used a variety of artforms, including drawing, painting, collage, photography, mosaic, installation, and conversation, within an arts-based community development ­framework. Each artwork was created through a succession of workshops and events with various community members. Together with the Network and community members, the process of collaborative art production was ­negotiated through (1) goal and objective setting; and (2) shared ­decision-making about the nature of the creative works and management of the process. To ensure worker safety during implementation, two practitioners facilitated the workshops. Children were actively involved through the playground installations, modelled on prior work by Anne Graham, who had created several international community-based sculptures. What was unique about the process of Safe at Home was the diversity of creative activities used to promote safety at home. Process (events/interventions) An advertisement in the local newspaper invited community members to contribute their ideas at a series of community consultations. Suggestions for creative approaches to motivate safety at home included a T-shirt campaign; a wall painting, mural, or mosaic; a community garden; a poster-and-coaster

260  Leanne Schubert and Mel Gray campaign; a tea-towel campaign; an advertising campaign on cereal boxes; community exhibitions; billboards; a dramatic performance; bookmarks; a playground installation; and body cutouts with preschool children and their parents. Thirteen funding applications to a variety of funding bodies secured resources for some, but not all, of these suggestions. Further conversations with community members discussed extending the project to the pathways in the park, which connected the homes of local families to the school in East Cessnock. The attitudes of most concern for the project to target emerged from a community-wide survey, which explored attitudes toward domestic and family violence. Five simple, clear anti-violence messages were developed to begin advocating for positive, safety-focused attitudes. These messages operated as a beginning point for community engagement: 1 2 3 4 5

Domestic violence IS a crime. Domestic and family violence. STOP I don’t like it! Everyone has the right to feel safe, especially at home. A happy home = A safe home. Domestic violence affects neighbours too.

Conversations about these messages led to the development of ideas for an installation in the park, during an event on the East Cessnock Housing ­Estate called Art for the Park. Art for the Park was an art-making and conversation-starting event that was central to engaging members of the East Cessnock community. ­Housing NSW was keen for the project to do something in the park. This event aimed to involve residents and collect ideas about projects that would work in the park space to advocate for being safe at home. As a major community event, it incorporated conversations, painting, drawing, video, photography, a sausage sizzle, and a presentation by CrocStars (a reptile show) that discussed providing safe homes for pets. Thirty community members registered to participate, with another 20 or so onlookers joining in. This initial gathering triggered 142 subsequent workshops in East Cessnock to complete three mosaic works, one of which was the Snakes and Ladders installation (mosaic), which became the major work of the project, as shown in Figure 21.1. The Cutout Project (Domestic and Family Violence—STOP! I don’t like it) aimed to generate a work to represent and advocate for the safety of children identified as victims of domestic and family violence across the LGA through the community-wide survey. Creation of the cutouts involved engaging with preschool children and their parents and tracing the shape of the children’s bodies onto medium-density fibreboards, which the children and their parents subsequently painted. Off-site, the researcher/artist cut the figures out with a jigsaw, outlined them in black, and sealed them to produce a unified artwork across four sites of activity.

Safe at Home  261

Figure 21.1  A rt for the Park.

This strategy expanded to include a group of older children, and in total, 82 people participated in this intervention, producing 50 cutouts, as shown in Figures 21.2 and 21.3. A posters-and-coasters campaign involved 12 weekly workshops at the Cessnock Family Support Service with their craft group (n = 7) for local women, some of whom had experienced domestic and family violence. This group created collages, developed the text, and selected the final images for two sets of posters and coasters. Following selection, the group reviewed the digitally manipulated and recommended changes over several sessions until all group members were satisfied with the result. The researcher/artist developed proofs for commercial printing and offered the final product to all the hotels and clubs on the southern side of the LGA (the most densely populated sector) for display (see Figures 21.4 and 21.5). The researcher/artist held a series of community exhibitions of works produced during the project displaying the cutouts in five community locations and the posters and coasters in 36 licensed premises. Safe Families Day and Activity Book held in one of the smaller towns in the LGA was not one of the originally planned activities. Due to a strengthened connection with Housing NSW, the community development worker invited Safe at Home to participate in this activity. The project made cutouts, provided a sausage sizzle, and contributed to a Family Activity Book promoting anti-violence messages distributed on the day. Sixty people attended this event—a record for this neighbourhood.

262  Leanne Schubert and Mel Gray

Figure 21.2  Making cutouts.

Figure 21.3  Making cutouts.

Respect was a wall mosaic commenced at Art for the Park. It aimed to engage community members from at domestically dangerous neighbourhood. The initial intention was to create a collaborative community wall and garden at The Cottage, a community venue, with food-related events involving the use of community garden produce, and raising issues

Safe at Home  263

Figure 21.4  Designing the Posters and Coasters using group work skills.

Figure 21.5  Proofs for one of the Coasters and Posters sets produced.

of safety in the home indirectly (following the work of artists like ­Jeremy Deller and Rikrit Tiravaneja). The residents actively participated in making the mosaic to promote greater respect within the community, a theme that had emerged from the community consultations. However, there was less enthusiasm for a community garden and residents dropped

264  Leanne Schubert and Mel Gray this idea. What arose was the idea of creating open space around The ­Cottage where the younger children could play. The result was the Hopscotch mosaic that more directly addressed the idea of being safe at home. Early experiments to test how well the children’s drawings would translate to a mosaic provided ideas for Hopscotch. The test pieces combined to become an artwork that reclaimed disused space beside The Cottage, which further promoted safety at home. Snakes and Ladders, located in the park, targeted children’s awareness of domestic and family violence. It simultaneously aimed to strengthen community networks. Community members living near the site created drawings to convey messages about being safe at home. Every house on the housing estate at East Cessnock was door-knocked and residents invited to contribute drawings. The artist/researcher offered workshops and drawing packs to support the process. This enabled public or private participation, and facilitated the inclusion of several housebound community members, who otherwise would not have participated. The drawings were thematically analysed, collated, and transferred onto 100 unique, numbered panels that made up a six-metre circular snakes-andladders board. The participants converted them into mosaic at further workshops before installation in the park with the aid of a professional tiler to complete the artwork. This intervention involved the Housing NSW community development worker, Cessnock City Council, volunteers from Aftercare and Northnet, as well as community members in the creation and construction of the work. Schubert (2011a, 2011b) visually documented the process of artmaking and project outcomes within the community, as shown in Figure 21.6.

Figure 21.6  Creating mosaic pieces for Snakes and Ladders with Personal Helpers and Mentors group.

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Impact of the project For the first time in Australia, this project tried to measure how a marginalised community responded to various arts-based strategies, albeit in a small way. An understanding of the challenges of measuring creative work within a community context was developed and the challenges approximated those encountered in attempting to measure generic community development interventions. This project was not effective in the way in which outcomes-based research uses the term effectiveness. Community-based advocacy and development work is particularly difficult to measure. Nevertheless, participation rates for the diverse activities suggest—at least to some degree—that the project made progress in engaging a sector of the community formerly designated as ‘difficult to engage’. Forty-three art, social work, or community practitioners and their students were involved in the artmaking interventions. A small post-intervention survey (n = 200) in the neighbourhood in which many of the creative activities had been conducted sought feedback on the project’s reach and community members’ awareness and experience of the artworks and events. Since prior surveys in the area had received a nil ­response, colleagues in the Network and wider service sector viewed the seven returned responses as progress, only two of whom having known about, or participated in, Safe at Home. Two respondents said they had seen the Safe at Home logo on project materials. This was disappointing, since the logo was used on fridge magnets and project invitations and in drawing packs to households (n = 57), letterbox drops, door knocks, the local newspaper, and project updates in the Housing NSW newsletters. One respondent noted, it was ‘nice to see domestic violence been brought out from behind closed doors’ to convey that ‘it can happen to anyone no matter where you live’. None of the survey respondents had seen the cutouts exhibited publicly for 66 days in multiple community sites. However, several agencies that had hosted the exhibited works provided feedback on informal community responses to this work in their setting: 1 Centrelink [Australia’s income support agency] hosted some of the cutouts for the entire 66 days. Staff members reported that young children had been attracted to the cutouts, which had also worked as a point of discussion for community members awaiting service. 2 Cessnock Family Support Service said the cutouts had ignited discussions about domestic and family violence with families attending their Centre. Staff members attached to their display requested they remain on permanent loan. 3 Koe-Nara (School as Community Centre) staff members reported greater challenges with their cutouts, which they had exhibited outdoors on their fence. They had to install and remove them daily and could only display them when the weather was good. The cutouts had aroused curiosity and community members who had examined them more closely responded positively to them.

266  Leanne Schubert and Mel Gray Cessnock City Library staff members said several community members found the cutouts ‘scary’ or ‘spooky’. One survey respondent had attended Art for the Park, while another expressed concern about the mosaic in the park, exclaiming ‘I hope that no one destroys it.’ Many had expressed similar concerns during the making of the mosaic. During Art for the Park, CrocStars proved a major drawcard for otherwise nonparticipating community members, who arrived spontaneously for their performance. Many of these late-comers stayed to share in the sausage sizzle and engage in conversations. Thus, food and animals promoted stronger levels of community engagement than the art or domestic and family violence related activities, particularly with young people. The children who had attended said they had enjoyed the day, especially the reptile show. None of the survey respondents had seen the Respect mosaic at The Cottage. This was unsurprising due to the installation of this artwork just prior to the distribution of the survey, though none of the survey respondents had participated in its making at The Cottage. The design and development of this mosaic had begun at Art for the Park, and subsequently, had been completed in art-making workshops at The Cottage. This arts-based intervention resulted in an attitudinal shift for the residents’ committee, who wanted the artwork installed on an exterior wall of The Cottage (see Figure 21.7). Two survey respondents had seen the Posters and Coasters Campaign promoting anti-violence messages, one in a local club and the other in a local hotel. None of the respondents had seen the posters on display at the Cottage; 97.2% of the licensed premises approached within the LGA had displayed the posters and all had used the coasters. One survey

Figure 21.7  The Respect mosaic at The Cottage being finalised.

Safe at Home  267

Figure 21.8  

Figure 21.9  

respondent commented, ‘I thought it was great. People need to know it’s not OK,’ and another noted that it, ‘helps get [the] message across but does not stop people that drink or [take] drugs as [their] brain has gone.’ Several community members, who had participated in creating the posters and coasters, expressed pride and delight at seeing them displayed

268  Leanne Schubert and Mel Gray

Figure 21.10  

Figure 21.11  

publicly. Two participants said they were glad they had taken the chance to ‘have their say’. A staff member from a refuge and women’s centre in a neighbouring LGA, reported that women attending their centre felt the poster affirmed, and accurately depicted, their experience of trying to leave a violent relationship. A source from the local Liquor Accord, which had promoted the posters and coasters campaign to licenced

Safe at Home  269 premises, commented on the quality of the coasters, remarking they were ‘too good’ to use. A printing process that made the coaters waterproof had been used. One respondent had seen the Hopscotch installation at the Cottage, who commented that it was ‘very nice’. The children designed and made the ­Hopscotch mosaic, installed at the Cottage at their request, since their parents had forbidden them to play in the park, where the Snakes and Ladders mosaic was located. None of the survey respondents had attended the Weston Safe Families Day, nor had they seen the accompanying Activity Book distributed to children in the East Cessnock neighbourhood. Weston area community members and service providers gave positive feedback and said the activity books had prompted dialogue about domestic and family violence. One event marred the day, when the cutout a young person had completed disappeared and was presumed stolen. The young person concerned expressed her disappointment but declined to make a replacement. Three survey respondents had seen the Snakes and Ladders mosaic in the park. None said their children had contributed to Safe at Home (and one was not sure). In discussions throughout the project, the response of the community to the Snakes and Ladders mosaic installation had been positive, though people expressed concern about the long-term safety of the work. Many recognised the project’s effort to convey a message through the artwork, as reflected in the following remarks: ‘Hope some people understand the message,’ and ‘Fantastic. Positively subtle. Fun with a message.’ Clients, volunteers, and staff members of the Aftercare’s Personal Helpers and Mentors program actively participated in this arts-based intervention and reported positive mental health benefits. Children expressed surprise and delight when they recognised their drawings in the mosaic and ­disappointment at theirs not being included. All the children’s drawings had been included though some had provided multiple drawings and only one from each child could be included in the interests of equity. The Snakes and ­Ladders mosaic was the largest of the artworks and attracted the most attention, followed by the posters and coasters.

Conclusion Though the artworks raised some awareness of domestic and family violence, whether they achieved attitudinal change was harder to determine. However, the most surprising outcome of the Safe at Home project was the community’s positive reaction to and support for it. It challenged long-held negative perceptions about the residents living on the East Cessnock housing estate renowned for their lack of community participation. This chapter has outlined the context, content, method, and process of an arts-based ­community-focused project ending with a discussion of its impact (Table 21.1).

Table 21.1  Project protocol Materials

This project used a wide range of materials which included: Art materials: paint, medium density fiberboard (MDF), gesso, marking pens, pencils, markers paper, cardboard erasers, sharpeners, scissors, ribbon, tiles, grout, concrete, timber, glue (various strengths), mosaic tools, cement fiberboard (for mosaic base), scissors, magazines, Stanley knives, timber, bolts, screws (for frames for exhibiting the cutout project), hammer, screwdriver, buckets, water containers and painting pallets. Kitchen and food supplies: weekly food contribution, barbeque and gas bottle, knives, forks, spoons, paper napkins, dishcloths, paper towel, tea towels, detergent, plates, cups, glasses, serving dishes, tongs, water containers, eskies (cooler boxes). Safety equipment: sunblock, glasses, ear protection, knee pads, aprons, dust masks, gloves. Other: insect repellent, plastic drop sheets advertising banner, magnets (promotional), portable tables and chairs, shade tents, first aid kit, jig saw, electric drill, computer, printer, photocopying and phone, advertising flags, balloons to indicate meeting places. Setting The various activities were conducted in various community locations including parks, community centres, community halls, local services, including family support service, schools, library, Centrelink office (income support agency). Time frame The project operated over a three-year period and conducted activities weekly apart from a brief break over the Christmas– New Year period each year. People, Over 100 community members participated regularly in the project number of and an unspecified number of casual participants participated participants in occasional events. Numbers varied according to the event and activity, ranging from two to over 60. The average for most groupbased activities was between 6 and 12 participants. Skills Arts-based skills: mosaic skills (cutting, tiling, grouting), drawing, design, painting, finishing, installation, exhibition planning and execution, photography, collage, Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, printing. Non arts-based skills: planning, community engagement, project management, cooking, cleaning, negotiation, promotion (media), fundraising, grant writing, administrative, group work, time management. Potential Some parents seeing the project as free child care. pitfalls Competing agendas within a small community can be challenging to manage and work with. They also have the potential to derail a project. The art project may not always address the primary concerns of particular sectors of a community. Time and resource intensive. Need a base for the storage of project equipment and supplies Other users There were 43 workers from different community agencies who participated in Safe at Home activities across the life of the project. To date, as far as we are aware, there have been no other programs which take an approach similar to the Safe at Home Project that have been developed by other uses beyond the project.

Safe at Home  271

Acknowledgements Safe at Home was jointly funded by the Australia Council, Housing NSW, and the University of Newcastle.

References Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). (2011). Regional population growth, Australia. Population estimates by local government area, 2001 to 2010. Retrieved from www.[email protected]/DetailsPage/3218.02009-10?OpenDocument Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). (2017). Population clock. Retrieved from[email protected]/0/1647509ef7e25faaca2568a900154b63n Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, NSW. (2008). Domestic violence related assaults: NSW Recorded crime statistics: January 2005 to December 2005. Retrieved from Carmody, M. (2003). New approaches to sexual assault prevention. Paper presented at the Conference on practice and prevention: Contemporary issues in adult sexual assault in NSW. University of Technology, Sydney, February 12–14. Carmody, M. & Carrington, K. (2000). Preventing sexual violence. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 33(1), 341–361. Cessnock City Council. (2011). Cessnock City Council. Retrieved from www. Laing, L., & Bobic, N. (2002). Economic costs of domestic violence: Literature review. Sydney, NSW: Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse UNSW. Pease, B. (1997). Men and sexual politics: Towards a profeminist practice. Adelaide, SA: Dulwich Centre Publications. Pease, B. (2002). Masculinities and violence: Breaking the equation. In R. Adams & D. Savran (Eds.), Men and gender relations. Melbourne, VIC: Tertiary Press. Pease, B. (2008). Engaging men in men’s violence prevention: Exploring the tensions, dilemmas and possibilities. Australian Domestic & Family Violence ­Clearinghouse, August 2008, Issues Paper, No. 17, 1–20, Australian Domestic & Family Violence Clearinghouse, Australia. Schubert, L. (2011a). The ‘Safe at Home’ project: A process record in pictures. ­Volume 1. Newcastle: Author. Retrieved from Schubert, L. (2011b). The ‘Safe at Home’ project: A process record in pictures. Volume 2. Newcastle: Author. Retrieved From

22 Advancing the creativity of girls living in underserved neighborhoods through an arts-based social enterprise A theory of action revealed by an instrumental case David Moxley The problem focus In the United States, the reduction of arts education in the public schools presents a serious challenge to those who seek to promote a broad-based education for children, particularly those living in underserved or marginalized communities. The ‘back to basics’ movement in public education mislabels arts education as an extravagance. In such a policy narrative, the arts can offer little to students in substantive educational development and ignores how the arts can strengthen the kind of thought processes societies now need for the purposes of economic advantage. Current movements in public education favor science and mathematics education, which suggests that a quantitative approach to knowing ought to dominate curriculum (Vasquez Heilig, Cole, & Aguilar, 2010). Standardized testing focuses on assessing the success of students and educational institutions in increasing such thinking and the competencies associated with them. Compared to arts education, the assessment of ­scientific and mathematical knowledge is fairly straight forward (Mehta, 2013). The appraisal of students in this regard can be formulaic, incorporate explicit standards, and lends itself to highly structured testing. ­Art-­making, however, requires student engagement in original production based on forms they acquire from their exposure to a wide variety of arts methods, frames, and experimentation with ideas, methods, and materials. Students’ ­involvement in the arts require them to demonstrate understanding and insight, particularly of the human condition, and can place students in the position of original thinking in which cognition and emotion converge into alternative ways through which artists engage in the expression of ideas and creative production. The dominance of science and mathematics and its relationship to what public educators now call STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) overlooks the distinctive features of arts education and its

Advancing the creativity of girls  273 contribution to the development of children, and the intrinsic value the arts serve in communities (Elliot, 2012). Especially important is how potent the engagement in the arts can be for children in fostering imagination, generating ideas, deepening and broadening creative engagement of the world, and expanding a sense of agency as students interact individually and within collaborative groups to express their own thinking and emotions. And, children’s involvement in the arts can improve their performance in other academic areas (Smithrim & Upitis, 2005), although this can obscure the distinctive contributions of the arts to children’s development. The reduction or removal of arts education from the curriculum reveals a crisis of values and priorities in which school leaders must make often times draconian decisions about the scope of educational opportunity for children. The arts are too often the focus of such retrenchment decisions because public school officials are dealing with limited budgets and a prescriptive educational framework that stipulate quantitative and structured problem solving. Too often such decisions implicate the economic base of a given community so that those schools and school districts with limited funds—and experiencing considerable public retrenchment in funding— must prioritize what state school authorities consider most important. Driven by standardized testing as a measure of a school’s and teachers’ competencies, testing favoring children’s acquisition of a knowledge base favored by STEM disciplines, school districts may simply eliminate altogether arts education from their curricula. Alternatively, the arts intensify experience and reduce the impersonality of life, essential ingredients of the humanities (Dewey, 1934; Selznick, 2008; Noblit, Corbit, Wilson, & ­McKinney, 2009). The arts can foster life-worlds in which the quest for creativity can foster organic unity within and between human groups. Central to those worlds is the pursuit of culture in which people join together, not only to create, but to experiment with forms of social integration independent of formal systems that can bind roles and behavior in narrow ways (Habermas, 1984; Selznick, 1992; Kraatz, 2015). Too often, affluent districts do not face such draconian measures (­ Mehta, ­ rincipally 2013). Given how the United States funds public education, relying p on local tax bases, more affluent districts typically have the ­resources to ­expand and protect their educational infrastructure. Even though an affluent school district may fund what other less fortunate school districts may consider an extravagance, affluent families may also supplement their children’s education outside of school through their investment in private tutoring, community-based or private arts education, and specialized camps that expand their children’s experience and competencies in the arts. Less affluent families, especially those living in poverty, simply do not have the resources to make such investments. And it is here where educational policy is actually failing. The arts, for Selznick (2002), possess intrinsic worth. They are inherently worthwhile, and society should protect their availability essential to the holistic development of students.

274  David Moxley What would be considered an essential aspect of education within affluent communities cannot be sustained by school districts of lesser means in which community affluence as a measure of income, property values, and tax base is insufficient to support a broad-based education inclusive of the arts. Such austerity within less affluent or poor communities has produced two negative consequences for children who come from households with limited economic means. First, limited economic means within households and communities result in a limited scope of arts education within local public schools. Second, retrenchment of the arts broadly defined involving music, visual, vocal, and the performing arts, or their total elimination is occurring.

Making arts education central in the lives of children and youth with limited access What the authors have witnessed in Oklahoma as a result of these two consequences is the emergence of community-based social enterprises devoted to expanding arts education outside the boundaries of public schools. Led by local arts educators who value their disciplines and recognize the ­distinctive contributions of arts education to children’s development, they are creating innovations in the provision of arts education, particularly in communities facing economic challenges for children whose families cannot afford to supplement their education in the arts. These social enterprises adopt a specific focus on the provision of arts education to underserved neighborhoods, prioritize the creative development of children, and compensate for the withdrawal of public schools from arts education occurring through either rationing of such education or its total elimination. The authors refer to these entities as social enterprises because of their innovative organizational forms, use of local community arts assets to nurture the development of children through the arts, and tenacity of their leaders to make arts education a reality within low income or poor neighborhoods. These leaders recognize the importance of investing in arts education not only as an avenue for instilling creativity in children but as an avenue of children’s holistic educational development (Egan, 1997). These ­community-based arts organizations can expand the developmental options available to children who can increase their knowledge of the world, knowledge of self, social and interpersonal skills, and problem-solving capacities through the arts. That some children may become artists as a result of arts education is typically not a principal aim of these entities’ primary missions. Rather, their mission is to expand the development of children through the arts and to preserve or amplify the distinctive means arts education can afford children in the affective, cognitive, cultural, and social domains of learning. The community-based arts alternatives populating Oklahoma City especially reflect the broad nature of the arts within the context of culture. Several alternatives focus on music education and seek to broaden their

Advancing the creativity of girls  275 students’ engagement in the world of music, knowledge of the diversity of music and performance, with the latter involving both the technical means of making music and the presentation of self in performance before audiences. Cultural aspects of music for some of these entities may involve the intersection of race or ethnicity and musical forms, such as the Blues and Hip Hop. Students learn not only about particular musical forms or traditions, but also about their relationship to cultural experiences and social innovations of certain groups, such as African Americans or those of ­Hispanic or Latino origin. Cultural awareness and self-definition in the making of music is a natural product of the engagement of students in the world of music. Music and its relationship to spoken word, rhythm and bodily awareness, emotion, and the technical and business sides of the arts also can fall within the educational curriculum of these entities. Still other entities may prioritize dance, movement, and performance fostering children’s awareness of culture, the body, and dance forms and heritage. Whether through theater or dance troupes these entities use p ­ erformance as a way of nurturing children’s creativity, social presence, self-­discipline, bodily awareness, and care of the body. Potentially, students can gain tremendously from such education through their involvement in preparing sets, coordinating events, and performing in groups or individually.

The Oklahoma City Girls Arts School as social enterprise The Oklahoma City Girls Arts School represents one of these social enterprises. Formed by the lead author in 2015, the school’s formation recognizes the crisis in public education, especially in low income or poor neighborhoods. That local public schools in these neighborhoods too often cannot afford arts education amplifies the relevance of this new entity in the ­provision of visual arts education. The focus on girls, especially the prioritization of girls from minority backgrounds, implicates their limited access to arts education as well as to other opportunities favoring boys. The sex-­segregated character of the school recognizes that girls working together apart from boys can develop differently and more positively than those girls who are students in sex integrated learning environments in which educators may attend more to the learning needs of boys than girls. The school seeks to nurture the full development of girls through their involvement in the arts. Like the other arts education entities now populating Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Girls Art School operates as an educational entity devoted to advancing students’ knowledge and understanding of the visual arts as well as their competence and confidence in producing arts, but it also recognizes the potential influence of arts education and art-making on the social and emotional development of girls. The school engages in the development of students through a multi-dimensional curriculum. The curriculum incorporates (1) arts education to expand students’ knowledge of the arts across

276  David Moxley different genre and historical periods, (2) art-making as a way of taking perspective, communicating ideas, and expressing the self, (3) art-making to broaden students’ involvement in the use of diverse media to produce art individually, with adult artists, or in small groups, (4) community service through the arts in which students collaborate with artists to produce exhibits expanding audiences’ appreciation of the arts, (5) orientation to the business of the arts in which students learn from arts entrepreneurs about how to shape careers as artists, (6) financial literacy through the accumulation of savings from art sales in micro savings accounts, and (7) social development achieved through collaborative projects in which small groups of students conceptualize, plan, execute, and engage relatively large scale projects requiring the involvement of all group members to produce a piece of art work. The school’s curriculum moves students from a paradigm of an isolated artist producing art on a solo basis to a paradigm in which art is a product of social engagement among multiple collaborators. Often students are involved in groups when working on their own projects imbuing activity with considerable social interaction. Through the planning and execution of thematically focused exhibits, students immerse themselves in group decision-making and collaborative action. Community exhibits occur frequently enough to link students to the organization of arts learning experiences in their communities and with partners whose support has been vital in fostering the development of the arts education the school offers girls.

The key properties of the Girls Arts School as a creative enabling environment The school offers girls from minority or low income backgrounds opportunities to study the arts and engage in their co-production. Instruction prioritizes the creative process so students of varying talents or gifts in the arts can produce objects in which they find value. Their engagement places a premium on interpretation so the children can imbue their work with personal meaning as they come to interpret their worlds on their own terms, just like practicing artists. The engagement of artists models this kind of meaning making, as they become active in instruction, projects, and exhibits in which the girls are central decision-makers and actors. It is in the ­process of interpretation that girls can discover themselves as creative agents. The school serves as a holding environment of social learning in which girls interact with adult artists, art educators, and each other to foster self-efficacy, the belief that students can make creative products that resonate in positive ways with others in the arts community. The idea of the school as a creative holding environment elevates the status of the arts and underscores the importance of the kind of creative learning inherent in the girls’ production of original objects. The school as a holding environment of creative action is one way it seeks to counteract oppression visible in the

Advancing the creativity of girls  277 economic limitations of the households and neighborhoods in which the girls reside. Most, if not all, of the girls come from households in which English is not the principal language, and therefore, one could characterize the girls as constituting a linguistic minority. Some of the families the school assists may be considered undocumented. Some girls live with grandparents or single parents, especially mothers, due to divorce, separation, and other circumstances like the incarceration of a parent that negatively impact families, and many lack local support systems as extended families that could provide this support may reside in other countries. The holding environment seeks to empower its students with a sense of agency that they are valued human beings who possess desire, aspirations, and purpose in their lives. Consistent with the trend resulting in the exclusion of the arts from public education, the Oklahoma City Girls Art School offers access to a supportive and nurturing studio and instructional settings in which girls can learn directly about the arts and how to mobilize their own distinctive creativity inherent in imagining their world in either positive or negative ways. Augmented access to the arts compensates for the retrenchment of the arts or its exclusion from the girls’ public school experience. There is nothing within the school competing with the arts, and therefore the arts experiences in which the children participate hold primacy while they are involved in the world of art the school constructs as an essential quality of its organizational culture. This primacy means that neither science nor mathematics nor any other subject matter compete directly with the girls’ involvement in the arts. The arts themselves stand as the principal pillars of the school, and the learning experiences the school offers. The culture of the school prioritizes the arts and make them a reality within the girls’ educational life space. That students are exposed to powerful role models who themselves are practicing and successful artists means that students have sources of identification guiding them through the process of making, displaying, interpreting, and selling their art work. The exhibits extend such interpretation into the world of the arts in which there are people who serve as audiences of the children’s work, adding more value to the affirmation of the students as creative beings. The primacy of the visual arts within the school validates the perspectives of the students whose stance on their experiences become important subject or thematic matter of their art projects. Self-expression through the arts is an important property of the arts holding environment the school offers girls. Through their art work, they can learn about their own perspectives and the perspectives of others, whether those are held by practicing adult artists, the arts educators, or other students. By taking perspective in the production of their art work and by expressing this perspective through the qualities they instill in their art projects, the girls can establish an evocative form of knowledge. For the students, the arts can evoke perspective, feelings, and ideas from others, first those closest to them, such as fellow

278  David Moxley students or art educators, and then from members of audiences who attend the girls’ exhibits or shows. From the evocative nature of the girls’ work they can learn that the arts influence the perspective, thoughts, and feelings held by others who often times are either adult artists or those adults who appreciate the value of the arts. They learn how to view art, assess it, and interpret the work of others. The school seeks to groom this kind of self-agency on behalf of the girls, and help them understand that the arts can be political in the sense that they can influence people’s understanding of the girls’ worlds and the issues they face in their daily lives. Reinforcing the girls’ formation of agency is their experience of group life. The school operates on a cohort model in which about 12 girls are admitted free of charge on an annual basis. The first cohort of girls entered the summer pilot program in 2015 and continued with the program into the 2015–2016 academic year. These students are now active in the school, and they are welcome to participate until they leave high school. The school seeks to add 12–15 girls from a different, low-income school each summer. The students can achieve continuity in their arts education, and for the girls, this means that they can come to be members of the school as a whole and of a particular cohort. The school serves as an arts-learning community and each of the cohorts enable the girls to undertake group projects requiring community engagement, collaboration, and active construction and presentation of the arts in real life settings outside of the school. Group life and the cohesion emanating from it, along with membership in which girls belong to a school and to a cohort, facilitate community building. The idea of the girls as members of the school means that others will value their involvement and contribution, making them important co-creators in the arts enterprise the school seeks to bring about. Group life can buffer girls from the exigencies of daily life, facilitate their development of identity, and make them a vital part of the school’s fulfillment of its mission. Within this group-oriented community engaged culture, the school facilitates the individuation of the girls. Not only is it a place in which students can discover themselves as artists, or better yet as creative agents, but it is a place in which students can form their aspirations and seek support for their fulfillment. Even though the school remains in its early stages, such aspirations are materializing in the realm of work and career, volunteer activity and citizenship, higher education, and profession. What emerges from the principal qualities or properties of the school as a creative holding environment? Given the children’s origins, the issues they must address in their family and community lives, and the absence of enabling opportunities in their public schools focusing on creative engagement, the school represents an alternative opportunity structure. The school literally opens up opportunities for the girls they would otherwise not have available to them in their daily lives. This observation is not a criticism of the girls’ families or their schools, but rather, a recognition that families, communities, and schools face considerable limitations in meeting

Advancing the creativity of girls  279 the developmental needs of children and youth, especially those suffering from underinvestment by society. The school represents a novel opportunity structure in which the creative development of girls is the primary focus of institutional purpose and mission. If one frames the expression of creativity as a vital opportunity in contemporary society, then the arts learning the school opens up can have a profound influence on not only the girls’ sense of agency, but the self-­ awareness of their potential and how to fulfil it within domains of life they value for themselves, such as vocation and work, career, further education, community engagement, and friendship. Given the profound limitations society imposes on contemporary families with its imposition of considerable expectations about work and income, and the limitations society imposes on schools, alternative locality-based institutions that can support the development of children and youth have an immediate relevance. The ­Oklahoma City Girls Art School is one of these alternative institutions in which a creative holding environment of arts-based learning can foster the creative and social development of children and youth.

The centrality of relationships in fostering arts education Although the authors implicate the importance of social enterprise and the leadership emanating from the social entrepreneur, ideas, concepts, and practices aside, the leader shapes an organization through the development of its culture. For Schein (2004), leadership and culture are inextricably linked such that the founder articulates organizational identity through the allocation and protection of what Selznick (1957) long ago identified as precarious values. The founder of the Oklahoma City Girls Arts School knew only too well how the arts have been compromised in public education and how they were rendered to a secondary or even tertiary status compared to other disciplines. The founder brought to the Oklahoma City Girls Arts School a deep commitment to art-making and art education and its important influence on the development of girls, particularly those whose schools, neighborhoods, and families simply were without the resources to access sustained arts education in the lives of children. The founder recognized how creativity could serve as a principal resource across the adolescent life course of the girls involved in the school, and it was her vision to make sustained creative development an essential capacity of the girls involved in the school. Yet even with her deep commitment, the founder has required considerable investment by other stakeholders who recognized the critical importance of the arts in the creative development and life success of the girls who participate. The key relationships serve as a way to strengthen the web of support for the arts the school is seeking to promote in the lives of the girls. Some relationships are quite strong, and the people and institutions forming those relationships are champions of the arts, arts education, and the

280  David Moxley purpose and mission of the Oklahoma City Girls Arts School. Through relationship building within the locale, the school is creating an ecosystem of collaboration dedicated to advancing the arts and arts education. Other relationships are weak, although in the words of Granovetter (1973), the social network theorist and analyst, ‘the strength of weak ties’ can ­connect people, groups, and organizations to resources outside of their immediate or intimate support systems. Granovetter’s work demonstrates how weak ties facilitate people’s access to resources, like jobs and other opportunities. As the authors considered the many relationships the founder formed to support the development and expansion of the school, they became mindful of the importance of the diversity of the ties the founder sought to form, especially early on; ties varying in their strength from those they could characterize as strong, and those they came to see as weak. As the authors considered the set of relationships the school developed, they came to appreciate how relationships varied according to the movement of the school through its early development. When examining the pool of relationships and sorting through them qualitatively, the authors came to appreciate how strong and weak relationships varied across early organizational development involving (1) forming, (2) enabling, and (3) sustaining (Table 22.1). By forming, the authors considered the relationships, whether weak or strong, to be essential to getting the school off the ground and to make its program of arts instruction and art making a reality in the lives of the first cohort of girls. For the authors, enabling has come to implicate the efforts

Table 22.1  Project protocol Materials

Setting Time frame People, amount of participants Skills Potential pitfalls Other users

This is a community change project the materials have to be policy and leadership connections and ability to write proposals about the arts. Arts teachers and materials are also useful. School settings or any public setting where a studio can be set up. Long-term course building. The aim is to enable the project to get to as many groups of girls and classes as possible but to keep classes at a size that enables intense arts learning in a relational group, that is, a small class. As stated, the skills of policy mobilization are those needed by the social worker and connections with art programs and teachers. The pitfalls are lack of money and cooperation of education and policy makers, lack of good art teachers that understand the psychosocial elements of art teaching. Other users can include setting up such lessons for boys and for adults living in poverty who do not receive the ‘luxuries’ of art education.

Advancing the creativity of girls  281 of people and organizations to bring to bear the potential inputs necessary in constructing the initial program to build the capacity to move beyond an initial cohort and introduce new ones, so the school would possess the resources to engage the students composing those cohorts in a rigorous, meaningful, and relevant program of arts education and instruction as well as art making. Sustaining has come to involve those emerging instrumental relationships that can assist the school and its participants to operate effectively in the present as it anticipates the future with optimism and hope for making the arts a reality operating outside of the formal school system for the current cohort and those coming in the near future. What follows then is the strategic framework the authors constructed through their examination of the organizational relationships making the school a reality and a very real and now potentially vital alternative source of arts education in Oklahoma City. The founder did not construct this framework as a guide to action, but rather intuitively, created the relationships that are now central to the further evolution of the school. The framework tells a story about this evolution revealing perhaps how various intersections of elite actors, artists, community activists, and social entrepreneurs are shaping the school either holistically or through their involvement in shaping particular segments of the organization, such as its governance body, arts-based research program, arts education curriculum, and evaluation capacity. Inspection of the six cells of the framework indicates the school’s potential diversity of organizational relationships that can contribute to its formation of social capital over time. Thematically, what is apparent within the cells of the framework are the capacities the school is now forming or anticipating in order to secure legitimacy, garner resources, gain technical capacities, and expand its own capacities for engaging in the arts education and instruction, causing art making to be relevant to the development of girls who, without the school, would not have access to such an opportunity structure. The framework offers a way of thinking about social change through creative engagement of community stakeholders whose resources and powers could influence the establishment of the school as an alternative organization responding to the arts education and art making needs of girls. In this regard, the mobilization of stakeholders is critical to realizing an innovative form of social action (Chandler, 2015). The framework differentiates leadership actions across the early formative period of the school, revealing how important multiple relationships are to building a community arts capacity within neighborhoods in which girls have limited access, principally for economic reasons. Within the period of forming, the founder engaged entities that came to support the idea (Cell 1), and some of these became strongly involved in the life of the school, ­legitimizing its formation outside of the formal public school system, and encouraging its establishment. These entities involved representatives of the arts community whose own business position could garner the positive

282  David Moxley attention of others. That these entities would make such a commitment reveals their strong attachment to the arts and how they serve as principal arts assets within a community. There were also entities making a resource commitment to the school (Cell 2) offering space and supplies as well as venues for exhibits. These entities enabled the further development of the school and served in fundamental roles in helping the founder make the arts education curriculum a reality for the first cohort of girls. In the sustaining period (Cell 3), people holding pivotal positions in the arts, business, and health and educational sectors volunteered for board service, creating the school’s founding board and establishing its system of governance. Members of founding boards must invest considerable energy in activities like policy development, the creation of financial reporting capacities, and the management of the school’s business affairs until the organization’s administrative capacities mature. The governance of the school can convert the principal values the founder has mustered to shape the initial culture of the organization and bring those values into play through systems of oversight, accountability, improvement, and development (Moxley, 2011). Cells 4–6 reveal the potential of weak but pivotal relationships in the advancement of the Oklahoma City Girls Arts School. Endorsement (Cell 4) by entities whose involvement in the school is tangential may be an important factor in expanding public awareness, building support, and making potential supporters mindful of the distinctiveness of the school. Educators and school administrators have been pivotal in endorsing the school and the relevance of its arts education curriculum. Local elites within the arts community can endorse the school’s purpose and mission making it more visible in the community. Outreach to potential funders, particularly local philanthropic sources, can be important in enabling the school’s acquisition of resources (Cell 5), a set of relationships that will emerge strategically as important factors in the school’s resource development scheme. Interconnecting philanthropy in education and the arts, and fostering this intersection, is enabling the school to undertake the groundwork for future commitment of funding. What is important here is that the school is anticipating the alignment of its values (e.g. a commitment to girls’ development through the arts) with funders who find such an alignment a critical aspect motivating their investment. These entities will remain a weak force in the life of the school as long as it sustains this alignment, ensuring that the donor’s investments’ influence if not bringing about further development of the girls who are the focus of the school’s educational activities in the arts (Cell 6). As the school increases its momentum of growth in a sustained manner, and as groups lobby the school for addressing their concerns and their constituencies (for example, some groups are arguing that the school should increase its scope of inclusion so that boys can participate), the school will likely experience forces challenging its integrity. It is here where the school’s

Advancing the creativity of girls  283 leadership, that has now greatly expanded beyond the founder herself to include advocates for arts education, the arts, and girls with limited access to the arts, will become essential in protecting those values that make the organization distinctive within Oklahoma City and beyond. This distinctiveness is a vital part of a social enterprise since such organizational forms most likely come about to either address gaps formed through the reluctance of government or business entities to fulfill human needs or to innovate new social arrangements. Social enterprise operating outside of formal public school systems is one way for activists to address inequities in society, and as the authors identify in a subsequent section, this strategy of activism may raise important ethical issues. However, protecting and advancing this distinctiveness, even amplifying it, can serve as an essential aim of action resulting in the creation of alternative organizations operating outside of traditional institutional boundaries. The Oklahoma City Girls Art School is filling a gap, one yawning because of the withdrawal of public education from the provision of the arts as a form of learning essential to the creative development of children.

Summary and conclusion This chapter examined how the emergence of a novel object in arts education, the Oklahoma City Girls Arts School, serves as a way of engaging in anti-oppressive action through the arts and creative activity. This chapter offers a perspective on this object in terms of its theory of action and shows how the school is a product of entrepreneurial action to bring about a new form of arts-based education operating outside of the boundaries of the public school system. The significance of the school resides in how it operates: it is a social enterprise, a product of the imagination of a principal founder who forged partnerships with an array of actors to form, enable, and sustain this entity in its early stages. Its mission is well focused, and its purpose affirms the positive influence the arts can have in the lives of girls who have limited access to arts education and art making without the school’s presence in the local community. The development of the school raises a principal question concerning social change through creative activity and engagement. Would children be better off if the advocates of the school had invested in anchoring and expanding arts activities within established public schools? This question raises an issue of the nature of change from within established systems, and it suggests that existing public educational entities are best positioned within their communities to address fully the needs of children and young people. Yet, public educational entities have been under considerable societal and related policy pressure to narrow their curricula, focus on what educational policy makers indicate as the most essential aspects of learning, and assess educational achievement within a narrow band of disciplines.

284  David Moxley The Oklahoma City Girls Arts School is a product of both inventiveness and innovation and may reflect emerging dissent among potential educators who seek to offer new forms of learning to children unhindered by contemporary policy prescriptions for public education. The school suggests that social change can be a product of this dissent and can result in alternative educational arrangements that may address a specific niche or tie particular methods inherent in arts education to other forms of learning, such as community engagement in the arts, service and the arts, and public arts education through collaborative projects. The ethical determination here implicates the consequences of action. Is the educational alternative engaging groups in forms of learning that traditional education does not engage? Is the educational alternative tapping into creative development of children that is not occurring in other community institutions? Is involvement in the production of arts education within the community inclusive of assets normally omitted from public forms of education thereby expanding role options, experiences, and opportunities traditional education does not offer children? In the case of the Oklahoma City Girls Arts School, all of these questions can be answered in the affirmative, and so the consequences that the school is producing appear positive. The arts can serve as one asset in considerable abundance within a community (McKnight & Block, 2012). At the core of the school are a broad band of relationships its founder, and now, its various stakeholders have formed to support, expand, and deepen arts education for a segment of students who otherwise would find the arts inaccessible in their immediate community or simply unaffordable. Such action in education can close opportunity gaps (Carter & Welner, 2013). ­Access to and affordability of arts education for the families of these children appear to be additional values affirming this approach to addressing the provision of arts education and art making. As an instrumental case, therefore, it is worthwhile to further understand this kind of approach to arts education, one in which research can examine issues, challenges, barriers, and facilitators to the promotion of arts education at local levels. Recognizing the potential of such forms of education, and even funding them through public means, thereby ensuring the support of these schools as perhaps vital enclaves of existing public school systems, could further enfranchise the arts as an essential requirement of the educational development of children. An entity like the Oklahoma City Girls Art School could then blossom as a place in which collaborative creative engagement of children is a pillar of all neighborhoods regardless of economic means.

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Note: Page numbers in italics refer to figures and in bold refer to tables. Page numbers followed by ‘n’ with number refer to endnotes. AASJ see Applied Arts and Social Justice ‘Acervo Augusto Boal’ website 93 ACI see Artists in Community International Afrofusion 232, 233, 235, 240, 242 Agulhas, Gladys 238, 239 Agulhas Theatre Works 238 Anjuman-I-Islam school 154 Applied Arts and Social Justice (AASJ): certificate 99–101, 103, 104, 106–7; design 101–3; goals 99; impact of 105–6; objectives and aims 104–5 Arbi, Adil El 221 Aristotle’s Drama 21 art: and community 70–1; as symbolic reality 128 arts-based interventions 11, 16; and body language 15; impact on brain 13–14; and language 14–15; role of play 15–16; visual thinking strategies as 32–3 Art for the Park event 260, 261, 262, 266 Artists in Community International (ACI) 252, 256n1 arts-based community development 72–5, 74; practical suggestions for 75–6 arts education: for children’s development 274–5; in United States 272–3; see also Oklahoma City Girls Arts School arts with teenagers 134–44; artistic method/form 136; artists role 140–1; dance workshop 135; process (events/ interventions) 136–40 art therapy and social work in India 146–7; art-making and play 154;

dealing with anger, grief, and loss through 147–50; in educational setting 153–4; empowering ‘girl child’ through 150–3; Growing Up workshops 153–4 Australia 70, 257; domestic violence in 206, 257–8; see also Safe at Home project Awaji Hanshin Great Disaster (1995) 58 Black film 221 Boal, Augusto 22, 23, 27, 82–6 Boal, Julián 91 Bonnycastle, Marleny M. 190, 191 British Association of Social Workers (BASW) Code of Ethics 20 Broaden and Build Theory 12, 13 Brussels 220, 221; Piano Factory in Saint-Gilles 221–2; riots in Saint-Gilles 222–3; see also System_D Buthelezi, Oscar 234 Callery, Dymphna 23 Canada, social work practice in: arts-informed methods 197–8; arts in social work education 195–6; creative methods 196–7; experiential learning 199; reflexivity and learning 200 capability approach 30 Centre for the Study of Art and Community 73 Centrelink 265 Cessnock Anti violence Network 258 Cessnock City Council 264 Cessnock City Library 266 Cessnock Family Support Service 261, 265

288 Index Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA) 257–9, 261 Chicago’s Settlement House Movement 69 civic empowerment 203, 204 Civil War 97 Cole, J. 174 community: and art 70–1; cultural development 71–2; and social work 69–70 community action 70 ‘community art’ 125 Community Dance Teachers Training Course (CDTTC) 233 community development, arts-based 72–5, 74; practical suggestions for 75–6 community education 258 community empowerment 176–7, 209 community theatre 211–16; in empowering women 252 community work in Sri Lanka: aim of 210–11; and playing drums 213, 215; process of intervention 213–16; social worker roles 216–17; and theatre 211–16 concertina books 252–4 constructionism 97 corporate social responsibility (CSR) 146 Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) 96; EPAS competencies 2015 105; EPAS standards 103, 104 creativity and social work 44–6, 53 CrocStars 260, 266 CSWE see Council on Social Work Education cultural action 229 cultural development, community 71–2 cypher, hip-hop culture 177 Dallas Buyers Club film 97 dance as art form 15, 47, 135–7, 140–3; see also Moving into Dance (MID) decision-making, ethical 20 de-roling 24, 25 ‘DieGem’ project 219 disability, people with: dance company for 238–40 disability arts 48 Dodd, Alex 235 domestic violence see Safe at Home project drama: Aristotle’s Drama 21; and exploring ethics 18, 23–6

Drama as Therapy: Theatre as Living (Jones) 24 drawings and social work 111–13, 148, 151, 153, 186, 187, 190, 192, 194, 264, 269 earthquake disasters: and artwork projects in Nepal 246–54; in Japan 57–65 educational policy and accreditation (EPAS), CSWE: competencies 2015 105; standards 103, 104 Edudance 232, 233, 235–8, 240 emergency medical service (EMS) 171 emotions: and colour 187, 197; ‘emotional contagion’ 205; negative 11, 185; photographic images of 61, 62, 162; positive 11, 12, 203 empowerment-based positive youth development (EMPYD) 171 Enable through Dance project 237–40 EPAS see educational policy and accreditation (EPAS) standards Equality and Human Rights Commission 47 ethical decision-making 20–2 ethical judgment 27 Evidence Based Practice (EBP) 45 faire-oeuvre 140, 141, 143 Fallah, Bilall 221 feminist empowerment tool, arts as 109–16 film festival 220–1, 224–9 Flemish Royal Theatre 221, 224, 225, 227 Forum Theatre 80, 83, 85, 93 Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant 57, 61 Gandhi, Mahatma 154 Gender Gap Index 57 Glasser, Sylvia 232, 235, 241–3 Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development 190 Graham, Anne 258, 259 Granada’s School of Social Work 87 Gray, Mel 258 Great East Japan Disaster 57, 58 group empowerment 203 group therapy for children of alcoholics 157–8; see also photovoice in group work Growing Up workshops 153–4 Happiness Formula 12–13 Hawkins, Mark 231, 244–5

Index  289 Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) 19, 20 Heinonen, Tuula 191 ‘Hidden Legacy’ project 124–33; aim and artist 124–5; artistic testament 128–30; arts and social work 132; result and impact 131–2; ritual art forms 127–8; social worker roles 130–1 hip-hop culture 170–8 Homo Ludens (Huizinga) 15 Housing NSW in East Cessnock 259, 260, 264, 265 Huizinga, J. 15 human rights and social work 20, 90, 148, 211 Image film 221 Image Theatre 23 ‘Imitating Movement’ 90 India, art therapy and social work in 146–7; art-making and play 154; dealing with anger, grief, and loss through 147–50; in educational setting 153–4; empowering ‘girl child’ through 150–3; Growing Up workshops 153–4; patriarchal society 152 individual empowerment 175–6, 203 Integrated Media and Arts in Social Work Education 96 International Nuclear Event Scale 57 Israel: arts as feminist empowerment tool 109–16; salutogenic model of Bedouin youth in 181–8; social work in 109 Japan, photovoice project in post-disaster 57–65 Jindal Arts Creative Interaction Centre (JACIC) 154 Jones, Phil 24 Juslin, P. N. 13 Kadambari Memorial College 249 Kathmandu University 247, 248 Keys to Life, The (2013) 46 Koe-Nara School 265 Kwaito 237, 245n1 liberation psychology 155 Liem, Nita 15 Maine Inside Out (MIO) project 106 Marxist-influenced approach 70 Mashiane, Eugene 243

Mathew, Nina 154 Memela, Sandile 242 Mestizzo Art Festival 224 MID see Moving into Dance Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity 146 Moving into Dance (MID) 205–6; Accredited Vocational Training Courses 241; description 231–2; Edudance 232, 233, 235–8, 240; Enable through Dance project 237, 238–40; goals of 232–3; impact of 241–2; for people with disability 238–40; Performing Arts Training Course (PATC) 233, 239; Professional Dance Company 232, 234; programs and projects 233–4; project protocol 244; Schools Festival 233; social model of disability 238 multi-literacy learning 182 music: classes 48–9; education 274, 275; and emotions 13, 14; hip-hop culture 170–8 Music and Emotion (Juslin and Sloboda) 13 National Arts Council 239 National Institute of Social Development (NISD) 210 National Women’s Education Center (NWEC) 63 Natya Chetana 93 neoliberalism 44, 53 Nepal 246, 248–9; art workshop in 191–5; Bhimeshwor Secondary School 249–50; community theatre in empowering women 252; concertina book-making technique 252–4; earthquake disaster and artwork in 246–54; Melamchi Primary School 250–1; post-2015 earthquake disasters in 206; social work 247–8 Nepal School of Social Work (NSSW) 190, 246–8; appreciative inquiry approach 192–3; arts-based methods 191; project protocol 255; ‘tree of life’ metaphor 191–2, 193; using artwork with traumatized children at school 249–51; using projective cards with female workers 251–2 Netherlands, The 31, 121, 124, 126, 130, 132 Nirmala Niketan 247

290 Index Not Always Happy: An Unusual Parenting Journey (Wagner-Peck) 99 NSSW see Nepal School of Social Work Oklahoma City Girls Arts School 207; art-making and development of girls 275–6; as creative enabling environment 276–9; and group life 278; project protocol 280; relationships in fostering arts education 279–83; as social enterprise 275–6 oxytocin 15 painting 141, 196–7, 206; and post-disaster social work in of Nepal 249–50 PAR see participatory action research Paragon music 48–9 participatory action research (PAR) 69, 190 PATC see Performing Arts Training Course Patser film 221 Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Friere) 23 Performing Arts Training Course (PATC) 233, 239 personal empowerment 13, 203 personalisation and outcomes-based approach 45, 47, 52 photography see photovoice in group work; photovoice project in Japan photovoice in group work 158–9; description 159–61; emotional process 162–4; group exhibition of pictures 165–6; group protocols 160–1; personal album of pictures 165; personal process of individuation 161–2; project discussion 166–8; project protocol and group meeting 160; symbols and metonyms in photographs 162–3 photovoice project in Japan: aim 57–8; method 58–9; practical suggestions for application 64–5; process 59–61; reflections 63–4; results and impact 61–3; social worker roles 61 Piano Factory (Brussels) 221–2 Pinder, Alex 248 play and art-making 154 Play On: music classes 48–9, 51–3; staff 51–3; tutors 53; tutor-student relationship 50; and young musicians 51–3 Plourde, Cathy 99

positive psychology 11–13 ‘Precariedad Now’ 80 proceduralism 44, 53 Professional African Contemporary Dance Company 234 Psycho Social Services (PSS) 251, 252 Pyrch, Tymothy 191 relational developmental systems theory (RDST) 172 relational empowerment 204 Riggs, Anne 249 Rituals, Pleasures, and Politics of Cooperation, The (Sennett) 204 Safe at Home project 68, 69, 75–6, 257; aim of 258–9; anti-violence messages 260, 266; artforms in 259; Art for the Park event 260, 261, 262, 266; community exhibitions 261; Cutout Project 260, 262; Hopscotch mosaic 207, 264, 269; impact of 265–9; mosaic works in park 262–4, 264, 266, 269; posters-and-coasters campaign 261, 263, 266; process 259–64; project protocol 270; Respect mosaic 207, 262, 266, 266; Safe Families Day and Activity Book 261, 269; Snake and Ladders mosaic 207, 260, 264, 264, 269 salutogenic model: arts methods 183–4; of Bedouin youth in Israel 181–8; environmental stressors 184–5; manageability solutions to stressors 185–6; stress between home-study demands 184 Schubert, Leanne 258 self-expression 2, 46, 119, 120, 172, 174, 175, 232, 277 Sennett, R. 204 sense of coherence (SOC) 181, 183 severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) 171–2; community empowerment 176–7; guideline for group facilitators 178; hip-hop culture with homeless adults 170–8; individual empowerment 175–6; method and process 173–5; and shelter environment 171, 173; social worker roles 175, 177 Shili, Muzi 234, 245 Shishu Bhavan 145 Sichel, Adrienne 241 Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work 147

Index  291 Sloboda, J. A. 13 SOC see sense of coherence social change 30, 46–8, 54, 63 social empowerment 204 social theatre 80–2, 88 social work: and art 30–1, 68–9, 132; and charity 246; and community 69–70, 75; and creativity 44–6, 53; and philanthropy 246; and social change 46–8, 54; and theatre 81–3 Social Work as Art 45 social worker roles: and community in Sri Lanka 216–17; ‘Hidden Legacy’ project 130–1; photovoice project 61; and SPMI 175, 177; System_D 228–9; and VTS process 39–40 social work theory 32–3 South Africa 231; see also Moving into Dance South African Qualifications Authority Accredited Training Course 233 SPMI see severe and persistent mental illness Sri Lanka 209; performing arts in 209–10; see also community work in Sri Lanka STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) 272, 273 System_D (Brussels): description 219–20; enhancing public friction 226–8; film festival 206, 220–1, 224–9; and Flemish Royal Theatre 221, 224, 225, 227; and Piano Factory 221–2; political significance of films 226; project protocol 230; riots in Saint-Gilles 222–3; social worker roles 228–9; unconventional artistic practice 224–6; young filmmakers in 220–1; young people voices in media 223–4 Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) 146, 155, 249; Child Guidance Clinic (CGC) 146, 147; Department of Medical Psychiatry and Social Work (MPSW) 146, 147; see also art therapy and social work in India teenagers, arts with 134–44; artistic method/form 136; artists role 140–1; dance workshop 135; process (events/ interventions) 136–40 theatre 27; and community work in Sri Lanka 211–16; and dance 15;

Forum Theatre 80, 83, 85; Image Theatre 23; and social work 81–3 Theatre of the Oppressed (Boal) 22–3, 106 Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) 82, 85–6; facilitator 80; ‘gamexercises’ 86; impact of 88–9; practical suggestions for social workers 91–3; protagonists 84–5; purpose of 83–4; social workers in 86–8; and social work practice 89–91; training 92 Thin Line, The (Plourde) 99 Through the Body—A Practical Guide to Physical Theatre (Callery) 23 TISS see Tata Institute of Social Science TO see Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) UNE School of Social Work see University of New England (UNE) School of Social Work United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) 47 United States: arts education in 272–3; hip-hop culture in 170; see also Oklahoma City Girls Arts School; severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) University Grants Commission Act (UGC) 147 University of New England (UNE) School of Social Work 96; Applied Arts and Social Justice (AASJ) Certificate 99–101 utilitarianism 18 Virasamy, Nadia 231, 243–4 Virtue Ethics 19 visual arts 14, 40 visual thinking strategies (VTS) 31, 32; as arts-based intervention 32–3; facilitator 32, 35, 38, 41; laboratory type 35–8; process (events/ interventions) 38–9; social workers role 39–40; as social work intervention with older adults 33–42 voluntary activities 12, 13 VTS see visual thinking strategies (VTS) Wagner-Peck, Kari 99 West, Kanye 176 Zable, Arnold 254