While the COVID pandemic brought its fair share of challenges, it has also brought us opportunities to learn from artists near and far. Starting in Spring 2020, we got the change to take our creative minds beyond the medium of visual art. htE prides itself on offering a rich curriculum with a variety of different opportunities for survivors to find “what fits”. Sometimes we can’t manage to express a feeling until presented with some different tools. To help us add to our toolbox, we welcomed guest teacher Alana Saab.
Alana has led various workshops for our participants, teaching techniques for expressing ourselves through the art of pen and paper. Our survivors learned journaling strategies to access inner narratives that unlocked a path to further insight and therapeutic healing. Starting with free write and word association, we used exercises to slowly grow our most automatic thoughts into flowing, poignant narratives.
We also played with different poetic forms, ranging from short acrostic to long form prose. Survivors were invited to reflect on various themes to foster conversation, including aspirations, connection, and growth. By the end of the session, all participants were able to explore their life stories and where they want their story to lead.
Writing proved to be the ignition for a dynamic conversation about personal struggles, journeys, and finding commonalities in apparent different lives. We are impressed and grateful with how open and vulnerable our survivors continue to be in the pursuit of being their fullest selves. Survivors requested to continue these conversations beyond the scope of the workshop and offered compassionate support with issues raised.
We are happy to share the works of our participants over the past year and a half through a synthesis of visual and written art. We hope you enjoy!