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Final Week of Art Therapy Practice at Ritsona Refugee Camp for 2016

09 December 2016

The Flourish Foundation Art Therapists tell us about the final week of their 6 week Art Therapy pilot project at Ritsona refugee camp...

Our final week at Ritsona we experienced the continued unpredictability and challenging environment of the camp. As we arrived on Monday morning we were confronted by the noise of construction from the army and the disruption of press crews filming the residents…

Our final directive for the children’s sessions was creating images on individual leaves and placing them together to make a tree…

During the adolescent session one male individual commented to the group of how peaceful he feels in the sessions while painting an abstract image with different colored brush strokes across the page, creating many layers…

The women's session saw three regular members attend, they used the space to create more leaves for the tree, and to seemingly fill the gaps in the growing tapestry of individual’s art works on the upcoming exhibition wall…

On the day of the ceremony one young male approached us as we walked through the camp to remind people of our session. He commented on feeling there were 1000 media cameras, questioning why they weren’t here during the hunger strikes when the residents protested about the food and water shortages and the lack health care…

This week we gave out feedback forms to all who attended our groups and to the service providers in order for us to assess what had worked in our service and what needed improvement.

For our final day we invited all NGO'S to attend a presentation of our experience within the camp, including the framework we used in each session, our findings of what was needed and our plan to return next year for an extended period…

We ended the project with the exhibition where we invited residents and service providers into the space to view clients chosen works. The images were arranged into a collective piece on the wall, where a visual story linked the pieces with similar themes of loss and hopeful images for their future.

We were thanked by the community and even by many residents who had not attended the sessions. We had been welcomed into the community and feel very privileged to have come to know such courageous individuals. We wish them much hope for their future and the next phase of their lives.

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