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A Natural Response to a Natural Disaster: The Art of Crisis in Nepal

12 January 2018

The Canadian Art Therapy Association Journal, published by Taylor and Francis, recently published an article by art therapist and BAAT member, Jess Linton...


This article was included in a special issue called Art Therapy and Environment. Linton's article describes her collaboration with Art Refuge UK

The article explores the implementation and use of art therapy in the context of emergency and immediate post-emergency phases after a natural disaster. Skill sharing and support sessions were delivered to national and international mental health and well-being professionals living in Nepal both during and immediately after the devastating earthquakes in 2015. 

A range of sessions for children were offered within United Nations humanitarian disaster relief agencies, Child Friendly Spaces and other community-led initiatives. Through consultation with the local community, natural materials were incorporated into the therapeutic response to this natural disaster.
There was an interest in whether working with natural media would support recovery and resilience, particularly through regaining control and reconnecting with the earth, the place we naturally call home. 

Potential benefits are discussed, drawing on wider art therapy literature and contemporary literature around working with the arts outdoors and working with natural media.

This article has now been made free access for three months (until the end of March 2018). 

To read the article please click here

Jess Linton and her colleague Naomi Press (both BAAT members) also presented at the recent Canadian Art Therapy Association conference in Vancouver (October 13-15, 2017). Their presentation was entitled: Build Bridges Not Walls: Can Small Acts of Resistance Push Boundaries and Cross Borders?

At the conference Jess Linton and Naomi Press presented their work with refugee and displaced populations in France, the UK and Nepal.
They reflected on their response to the ever-changing socio-political landscapes that they work within through examples of their collaborative art-making and art therapy practices with asylum seekers and displaced communities in Kathmandu, Nepal, the large refugee camps in Calais and Dunkerque, France, and in psycho-social services for young refugees in the UK.
They also considered their position as art therapists working within a small charity, Art Refuge UK, and with international and local partnerships in situations that are, by their very nature, highly politically charged.
They also shared their use of diverse art therapy practices to adapt, respond and support a strengthening of agency and resilience.

You can follow the work of Art Refuge UK here