Overcoming post-conflict trauma with art: three African case studies

In volatile environments such as conflict-torn North Kivu, post-genocide Rwanda, or Sierra Leone, experts and humanitarian aid workers are now employing art to support the treatment of mental health conditions caused by violence. In many areas of the African continent, people with psychological illnesses lack effective therapeutic support – left alone in dealing with the sickness and forced to fight every day against the stigma. In these circumstances, art therapy can represent an important ally to cure pathologies such as PTSD, depression or nevrosis.

Leggi di più

“Left without”, a woman inside the imaginery cave of depression

Akimana Divine is a Rwandan poet, mental healthcare advocate and human rights activist. Her works have been published on numerous magazines and anthologies. The poem “Left without” allow us into that imaginery cave that is depression: a dark place where one is left without anything but his/her ghosts and fears. Divine has had her own hardships in life, first as a young girl being bullied for her weight and then as a single mother raising her boy alone. These painful experiences led her to find comfort in poetry and to write her own poems as a way of struggling against depression.

Leggi di più

Necklaces for the Headless, un libro contro i tabù sulla disabilità

Una bambina nata senza testa, il disgusto e la paura degli altri, la capacità di farsi strada nonostante la “diversità”, il talento che trova la strada per esprimesi. Attraverso un racconto un po’ paradossale, un po’ fantasy, la scrittrice ruandese Gabriella Emilie Afrika affronta la questione della disabilità, del disagio e del rifiuto che provoca negli altri e del bullismo. Un libro che è anche un modo per dare spazio alla rappresentazione della disabilità in letteratura e rompere i tanti tabù su questo tema. 

Leggi di più