Black and White in an art therapy group for Asylum seekers who are victims of torture

Skaife, Sally. 2008. 'Black and White in an art therapy group for Asylum seekers who are victims of torture'. In: 14th Symposium of the Group Analytic Society 'Despair, Dialogue, Desire'.. Trinity College University of Dublin, Ireland. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

This paper will describe the first two years of an ongoing art therapy group for women victims of politically orchestrated torture, which takes place at the Medical Foundation in London. The group uses art within a group analytic framework and works with the paradoxes that are set up with this combination. Art making and looking, and verbal interchange are described as providing a tool, through the differences they throw up, with which to deconstruct the binaries of despair and hope, pain and beauty, isolation and solidarity, work and play. Other binaries in the group that will be discussed include the two verbal languages, French and English, between which the group struggle to communicate, and a Black/White difference between African group members and the two white British art therapists. The paper describes the process through which the women reclaim their bodies and their lives, through working with the differences whilst building strength through the similarities. The developing visual matrix of the group will be shown through viewing the images made by the women.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)


August 2008["eprint_fieldopt_dates_date_type_shown" not defined]

Event Location:

Trinity College University of Dublin, Ireland

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

18 Oct 2010 09:42

Last Modified:

11 Jul 2017 09:49


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