Past Projects

Artwork: "My relationship to my work"Cambodia

 

In 2005, The Art2Healing Project and AFESIP Cambodia worked alongside each other to develop an art therapy program as part of the residents' psychosocial support. Part of the program included developing and facilitating art therapy workshops with trafficked women in the center.

 

The workshops focused on providing the women with a safe space to explore their lives, dreams, aspirations, strengths and potential. It allowed the women an opportunity to honor themselves and each other with trust and respect.

 

Through the creative arts, this program encouraged authenticity and honest expression of feelings and ideas. It functioned to help these women process their trauma and resolve their past experiences and feelings of having been exploited.

 

Since then, The Art2Healing Project, has collaborated with partnering organization Kitakyushu Forum on Asian Women (KFAW), and have worked together in embarking on an Expressive Art Therapy Research Methodology project. The primary goal of the research study focused on finding out the subjective narratives of Cambodian women and children who suffered several forms of abuse through trafficking using the medium of art. The study also aimed at providing these women with therapeutic support psychologically and emotionally.

 

Often the psychological well being of trafficked victims is being overlooked and misunderstood by policy makers. The victim is susceptible to being re-traumatized when relaying their subjective narrative and this may trigger emotions of feeling exploited and used by the interviewer. Interviews and objective surveys often have a negative impact on the victims. Therefore, in this research study, the creative healing arts was employed as a method of collecting qualitative data of the victim's emotions, feelings and subjective insights, while supporting the client psychologically and emotionally through the therapeutic process.

 

This process allowed the participants of the research study the chance to be acknowledged, validated and affirmed. It also provided the victims with a chance to explore their struggles and difficulties in order to resolve their past, creating a space where healing could occur.

 

The exploration included their pre-trafficking circumstances, recruitment, trafficking, and the exploitation they experienced. Through different art therapy tools and resources, the participants were able to explore their life-stories. The findings of this research were used to lobby for preventative and curative measures for trafficked women.