innocence jailed—a child’s concept of criminal justice. system.
Grieving is a fundamental and basic human activity that is more than often suppressed and denied. Psychological research is only now beginning to realize the effect of suppressed grief and trauma on the human psyche and development.
At Swanchetan we recognize the depth to which the individuals and communities suppress grief as a result of rape, war, ethnic violence or killing. We see this grief as not ending with denial or suppression but continuing its inner devastation to the individual more often than not leading to intergenerational trauma that becomes symbolic of the identity of a whole community or race.
The inner child and sun—hope emerging.
Swanchetan is carrying out research in this phenomenon to understand how people cope with devastating events and their aftermath. Swanchetan has trained caretakers on how to deal with grief in traumatized populations in India, Srilanka, Indonesia, with religious and community leaders from all over Asia and in the coming years hopes to do it in many troubled spots in the world.
Ever since its inception Swanchetan has been involved in doing art therapy with individuals and communities. Art therapy has included doing drawings, creating symbols depicting resilience and hope after torture, abuse and facing discrimination. In this we have been assisted by art therapists and psychologists interested in art work.
Over the years, it has resulted in a fascinating collection of artwork depicting a wide range of human emotions of survivors who have gone through terrorist attacks, rape, and ethnic violence and facing human evil.
The Kashmir valley – where I lost my home.
Swanchetan has conducted Art workshops which have helped different populations to share their stories and respond to their grief in different ways like:
The children of Nithari Village could express their fear of pedophilic abuse.
The children of Godhra have expressed their need to see an end to hatred between the communities in India.
The children of Jammu and Kashmir expressed their pain of being separated from their homeland and being forgotten by the rest of the world.
Girls in Godhra speak against communal violence.
The children of Naugarh have expressed their outrage at their being tortured by the state.
Swanchetan has also helped survivors of sexual abuse, family violence, human trafficking through art work in Delhi.
Anyone desirous of researching on survivor art is welcome to view it at our office after making a request. We also hold lectures and exhibitions of art work for educational purposes for the communities if requested.