This issue includes a diversity of narrative practice papers, including:
– Thoughtful ways of expanding the possibilities of definitional ceremony practice
– Narrative projects from Greek practitioners responding to the economic crisis and rise of racism
– Creative forms of documentation
We’re delighted that this issue includes three papers from Greek narrative practitioners. The community of narrative practice in Greece continues to diversify and thrive. It also includes papers from Belgium and Australia.
This paper describes the project of Abdul Shirzai, Badam Zazai, Shakila Yari, Jahangir Safi, Niaz Mohamed Miyasahib, and Sarah Strauven.
In looking for ways to respond to the difficulties Afghan refugees are experiencing in Belgium, both related to fleeing their war-torn home country and rebuilding their lives in a new and foreign country, they have created a mobile and interactive exhibition.
This small project is a citizen’s initiative framed within collective narrative practice and defined by volunteerism and informality. A crucial part of the exhibition is the definitional ceremonies that the group have come to understand as ‘rituals of hospitality’.
These rituals represent an antidote to the negative effects of asylum policies: impoverished and damaged-centred single stories of their lives and identities on the one hand, and inhospitable experiences on the other hand. These rituals include the creation of receptive spaces, multi-textured stories, and art pieces that stir imagination and conversations that compel reflection. The group hopes to cultivate an active receptivity, openness, and wonderment in their ‘audiences as hosts’ that will inform how people will define their responsibility towards refugees in the future. Through visiting local communities with their exhibition, they aspire to bring about social change.
Since its inception, narrative therapy has not only been interested in meaning-making with language, but also with other cultural forms including ritual and ceremony. Drawing on this tradition, along with the work of thinkers outside the field, combined with a religious lexicon and several years of experience with ‘liturgical practice’, this article outlines not only the healing potential of therapeutic ceremony but also its political significance. From mock lawsuits to funeral-like mourning ceremonies for Joy and Freedom, this article outlines possibilities, hazards, and essential elements of ‘liturgical practices’, as well as potential categories of ceremony in keeping with common cultural practices, and examples of practice.
This paper details a project honouring Greek people’s skills of re-claiming their lives from the troubling effects of the recent financial crisis. Canvassing a process that used a questionnaire, collective documentation, and definitional ceremony, this work identifies and celebrates special skills and knowledges that sustain people during crisis.
This paper describes a project undertaken by a part of the Antiracist Group of the University of Crete in the city of Rethymno between September 2012 and April 2013. Given that the onset of the Greek Financial Crisis has been accompanied by an increasing prevalence of racist and nationalistic discourses, this project intended to address the problem of racism and its multiple effects in our local community. We made use of specific narrative tools such as narrative documents, externalising conversations, and conversations that highlight unique outcomes. This paper is a presentation of our work in three parts. The title was inspired by Susan Sontag’s essay, Fascinating Fascism (1975).
This paper traces the journey of a ‘Travelling Tree of Knowledge’. It represents an endeavour to identify, honour and exchange knowledge about what sustains interpreters who have previously been refugees and who are now working with refugees. Emerging from the author’s engagement in narrative therapy, it details a budding practice of documentation and exchange.
This article explores some of the ways in which narrative therapy letter writing can assist in facilitating double-storied testimonies for women in two work contexts, family support work and crisis response. It briefly introduces the reader to some of the women and children who have been involved in this therapeutic letter-writing process and gives the reader a glimpse into some of the narrative letters that have been exchanged. It discusses how letters can richly acknowledge women’s skills and knowledges, especially when working in an environment with strict time pressures, and discusses some of the ways that narrative letters can be incorporated into a busy work environment..
We would like to acknowledge the Kaurna people who are the Traditional Custodians of the Land on which Dulwich Centre stands. We would also like to pay respect to the Elders of the Kaurna Nation, both past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders.