Documenting people’s skills and knowledge

Introducing documentation

Tileah Drahm-Butler

Living in the shadow of genocide: what sustains us

This video is a collective narrative document that honours the skills of  counsellors and assistant lawyers of Ibuka (‘Remember’) which is a genocide survivors association in Rwanda.

Please also read these letters written between Rwandan, Jewish and Aboriginal  counsellors:

Strengthening Resistance: The use of narrative practices in working with genocide survivors

An encyclopedia of young people’s skills and knowledge

In narrative therapy and community work, we try to document people’s skills and knowledge. We do this in lots of different ways! Here is an example of a a recent project that documented the skills and knowledge of diverse groups of young people in many different ways … writing, video and songs!

Encyclopedia of young people’s life-saving tips 

Documents in therapy

Eileen Hurley (USA) tries to assist young people in jails to create ‘non-criminal records’ through narrative documentation.

Establishing non-criminal records, International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work


A booklet of women’s stories

A collective booklet from women who are survivors of domestic violence – a presentation from Natalie Smee


Sometimes songs can play a powerful part in narrative practice. Here’s a song that was generated from a narrative gathering in Narrandera Koori community:

We remember those who’ve left us

Closing words from Tileah

This Post Has 44 Comments

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    Sandra Owen

    I loved seeing the creative experiences that are utilized as tools to overcome these internal struggles. It is impressive to employ the creative mind to find our way back to self-esteem and to still our troubled minds in overcoming issues that internally devastate us.

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    This chapter was great to see how there are so many ways people come together to cope with past events. Common threads about sharing and hearing each other’s stories, as well as the emotional connection of music were great to listen to. I hope to be much more open to creative ways of connecting with others’ and learning their stories and experiences – such as creating art or writing poems and stories.

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    I enjoyed seeing the range of ways that people can document their story and their reflections. I have been working with young people and enjoy using creative art journalling with them as a practice to document in drawing, painting, collage, poem and prose their thoughts and reflections. It has been enthusiastically embraced. I do also have a rule about always practising myself what I am asking the young people to try. I have found it a magnificent way of exploring my thoughts and feelings.

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