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 23 Comments

  1. Rhianne

    Rhianne – Brisbane, Australia
    I found the article ‘Establishing non-criminal records’ really powerful. I have worked in the Youth Justice system in Queensland and so have seen the power labels, court reports and lengthy charge sheets. I hadn’t thought about the impact non-criminal, more hopeful documents could have. But it makes sense.

  2. Samara

    This section was so powerful and it was such a honour to be able to read the stories and experiences of different groups of people. A big thank you to everyone who shared and contributed to this section! It was really broadened my understanding of the different ways/forms of documenting people’s skill and knowledge and the impact this can have. Such a powerful tool for highlight resilience, resistance, and strength.

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