Wounds and Healing – A Workshop!

Under the auspices of the Outreach programme of Kochi Muziris Biennale, a one day workshop was held at The Choice School for 7th and 8th Graders on the 18 of February.

In the morning  a group of about 15 students from Grades 7 and 8 and a few teachers gathered in the Primary quadrangle for one of the most beautiful sessions of self reflection , facilitated by two lovely ladies-Ayushi and Kripa. 

They used the life history of Padma Bhushan Somnath Hore, a famous painter and sculptor, who lived during the British times and had experienced the Bengal famine, to drive home the concept of the process of ‘being wounded’ and ‘healing’. 

How he dealt with the wounds received by him due to what he saw and his way of healing his wounds was made the basis of this workshop, leading our 15 young students of Grades 7 and 8 and the teachers to delve deep into themselves and come out with what kind of wounds they had been dealt with by life and how they had healed themselves, if at all the process had been completed.

The depth of understanding in each of the children and their way of expressing and explaining what had traumatised them and ‘wounded’ them was an eye opener for all the adults present there, including the facilitators. They confessed that they had not expected this kind of an outpouring of feelings which was very mature in its expression and very honest and RAW!!

There were a few who refused to speak up and they were allowed their space.

To quote one of the participants: There was an activity wherein the participants were divided into groups and they had to choose words with only one vowel and present an artwork with limited colours, time and thoughts. This pushed us out of our boundaries to work with constraints. The medium used for this activity was paper and marker pens.’

“The next activity was an individual activity where in students were allowed to express their feelings of hurt through the fabric and explore the fabric while wounding it. They could tear, crumble, paint or do anything creative to wound the fabric. The fabric was then passed on to the student on their right who had the task of healing the fabric. All of this was to be done keeping the purpose in mind. The medium used for this activity was fabric and paints.

The main idea of these activities was to give students an outlook on the fact that it is totally normal to be wounded and that healing is a part of the process. Metaphorically speaking they can be considered as two sides of coins. The objective was to pour out the thoughts we often keep within, perhaps, scared to share.’

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