Art Therapy is the use of expressive and artistic tools and techniques with therapeutic purposes. The artistic activity performed with therapeutic purposes, is geared to correct and manage problems, both psychologically and emotionally as well as socially. Its purpose exceeds the meaning of aesthetic result because the key in Art Therapy is the process used by the individual to contact his inwardness, given that art is used as a language of non-verbal communication.
The focus of Art Therapy is on the creative process and not on the final artistic product. The expression and creation is all that matters. The fact of producing a “creative trace” allows the individual to access his most hidden and not externalized elements and gives him the opportunity to strengthen his skills, often without realizing it.
The term «Art Therapy Workshop” is usually used because it is based on a participatory methodology that one learns experientially, on a specific project that requires teamwork. The definition of an Art Therapy workshop is based on its differentiation from a simple art workshop, which simply broadcasts specific techniques, without the term Therapy indicating a space of psychotherapy.
The tools of Art Therapy are the visual arts and the therapeutic element is the realization that through artistic creation oral communication, group cohesion, personal expression are promoted. We try to run through the past, to understand the present and to project the future. Art Therapy appears like a way to symbolize through the creation of images. An autonomous space in its natural form, but also a field of personal internal space.
Participatory photography is used by community developers and photographers as a tool for engagement, advocacy, skill building and social innovation in their work with disadvantaged and marginalized communities. It recognizes that answers often lie within communities and that photography is a way to tap underutilized assets.
Participatory photography is a collaborative participatory methodology in which participants are supported in generating their own photographic work in order to share lived experiences and present the world as they see it. In doing so, individuals and communities gain tools and opportunities to create knowledge, understanding and imagery about the issues that are affecting them. By creating alternatives to mainstream modalities of expression, previously excluded individuals are facilitated to speak, be heard and be seen.
This methodology also enables community participants to define how they want to be represented to the outside world. Facilitating individuals to tell their stories and to have control over that process enables them to maintain firm ownership over their representation. Moving beyond stereotypes, it helps to convey a fuller picture of the issues, challenges, opportunities, aspirations and what it means to live in their community.
LTP – Literacy Through Photography
Literacy Through Photography (LTP) is a teaching philosophy and methodology that encourages children to explore their world as they photograph scenes from their own lives and to use their images as catalysts for verbal and written expression. Framed around universal themes such as self-portrait, community, family, and dreams, LTP provides children and teachers with the expressive and investigative tools of photography and writing for use in the classroom.
In connecting picture making with writing and critical thinking, LTP promotes an expansive use of photography across different curricula and disciplines, building on the information that students naturally possess. LTP also provides a valuable opportunity for students to bring their home and community lives into the classroom. Photographs can give teachers a glimpse into their students’ lives and give students a way to understand each other’s diverse experiences.