What's Going On
If you glance at the News section of the IADC website, you will find items about a music concert in May, hosted by the German Embassy to the Holy See (above); and, also in May, three performances of an autobiographical play (“Pardon?”), one of which was held at the university. More recently in October there was another musical evening, “Lost in the Stars”, held at the university itself. And in November Licentiate students viewed the video of the play “Groomed” and then met and interacted with its author and performer, whose experiences are the subject of the play. You can read a little more about this here.
What’s going on? To some, these might seem like “extra-curricular” activities, somewhat removed from the core business of the Institute. However, the IADC ‘s mission is not solely academic, but formative in a broader sense. The website refers to these performances as providing “a unique opportunity for victims and survivors to share their stories of suffering and abuse through art”, and to musical performances as aiming to “promote healing through contemplation, empathy and recognition of dignity”.
There are at least two potential benefits in using the creative arts in this way. They can open up the experience of abuse in ways that words and concepts can’t, especially to those who haven’t had that experience. And, for the victim/survivor, creative performance can be a means to express and share experiences, to make sense of them in some way, and to present oneself in performance not just as a victim, but as a gifted and capable human being who has not only “survived” but who has flourished and can express a lot through art.
Of course, this approach may not be new to you. Have you come across other examples of using the creative arts to raise awareness, deepen insight and promote the recognition and dignity of survivors? Maybe you have been involved in promoting such initiatives?
Feel free to share with us to inform and inspire others and continue strengthening our network of people committed to Safeguarding.