Screening of Waynon, UNESCO

16/02/2016 - 18:00
On February 16, 2016, Act for the DisappearedArtichoke Studio- Art Therapy Center in Lebanon and ABAAD organized the screening of the film “Waynon” by George Khabbaz & the exhibition of art projects by families of the disappeared.
These art projects have been produced within the framework of a Memorialization Art Project initiated by ACT for the Disappeared and Abaad resource center for gender equality, and aimed to alleviate the families emotional isolation and empower them by participating in a collective effort to remember their loved ones and restore their rightful place in society.
While a lot of action has been taken to advocate for the right to know the fate of the missing and forcibly disappeared in Lebanon, a little has been done to psychologically support their families or honor those whose fate is still unknown.

The activity consisted of providing the families with a safe environment to discuss and share their personal experiences whilst working towards honoring their loved ones. Artistic expression had been favored as it has proved to be very successful for healing suffering and for initiating rapprochement between communities in post-conflict societies.

In each of five different cities (Tyr, Bourj Shemali Camp, Beirut, Tripoli and Jbeil), a group of relatives of missing persons from different communities joined their effort to design and implement a collaborative artwork honoring their loved ones.

Each group met for seven sessions and were guided by an art therapist, Myra Saad from Artichoke Studio.

The group setting offered a safe and non-judgmental environment for the participants to express their emotions, concerns and needs. The art therapist guided the participants through playful and creative activities aimed at nurturing a stronger sense of self, restoring healthy coping mechanism and strengthening the support network within each other and their community. Taking part in such a project and actively creating a personalized memorialization empower the families and help them regain a sense of meaningfulness and accomplishment.

For most of the participants, it was the first time that they participated in an artistically expressive activity. The value of the final artwork is in the meaningfulness it represents. 

This project was held in the framework of the project ‘Clarifying the Fate of the Missing and the Disappeared Persons in Lebanon' funded by the European Union in Lebanon.