Past Events with Violence Transformed:
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For their homepage, please visit http://www.lesley.edu/graduate-school-of-arts-and-social-sciences/
Lesley Student featured in “Violence Transformed” exhibit at Statehouse
Col Williams’s artwork explores racism, violence and social justice
Violence Transformed and Lesley – Transformative Approaches to Trauma and Human Healing
Lesley University and Violence Transformed first partnered in early 2010 to host “Poster Art: Standing for Peace and Justice,” an exhibit also co-sponsored with Cambridge United for Justice and Peace, which was comprised of historical posters from the 1960’s and 70’s and more recent work by local artists. The theme of the work was an expression of popular discontent with America’s wars against Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan; support for popular movements and revolutions in Portugal, Latin America, and South Africa; and a call for equal rights and justice for women, children and people of color.
With continued collaboration the following year on the “Ubuntu Arts Retrospective 2006-2011: Youth Transforming Violence” exhibit, it became clear that Violence Transformed and Lesley University were linked by a common thread in their respective missions: to develop and facilitate creative, transformative approaches to trauma and community healing. Lesley’s hallmark programs in expressive therapies, counseling and psychology, and culturally responsive approaches to mental health and trauma became fruitful ground for shared inquiry and community-based action.
Since the initial exhibit in 2010, Lesley and Violence Transformed have gone on to sponsor a series of innovative and dynamic events focused on the power of arts to heal and educate in the wake of trauma and atrocity. In December of 2012, Violence Transformed Director Mary Harvey presented as part of a panel entitled “Arts in the CommonHealth: Engaging Creativity, Changing Expectations,” at the Arts in Global Health Conference at Lesley University. This was followed by “One Billion Rising” in February of 2013, in which Lesley and Violence Transformed called on the Boston-area community to join the global movement to end violence against women, and act in solidarity and support for women around the world through the collaborative power of dance.
2014 marked the first of our annually co-sponsored “The Future of the Past” events, focusing on intergenerational trauma and healing. “The Future of the Past: Meditations on the Role of Memory in the Aftermath of Atrocity” panel focused on the Holocaust, with a coinciding art exhibit “Can Crimes Against Humanity Be Prevented?” featuring works by project eXodus. The following year, “The Future of the Past: A History Ignored” honored the 100 year anniversary of the Armenian genocide through a presentation and exhibit by Armenian artists.
Discussions around race have been at the forefront in 2015. After Violence Transformed received of a “Humanism in Medicine” Award from The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, providing support for a unique series of artist-led workshops for healthcare providers, Lesley University’s Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences hosted one of these workshops, focused on music-therapy in Apartheid-era South Africa. Continuing our examination of race during the spate of racially motivated incidents across the nation, Lesley College of Art and Design illustration major, Col Williams, showcased her work in the Violence Transformed Massachusetts State House. An illustration major, Col Williams strives to use art as a medium for social justice issues: ““I don’t have the power as an individual to take down racism, but as an artist I do have the power to incite and inspire those around me,” she says.
Indeed, the collaborative relationship between Lesley University and Violence Transformed aims to incite dialog, inspire action, and to open as many pathways to healing, peace, and community connection as possible. Our partnership has enabled artists, scholars, community activists, and practitioners across a variety of professional fields to come together, share knowledge and resources, and bear witness to the incredible human rights work being done around the world. As an institution founded upon the ideals of education and social justice, it is only natural that we should continue to build our partnership with Violence Transformed, and look forward to the work yet to be done.