For children – and for many adults – art plays a vital role in helping them to express feelings and difficulties that they aren’t otherwise able to articulate. Its importance is never greater than in post-conflict conditions. Of course, water, food, and first aid are essential during a crisis, but none of these things can restore human dignity to a person dying from disease or help a rape victim to cope with their outrage.
To suggest that the only things that maintain our humanity are those that serve our biological needs seems to me palpably incorrect. We are not just what we eat. We are also what we feel, what we fear, what we love and what we hate. Unexpressed tensions find their strength in violence.
For children in conflict nations, “art is not an adjunct to life but can transform it. It has an educative, restorative, reorienting power, not despite but precisely because of their desperate circumstances”, Danny suggests.
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