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May 12, 2008

Writing, Art and Power: MAD About Art

One of my favourite charities around is MAD About Art. 

They're a small educational charity working with children and young people in South Africa who've been affected by HIV.  Their work is based on a mix of art and narrative therapy, creating some quite wonderful results.

The art, paintings, stories and hero books that the youngsters have created contain powerful, harsh, beautiful truths. 

Here's some writing by a girl called Rochelle, to accompany this beautiful panel from the Rainbow of Hope that they created together.


I am who I am
My light burns bright just like yours

At first I couldn’t believe I am HIV-positive
now I do accept
I choose to go on with my life

I’m relieved from all my problems
I can face the world again
I move on with my life
I don’t look back again

The VOLCANO is my anger coming out
I’m more relieved then ever
all the hurt, judgments and blame
I was facing is coming out

The volcano explodes to show I’m strong

SMOKE is coming out of my nose, eyes and ears
The smoke is the power  inside Me
The power I have to look forward to a new future

The WEIGHT shows I’m relieved
I can stand up for myself
I don’t care what people say,
I am what I am
I have the power
I face those who judge and blame me

I’m strong and happy because of love,
support and information

I'm working on a way to generate some support for MAD through our powerful writing project. More on that at the beginning of next week.

Joanna Young, The Confident Writing Coach
Because our words count


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how interesting - I just discovered MAD About Art after somebody commented on my blog post about a friend in Uganda.
I think art therapy to be fascinating - including storytelling is a great idea. Looking forward to learning about your idea for funding.

Wow, now that is powerful writing, isn't it, Joanna? I look forward to hearing what you come up with.

Jasmin, Amy, I'm glad you enjoyed the info I shared here. I find the words, stories and pictures humbling and inspiring at the same time... which is maybe one of my definitions of powerful work.

I'll be sharing my idea next week... watch this space :-)


Oh Joanna. Lovely. I wasn't aware of MAD but will look into it now. I have done a lot of artist in residence work with kids....it is so important to give them ways, many ways of telling their stories. Keep me in the loop on this one, please. : )

Jan, I will do. I think MAD is UK based, maybe it's why you've not heard about them. I think I came across them when searching for information on narrative therapy - and they're quite small - but for me the work they do is stunning.


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