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  • Sofia Jayne

Art and the trauma of war

How refugees are using art to heal and to find a home in Melbourne.



In the Japanese tradition of Kintsugi, broken pottery is mended by applying lacquer and dusting it with gold. Striking lines then illuminate an element of beauty where the break once was. This custom has been used to symbolise the endurance of “broken” people as they learn to pick up the pieces from traumatic life experiences.

It’s a hard journey for displaced people fleeing their homes in search of safety. Art can be a poignant tool for refugees to process the trauma they have experienced. It has also acted as a cultural bridge for refugees to integrate and find acceptance in the community.

After being seriously injured in a bomb blast in the Afghan capital Kabul just over two years ago, Humaira Fayazi, has used art as a way of building a home here in Melbourne, whilst also healing the wounds of the war she fled from.

“I think art is the only way that you can show your emotion[s] and say the words that you cannot write,” Fayazi tells upstart.

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