On suffering and joy

On suffering and joy (click on title) a paper written and presented by Anne Riggs PhD


Remembrance and The Expressive Arts: A Study Day

Hosted by Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions


The University of Melbourne 

Friday 11 September 2015


about the study day :
For many people, 9/11 is a chilling date. It offers a profound memory, a stark ‘flashbulb’ image of where they were and what they were doing as the Twin Towers were attacked. How did the survivors of that terrible event cope? How useful were the expressive arts in finding comfort, expressing grief, remembering a loved one?

Whether remembering family members lost in a disaster, or even reminiscing about times with a teenage sweetheart, there is increasing evidence that the arts can function as useful technologies for emotional expression while also offering creative routes to recovery after trauma and loss. But more than this, for those living with dementia or dealing with mental health challenges, the expressive arts can offer a means of communication, solace, a moment of clarity and even reminiscence of happier times. They can be used as a tool to construct a day-by-day narrative and form a bridge between a remembered and a changed sense of self-identity.