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November 04, 2017

Thread before the Gardening Thread: Postmodern Art Therapy [KT]

Serving your mid-day open thread needs


It is remarkable to me how fast new orthodoxies and new vocabularies become established in academia today. Views that seemed unremarkable not long ago now seem unsuited to the age of intersectionality. So many spaces on campus seem unsafe for thought now.

The following quote is from an American, probably a white American, visiting India in 2013. Just four years ago. I wonder if she would have written this in 2017?

Interning at T T Ranganahan Clinical Research Foundation (TTK) Hospital under India's home grown art therapist, Reshma Malick has been an absolute honor. . . Through guidance and observation, Kelly and I have learned much about the field of art therapy through the eyes of India and how art therapy looks in this culture. . .
Aren't we now being told that "seeing through the eyes" of another culture is impossible for people like her? Isn't this program deep into cultural appropriation?
I witnessed art therapy traveling from D.C. all the way to Chennai. It was like watching traders meet and exchange valuable knowledge.. . .

Oh, my. Cultural imperialism and cultural appropriation!

After reading a little about the place of art therapy in academia in 2017, I now wonder if it might not be preferable to go directly to India if you felt the need for some art therapy. Because one finds this kind of academic literature in the USA:

Know History, Know Self: Art Therapists' Responsibility to Dismantle White Supremacy

In this article, we call on white art therapists to assume responsibility for dismantling white supremacy in the field of art therapy, in personal as well as political-structural arenas. We respond to calls from scholars and writers of color for white people to assume increased responsibility for dismantling white supremacy in white communities and serve as mentors for one another in overcoming toxic whiteness and white fragility. The article defines white supremacy, describes ways in which it manifests in the contemporary field of art therapy, and offers firsthand insight into ways that white art therapists can work to dismantle toxic whiteness in themselves and in art therapy's organizational and political structures.

Does this mean that "white fragility" should be treated through art therapy, or that themes related to "white fragility" should be expunged from art therapy?

I'm feeling a little mentally fragile myself after reading that abstract. Maybe I'll pick up one of those adult coloring books. My Mom found one about Andrew Jackson at the drug store. It had text, too. Anybody have another auggestion?

Maybe I'll review some old Bob Ross videos.

Or maybe I'll just shake it off. There are post-identity politics recognized in "the literature" now?


You doing anything therapeutic this weekend?

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:21 AM

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